I’ve been a creative my whole life. I could be/do anything, that’s really what I have thought for a long time.

Growing up in Hickory, North Carolina my options were limited, though. I was in a small town without much influence in the creative realm of things. In high school I told my teachers I wanted to do computer graphics, websites and video. I remember everyone just staring at me in career planning class and asking: “so what are you going to do for a job?” In the end, I had to do my own career study. Since there were no classes like web, graphics or video, I ended up taking photography, engineering (AutoCad) and drawing. The idea that I took Engineering because it was the closest they could get me to graphic design still cracks me up! I remember making a 3D model of a Master Lock; who knew if the dimensions were right, but it had reflections, shadowing, and looked legit.

I explored as many creative outlets as I could outside of school: Playing in a band, making graphics, small websites and videos for the band. Even though I’m pretty sure I crashed my parents PC every other day from some sort of pirated software, I still had fun learning the ways of the computer and the camera.

When I arrived in Chicago for college my eyes were opened. So many creatives, marketing outlets, beautiful design and just plain cool stuff. I remember staring at the giant new iPod billboards on the side of buildings with massive skyscrapers in the background and saying to myself “yes I have arrived”

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I still didn’t have much of an understanding on how everything worked, and the school I was attending was definitely not cutting edge creative. I continued to do random geeky creative things in my own time. Spinning up servers with WordPress installed, designing t-shirts, making little short films. While participating in many “101 creative classes”.

In the end, this meant was I had slowly become a jack of all trades without any true depth to one specific craft.  To me this was good, because I was anything to anyone. “Need a website? Sure I can do that…to a certain point.” “Oh, you need a graphic designed for your band, sure thing.” “Umm illegal music video, no problem” It wasn’t until my first job in a creative space that I really had to focus on a single craft.

I was hired as a media tech at a church. It was a large church that produced a weekly TV show of the sermon. There were 3 Mac Pro editing bays, multiple cameras all in an Xsan environment (basically a big server that stores a lot of video footage.)

It was here that I really got to stretch my passion for video and try things out….(on now legal software that wasn’t pirated). I’d spend my days maintaining light kits and cameras, shooting, editing and exporting videos of all types in different formats, even the good old beta tapes. I slowly began to fall in love with video.

Fast forward and I’m no longer working at the church because of other opportunities that have come my way and I am now freelancing. Freelancing is hard. Anyone that freelances knows the perception of freelancers. They are supposed to be cheaper and they are supposed to be only focused on my work and my project. After all, as the client I paid you, so I own you. The problem with this is you get sucked into doing what the client wants 24/7 whether that’s what you really want to be doing or not.

So I made a company..that didn’t help. My company turned into a sort of agency that still did everything for everyone.  So I joined an agency which seemed more focused. Same problem, we did every creative project under the sun and got burned.

So there I sat at the beginning of this year and asked myself….what am I going to do?

Why I Became A Video Director The Conclusion – Part 2