Title: Creative Director
Employer: ArdentLife Media
How Long: 6 years
Education: BFA in Film Production from Chapman University
Born in NYC, raised in DC
"Never let anyone tell you your idea is too big. The only way to see if you can do something is to try it, fail, learn from your mistakes and then try it again."
What got you interested in digital content - or content storytelling as we call it?
I've been interested in content storytelling for as long as I can remember. My parents both worked in the news and I spent many afterschool days and weekends at their studios, fascinated with every twist and turn of putting on a production. I found my entire life trying to find excuses to film things, I even convinced my third grade science teacher to let me make a movie for the science fair, (a move I repeated in both high school and college.) Something about storytelling has just always made sense to me. I remember in 7th grade I was ast. directing the high school musical, and was given the task of actually directing a scene. I was terrified to speak out in front of all the upper classmen, but when I finally found my voice, I directed them to perform the scene the way that I saw it in my head. And they did it, exactly how I saw it. And it was funny. And I remember realizing then the awesome power and responsibility you have as a storyteller, whether it's on camera, on stage, your words or someone else's. You could say from then on, I was officially hooked.
What does a typical day look like - or give the reader an example of what you do out in the field.
My days really vary, I don't think I've had a repeat week in over 5 years. When I'm directing, I spend a lot of time mentally running around, aka, making phone calls, having Skype/video chat meetings, breaking down scripts, rehearsing, scheduling, emailing. The whole procedure is incredibly stressful, but totally worth it. It's like being an octopus on a unicycle, balancing a different item on each of your 8 arms. That's the whole fun of it though. When I'm editing, that's a different ballgame. That involves a lot of late nights in front of my computer for hours on end, lots of down time inbetween cuts for exporting.
Why has digital content become so important in the information marketplace?
Well it has to do with how quickly we digest information now. It used to be that the morning newspaper was the common persons Twitter. Now we are literally inundated with content, so in order to keep up we need to constantly be making content. In a way, our digital content has become an extension of our self, a media representation of a brand, person, product.
What advice would you give any young aspiring content producers/multi-media journalists?
Do everything and anything you can do now to pursue your dreams, even if it seems too hard or insurmountable. Also, never let anyone tell your your idea is too big. The only way to see if you can do something is to try it, fail, learn from your mistakes and then try it again.
Why is it important to ensure that the people who define and create content reflect the audience/readers.
It's important that the people who define and create content reflect the audience/readers because the world doesn't operate from one set of eyes or one opinion. The way that I see the world is going to be different then the way that you do, and the more unique, complex and diverse points of views were able to show, the better we will do in our own humanity of understanding each other.