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My Life and Video

This is a topic I haven’t had a chance to talk about yet. While video has always been a huge interest to me over the years, I haven’t had much of a chance lately to give it the attention I wish I could. It’s been a mix of COVID and a lack of time to dedicate towards creating new content. Let me take you back in time.

My passion for film started since I was a kid. When I was in 3rd grade, I was much more extroverted. I remember having such a fascination with telling stories. I would love watching movies. I would memorize every line of every movie I watched. When I got tired of watching movies, I watched all the behind the scenes videos I could find. I was always so fascinated with the process of telling stories. When I grew up, I wanted to be a movie director.

I remember going up to my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Walden, and telling her my intricate plan. I wanted to write screenplays and get some of my fellow classmates to star in my “movies” and then present them to my class. I remember going home and writing scripts for everybody starring in my movie. I would come into class the next day and share those scripts with the kids I wanted to star in my movie/play. Sometimes it took a little coaxing, but I was usually able to get the stars I wanted. Even in 3rd grade, it was such a rush to stand up in front of my class and see the vision in my head come to life.

Fast forward to today and, while I’m definitely more introverted than I was as a kid, I still get that same rush seeing my creations come to life. From the 3rd grade to a couple years ago, I would always consider myself a skilled video creator. I thought I knew everything about video cameras and editing. I would give people advice when they talked to me about making their own videos and I would always tell people that video was my hobby. And all of this was true. I was super passionate about it. But there was one problem. I wasn’t making videos.

How could video be such a passion on mine if I wasn’t actually making my own videos? Years ago, around 2013, I bought a Canon 7D camera to shoot both photos and videos. My photo career was taking off, but I never pushed video. I didn’t know what I wanted to create. I wanted to make short films; quick videos showcasing a theme and telling an inspiring story.

I would sit in my bed at night after work and open up an old composition notebook. This was my writing journal. It had all my ideas in it. Every time I came up with a new idea, I would sit down and start by writing the date. I will look back at this journal from time to time and see years of abstract ideas and incomplete stories.

When it would come time to get serious about one of those ideas, I would get stuck. What if it didn’t live up to what I excepted? Who would I cast? Where would it be shot? How would I get everybody together at the same time for filming? All of these questions would fill my mind and I would just shut down. The idea of shooting a film seemed bigger than me.

It was a long time since I opened that composition notebook. It was 2017 and my photography had been taking off. I was shooting photos for restaurants and getting wedding gigs frequently. I had spent years honing my craft in photography and it was something that finally gave me confidence. I had no reason to open the book on something that made me uncomfortable. I was satisfied with my passions, or so I thought.

But in 2017, I was having a hard time figuring myself out. I was no longer satisfied with the way my life was going. I spent years going in one direction and it wasn’t a direction that satisfied me. I was making a lot of changes. I remember sitting down in my bed, just trying to figure everything out. I put some headphones on and tried to clear my mind. It was in this moment where I noticed my old composition notebook. I walked over and picked it up and started reading through all the pages. I got inspired looking through all the old ideas that were lost in time. I felt lost and stuck. Even if I failed, I knew I had to at least try. I wanted to make a short film.

It all happened so quickly. I partnered with my friend Rolando, and together we tried working on an idea for a film. I wanted something new, so I didn’t refer to any of my ideas in my composition book. Halloween was around the corner and I thought it would be fun to do a spooky short film. As October 31st approached, the ideas weren’t really coming together. Nothing really felt perfect enough. But I knew I had a deadline, so I decided to settle on a quick story of a guy driving home from work, only to find an evil spirit in the car with him. It was a simple concept and only needed two actors. We decided to use our friends Zach and Grace as our stars.

It ended up being pretty sloppy. The visuals didn’t turn out at all the way I expected. The camera was super shaky and the overall story didn’t really make much sense. But I did it; it took me years to get the confidence to put myself out there and give it a try. And even though the video didn’t end up the way I had hoped, I felt invigorated. I wanted to keep trying. I wanted to keep getting better.

I wanted to create a video for the holidays. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to make, but I thought it would be a fun way to get into the festive spirit. I wanted to do a story about two random people meeting each other during the holidays and enjoying a night together. At this point, Rolando and I were doing our own individual projects so we were no longer collaborating. I was all on my own with this one. I was able to get my friends Nick and Brielle to star in this film. I really had no idea what to do. We all went to Princeton, New Jersey the week before Christmas and I figured it out as I went along, with the help of my girlfriend, Laura.

Within a week, I was already onto my next film called Resolution. I gave this film a darker vibe and explored the story of a woman celebrating New Years alone after losing her husband. For the next year, I made a new film every month. Each film explored new visual concepts and different ways I could tell stories. I explored lighting with my black and white film, Noir. I tried a first person perspective and no camera cuts with my film called Alone. Within a couple years, I saw the quality of my work go up dramatically and my confidence in videography was increasing. Each video I created gave me more perspective and helped me polish my skills. It helped me understand that progress wasn’t something I was going to achieve overnight. I had to keep working at it.

Fast forward to today and it’s been months without making a new video. I have been using a lot of this time to get my blog going and restructure how I want to proceed with my content going forward. I have some ideas for a new Halloween film that are under wraps for now and I want to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and try a new type of video. Everybody who knows me, knows that I love to travel. Travel has been a huge part of my self growth and I want to start making more travel videos. I have always had a huge problem with confidence in front of a camera. I always joke that I like to be the person behind the camera instead. But I think it would be a really great opportunity to work on something new and create exciting new content, all while growing myself. So stay tuned on my YouTube channel and you might see more of me. Big things are on the way!

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