I'm having a ton of fun with this. It feels like therapy.
What made you choose to just start doing random video hoping for work instead of getting a 9-5 production job with a business?
I started editing yearbook-style videos in highschool, wedding-slideshows, softball banquet videos etc. I went to TCU and got a Radio-Television and Film degree. I graduated a semester early and immediately landed a bunch of freelance editing work. I had no idea how to manage my time, my money, or how to be diplomatic in client relations and I felt in-over-my-head. So I got a full-time position at a commercial post-house, first working in "the vault" and eventually working my way up to assistant editor. I desperately wanted to be working on productions though. I went to Guatemala and Brazil and shot mini-documentaries about Christian mission trips and edited them at work. The production company next door saw some of my Brazil footage and asked me to come to Europe to camera operate on their show "Project MyWorld." So I quit my job and shot the show, but when I returned home, I still wasn't ready to go completely freelance, so I started working at another post-house for an even higher assistant editor rate. I was miserable and I was editing videos in a week with the same budget as my salary. I felt incredibly under-valued, so I quit, started my own video production business and never looked back.
Working freelance is hard and takes a special kind of person. If you're that kind of person, it presents an incredible amount of freedom. I hope to never go back to working 9am - 9pm again (even though I still sometimes pull 24hr days working for myself!).
What do you do to stay fit?
I've been working out and running my entire life. I've always been naturally skinny and when I trained for the Stockholm Marathon in 2003, I got all the way down to 144 pounds, which was just too skinny for my 6'1" frame. Two years ago, I started eating a ton of leafy greens, kale salads and quinoa. I did the P90X workout program 6 days a week and drank protein shakes by Cytosport (Cytogainer) after my workouts. In about 2 months, I went from 150 to 170 with a single digit body fat. I've trimmed my workouts back a little now. I still workout 6 days a week. I do one day of legs, two days of chest and back, two days of arms, and one day of mixed cardio and running (alternating abs and core, resting a day in between). I eat complete foods, rounded, small meals, limit my meat intake (especially red meat - I have a hamburger about once a month), organic produce, take in protein after my workouts and load on carbs the night before my workouts. I'm now about 160 pounds and I have about 9-12% body fat. I can run a 5k in about 19 minutes, I can do about 20 wide-grip front pull-ups at a time, and I could run about 15-20 miles on any given day. My job as a documentary camera operator requires strength and endurance and I want to make sure I'm ready in case the CIA ever wants to send me on a secret mission.
What are you the most passionate about?
I am passionate about making things right. People are not good to each other and I refuse to just accept that it is just the state of the world. I'm passionate about proper urban development to the scale of human beings, the conservation of nature, limiting pollution and making people aware that there is a way to not just be a constant consumer - I want to share the love that I feel in Jesus with everyone I come in contact with, even people who oppose me. In short, I'm passionate about practical education. I believe that education is the way to a better life for everyone on the planet. If people understood the greater ramifications of the small things they do, I believe we'd more consciously care for each other.
What the most frightening experience you've ever had while filming abroad?
Off the top of my head, filming in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya was a freaky experience. It's one of the top 5 most dangerous in the world, because it's run by the Mungiki cult. They're notorious for beheading people. I just felt that something wasn't right and we left, seconds before a Mungiki started approaching our car. Also, I've almost fallen to my death off two different cliffs.
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