To keep things relevant, I'll start from when I was first interested in being an artist. I grew up in a very artistic family. My Mom went to an art college and so did my brother and sister. So it was inevitable that I followed suit after high school. I wasn't pressured into taking art classes in high school but I did because I found that drawing and painting came easy to me. It wasn't until my senior year, when I took a Multi-media class, that I realized I really enjoy graphic design and videography. But the lack of motivation to create a great portfolio set me back for following suit and attending MICA like my Mom and siblings. I went to community college for graphic design and started losing interest in this career path. After 2 years, I stopped school and started working at a Green Energy company.
As the years went by, I was lost in the routine of the average work week. I grew old of the work at the Green Energy company and changed professions a few times, but I kept in good contact with the Green Energy company and would join them again after my branching off didn't work out. It dawned on me that just switching jobs wasn't enough. I didn't care about the money or the possessions I had, I didn't want to work in solar or green energy for the rest of my life, and I wanted to travel while I still could. So in 2018, I packed up and left to thruhike the Appalachian Trail. While I was out there, I ran into a now good friend Matheson who was also thruhiking. We had the same pace and got along really well so we hiked the rest of the trail together. Maybe a few weeks into hiking with him, he explained that he was making a documentary about his thruhike and asked if I could help film it. I dabbled in skateboarding videos and some short films I made in high school so I was more than happy to help. I used my phone and his 40$ Fijifilm camera and we collected over a hundred hours of footage. We passed the footage on to his good friend Katie who created a great documentary for Youtube. Ever since then, I've always said yes to help Matheson with future documentaries because I get to travel and film incredible movies with him, Katie and whoever else comes along to help.
Shortly after the trail, Matheson and I hitchhiked across the US and filmed a documentary titled "Winterwest." Then we both got odd jobs and saved up for the next projects. In August of 2019, I traveled to Iceland and hithchhiked around the Ring Road and then met back up with Matheson to start his biggest project to date. Chasing Vertical, from beginner climber to climbing the North West Face of Half Dome, a year long project starting in New Zealand and ending in Yosemite, CA. We wanted to take the next step in our filmmaking so we invested in a Sony AX1 handycam, some necessary camera gear, and new laptops for editing short videos every month to promote the documentary at the end. There was so much work involved and the learning curve was incredibly steep. Not to mention all the obstacles that came in the way. I had to teach myself how to use a proper video camera and suspend off some rock walls to get footage of Matheson climbing. I also had to relearn most of the Adobe suite since I hadn't used anything but photoshop since 2014 or so. Looking back, it's exciting seeing our progression in filming, editing, and photography.
Matheson, Katie and I are still working on the Chasing Vertical documentary. We are striving for the best we can achieve. But the biggest take away for me is learning from all the mistakes I made during the project and past projects. I've also learned that I love filmmaking and the complexities and creativity of it. And so I'm hoping to pursue a career in videography and photography when I move out to Colorado in September 2021.
*To read more in-depth about these projects, visit the Projects page