A Long-Winded Post From The New Video Guy

February 3, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: Tom Okins is a new Fast Horse creative services intern. This is his first post for the Idea Peepshow.

What follows is the tale of how I ended up on my current career path, which has led me to Fast Horse. 

Film and movie making has always held a huge appeal in my life. The cost, however, had always pushed it to the outskirts of a possible reality for me. Video was neat, but I kind of always viewed it as the bastard child of film who would never amount to anything, ask to crash on your couch and then spill red wine on your living room carpet.

Oh, and then there was the angst that came with editing on A/B decks. There is a great section in Robert Rodriguez’s book “Rebel Without A Crew”, where he gives a nerve-wracking account of editing “El Mariachi” on an A/B system in a locked room of a public access TV station. Even as the first computer non-liner editing systems made their way into my high school, it kind of, sort of made editing easier, but video was still doing nothing more than nipping at the heels of the film world.

From there I took film/video as a possible career path completely off the table. I would continue to be a ravenous spectator, but nothing more.

It was somewhere around the end of ’08 into ’09 that I began to see some amazing looking footage that the makers claimed was shot with consumer level video cameras. It was a little adapter that allowed 35mm camera lenses to mount onto the front of a standard video camera, giving the shallow depth of field we are so accustomed to with film. It was a revelation! So, what’s the first thing I do? I rush out and buy the best HD consumer level camcorder I can find, which happened to be a Canon.

From there I began to research which would be the best 35mm adapter for my budget/camera. Just as I am beginning to narrow down my search, Canon splits the atom to blow the video world away. Even the film world gets caught in the outer fringes of the blast radius.

News had started to bubble up about the video capability of the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D DSLR cameras. “Saturday Night Live” shot its entire opening sequence used for the 2009 season with these cameras. All of the footage looked gorgeous. It also introduced me to Philip Bloom who was one of the pioneers in using DSLRs for commercial work. Right as I’m absorbing all this new information Canon releases the T2i. A very nicely priced consumer level DSLR with the same video capabilities as the 5D and 7D. It was my second camera purchase within about a months time. All thoughts of 35mm adapters were abandoned.

With all this potential at my fingertips, I decided to go back to school for video production. I was able to add all of the technical skills I was aware of, but not practiced in. During my time at school, I was continually complimented on my work and able to see my own improvement in the medium. In the last months of this new education, I jumped ship from my customer service day job forcing myself to prove I could make a living doing something I actually have a passion for.

After a number of great months freelancing, I caught wind of an open video position at a little place called Fast Horse. The application process required that I submit a video introducing myself. That’s a fun idea. I was fortunate enough to make it to an interview stage. These people are really cool! Now I actually want this position! Second interview. Yes! Amazingly, I was offered the gig. And that’s that mattress man.

Here’s a bit of my work: