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  • Writer's pictureSymphonic Productions

How did I get here?

Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by making videos, but I never really realized it. It was a hobby that existed in my periphery that I never imagined I could make my livelihood. One day, in the summer of 2019, the spark finally went off in my head that at last I knew what I wanted to do with my life. A lot of the time I regret that it took so long to realize it, but as time goes on I become more and more grateful for the trials that I had to overcome to get here.

I got my first camcorder, a Panasonic that recorded on mini DV tapes, when I was in middle school. I would go over to my Grandma's house and her neighbor's kid and I would make our own movies. Nothing super original mind you, a rip off of Die Hard where we hardly changed the character's names, or a rip off of the video game Metal Gear Solid, creatively re-titled Metal Gear Liquid. You know, mindless action stuff we could film in the woods with toy guns. We were so obsessive over these movies that we would edit them manually with a VCR in his room. Hours and hours of work getting things just right so that our audience of two people would enjoy the "movie".

In High School I joined the marching band, and anybody that marched band in school will tell you that it takes over your life. My junior year my good friend Chris decided to do his Senior Project on Star Wars and asked for my help. We broke out the camcorder (Now a JVC 16:9 with 35x Optical Zoom!), went to an empty field, and filmed a Star Wars lightsaber fight for his project. It was a comedy of technical errors, the audio wouldn't transfer, we forgot to film a shot of "Anakin" getting killed, and our night shoot for the second fight was too dark to see anything. Despite all of the errors (and probably due to some of them) the video was a huge success! Chris received an A and all of our friends thought it was hysterical.

I don't mean to brag, but I was a really good tuba player. I went on to major in music education at Anderson University, and I would go on to place Principal Chair at the South Carolina Intercollegiate Honor Band. I felt very pressured to continue down this path as it was something that I was very good at, however most of the time my heart never felt in it. Rather than spend hours a day practicing like I should have been doing, instead I was making funny videos with my friends about "How to Play Air Hockey", or making music videos for the band I was in "Mute Rooster".

By the time I left Anderson University, I decided that I couldn't be a teacher who didn't want to teach, and I spent the next five to eight years wandering from job to job that would pay me enough money to get by. It wasn't all bad, I got married to my wonderful wife Melissa who puts up with me, and we have a beautiful daughter Millie that is the joy of my life. I would not be where I am now without the love and support of my wonderful family.

I spent 3 years working as a janitor in the labor and delivery ward at the hospital, getting berated by terrible management, putting up with physical and metaphorical crap. The only thing that kept me happy was making funny little videos for the 32 team Madden League I was in during my free time. I would spend hours making content just to make about twelve people laugh, even if that meant parodying "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.

After I was fortunate enough to leave the hospital, I found the first job that I ever truly enjoyed. I was the Store Manager at The UPS Store, and although we did a lot of shipping, we also did a lot of graphic design and printing. I was finally able to scratch that itch of creating something, whether it be a flyer, a business card, a banner, etc. It was here that I was able to rekindle that feeling of seeing somebody's face light up at something I had created. In the summer of 2019 we were looking to increase our social media presence and I had an idea to make a funny commercial for the store's Pack and Ship Guarantee. We got a few employees together, packed up a glass oil lamp into a box, and with cell phones filmed us HITTING IT WITH A CAR! We reached out to corporate before posting the video on social media and we were told to absolutely not under ANY circumstances show a UPS box getting hit by a car anywhere on the internet, so naturally you can see it below.

We didn't get to post the commercial, but by that point the spark in my head for video production had started a wildfire of desire to do this for a living. I spent the next few months planning, budgeting, and working on this new life I wanted to live. When Covid hit I was forced to leave The UPS Store and stay home to do virtual school with my daughter, and this seemed like the perfect time to rip off the band-aid and give this my best honest shot. Since then I've had the good fortune to work with a dozen amazing brides and grooms, The Olive Shoe, Greg Steele Law, Will Malone Photography, Taqueria El Taco, Rōz Meal Prep and Delivery, and more! It hasn't always been a smooth process, and there are a lot of times that I have tremendous doubt in myself, but I am excited to see where things go from here.

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