Q. You’ve been at Launch Media for 9 years. How do you keep things fresh?
A. That is a challenge. To me, it all comes down to keeping the visual pump primed. And, what I mean by that is you have to always be on the lookout for new visual references. It’s about welcoming people who are doing things that are far cooler than what I’m doing as an inspiration instead of a thing that, you know, makes me feel bad or self-conscious about my work. No matter how good you get, you can always get better. Because there’s always going to be some kid on Youtube who’s like 16 years old and running circles around you. I think being in the internet era, you can have very little illusion or ego around how good you are, because there’s always somebody who’s like right there. Keeping things fresh is definitely a challenge, but at the end of the day it comes down to always finding new stuff and taking it in as inspiration.
Q. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
A. I think working in a commercial context and being the creative director now for 6 years, it’s benefited my own personal creative practice because I’ve been able to see the norms that shape any creative process and to better understand what I’m trying to accomplish there. So, often a creative process is this very granular, meticulous, subjective process. It’s all very meaningful and personal. But, when you’re working as a commercial creative, you kind of have to be more objective about your own things. It’s like having a bird’s eye view on yourself. And, I think I’ve learned the importance of being able to switch between objective and subjective within the creative experience in my personal creative work, and that’s been huge for me.
Q. Your handle is @ubervore. What’s the story there?
A. So, that’s a term I came up with after some late night discussions with friends. Initially, it was going to be a band name. And, now it’s my professional handle on twitter and instagram. But what it means is that there’s all these different flavors out there, and the “uber” is the one who tries them all and consumes them all. The one that has an ethos that’s kind of extreme and eclectic. So, that’s kind of the idea, and that came to embody a bigger approach of being eclectic and always consuming and always taking in new things and trying to synthesize something that’s my own out of that.
Q. Someone’s given you a million dollars. What do you want to make?
A. “So, I’ve been interested in how we can think about the video content that we make in a way that takes into account what’s possible with the technology today. And the market doesn’t really have a thing like that. If I have a million dollars, I will one hundred percent invest in a tool that will take into account what’s possible with the creative side of video content but that allows us to iterate quickly once the creative has been done. And allows us to make a volume of video content that speaks to the concept and speaks to the value that any creative concept can generate. So, it’s not just one video now, it’s hundreds of videos that all kind of tie back to a central theme that if we can be successful there, that is a wholesale revamp of how the process of video production happens. So, I would build that for commercial filmmakers, like myself, so that they can be more successful in their day to day and bring more value. Because if you don’t then people like me are going to be nonexistent in 10 years. Just because of the way content is being made and the way it’s being consumed, we have to use technology to square what it costs to make a beautiful video with what you get, as a client, in return.
Q. What story do you want to tell?
A. I would like for those who have chosen to work with us to walk away going, ‘yeah I wouldn’t have done that any differently. I would call him again.’ I want them to remember my care and attention to detail and the rolling up my sleeves and kind of digging in which I think is signature of how I approach stuff. It’s about finishing something and having everyone go, “I’m proud of that. Man, that looks good. That stands out.” That to me is a great payoff. And, in another sense, the reason I love video content is because it allows you to have a lineage, like a traceable lineage. You can go look at my portfolio, and you can see like these high points that all left a mark in their own little way. You know? And, I just can’t think of another avenue outside of creative image making where you can do that.
Q. What inspires you to succeed every day?
A. I think that is entirely intrinsic for me. I’ve worked with a lot of different people who have a lot of different motivators. For me, it’s because of my work history, you know? I’ve done a lot of different things, and there were moments in my career before when the thing that I was doing didn’t have much of a purpose outside of checking a box for somebody. In those moments, I would often wonder, ‘is this going to get any better?’ And, I always chose in those moments to believe that I was going to continue to work hard and I was going to find something that was a better fit and I was never going to settle. And, when I’m kind of having a bad day here or things aren’t going how I want them to, it’s not hard for me to look back on those moments and be like, it’s not that far away in any direction. And, I’m human, so sometimes I take it for granted. But, I try to remember that I could very easily be back tomorrow in that place where I’m not validated at work, and I don’t have the level of value that I’m creating for people. So, I try to make sure I’m the best steward of today as I can be.
Q. When do you have the most fun at work?
A. Man, it’s those moments where I get to like really roll my sleeves up and just immerse myself in something, whether it’s writing or editing or doing some camera testing. Those flow state moments to me are the best. You know, and I get to do those pretty much as often as I want to. I’m really fortunate in that way. If I want to edit a thing and make it look cool and exactly how I want to, then I can take that time and do that. That’s pretty awesome.