Senior Multimedia Specialist
University of Connecticut
How did you get into video production?
In college, I started off majoring in still photography, and then made a transition into video. Right out of college, I picked up a job as a television news photographer. The rest is history.
What led you to a position in higher ed?
I worked in television news for eight years and felt like I stopped learning. I was looking for something more. I wanted to have a job that pushed me to be creative and to keep acquiring knowledge. The UConn position I hold now opened up one day, and I applied. It was the best career move I ever made.
Describe the team dynamic and project selection process at UConn?
There are three multimedia specialists on staff in University Communications. Our manager is the one who built the video department from the ground up. We owe a lot to him for our success and how we operate. All three of us have different, complementary strengths and project leadership varies from video to video. The selection process can depend on who came up with the idea, who wants to do what, and who is available.
What’s your favorite piece of gear?
I have been and always will be a fan of macro. Right now, a 20-year-old Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm lens is my best friend.
Any equipment you’d like to add to the inventory?
DJI Osmo. Our former student videographer who now works for Baylor says he is having so much fun with it right now. I also just tried a pair of Samsung Gear VR and want them!
Share some Netflix recommendations.
Not currently on a Netflix kick, but when I was, I loved the Great British Baking Show. Food, accents, and English humor – I don’t need much more to entertain me.
What recent higher ed video impresses you?
I always check out the work that Boston University is doing, largely because of their proximity to us. I thought they did a great job with the animation work on THIS is a Satellite: The ANDESITE cube at Boston University.
Do you have a favorite UConn project?
Each project is special to me in its own way, but we get to work with our live mascot, Jonathan XIV, a lot. Who can beat working with a puppy? This was the last video I did with XIV and his brother, Jonathan XIII. XIV’s handlers say that he only jumps on two people around campus and I am one of them.
Generally, my favorite projects are the ones that allow me to tell someone’s story. I think of myself as an emotional videographer and editor, so I want to connect with viewers on a human level – capture those raw feelings that everyone can relate to. I want viewers to care for each subject I interview, so the project that I have always been proudest of is the Portraits of Strength series I produced for the UConn Magazine. I actually developed a friendship with one of the subjects, Dominique Matteson. I became involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and participated in Light the Night Walk after producing a video about her. People like Dom are the reason why I do what I do.
If you could make a movie on any subject (with no time or budget limitations), what subject would you chose?
I would love to do a documentary following one or more of the hikers that walk the entirety of the Appalachian Trail. Everyone has their reason for doing it, the views are incredible, and the people you meet along the way are fascinating.
Where do you go for inspiration?
I go everywhere for inspiration – Vimeo, Vice, Devour, No Film School, ESPN, National Geographic, The New York Times. Every part of life has something to offer in terms of design or storytelling. You just need to look for it.