Video creation is sometimes a singular business, but video producers are a social lot who work and play in many areas of video production and love to share their stories. This column introduces you to your fellow video producers.
Name: John Taylor
Company Name: Weddings in Motion by JT
Cameras: Sony V1U / HC1 / SLT A35 cameras
Editing Platform: Final Cut pro and Adobe Master Collection Suite CS5.5 Support
Gear: Varizoom Sportsgear Steadicam
Creating film and video for me has gone as far back as 1977. After seeing Star Wars and looking at the technical aspect of its creation, I knew I wanted to get involved with this very creative medium. The opening sequence hit me like nothing else in cinema ever had. From the scrolling sequence and bombastic orchestral music, to momentary silence as the camera tilts down. Afterwards, a second surprise with that first battle on the ship with ear-piercing sounds and breathtaking visuals. Looking back, it showed the passion of the filmmaking profession of people wanting to make an impact and try something that has never been done before. It shows also the importance of good storytelling. If you recall, the first 20 minutes are told through two robots setting up the plot, and being the pivotal characters for the entire movie.
Good storytelling is also needed for wedding videos, not just good equipment. I first got the knack for editing in a way that is easy on the viewer with just the basics of a decent quality camcorder, lighting, and audio that make it presentable. Taking every visual and film arts course through high school and college, it just confirmed my passion. College was such a great learning experience, I actually attended two of them to ensure my education was not lacking in any areas. Immediately after graduation of the second community college in 1988, I worked in community television in two cities. I volunteered for charity and local events both inside and out of the studio to get as much experience as possible.
My first experience working entirely alone was in 1990 when I fully-produced my first wedding. The sense of creativity was incredible, if not a bit limited by my budget and the technology of the time. The great thing about producing wedding videos is that, like television, the stage is set, everyone's in place and dressed, knowing what to do. Plus the atmosphere is great.
The attitude is always positive, and it's like being invited to a party where you only know the main couple, but you get to know the rest of the guests quickly enough! It doesn't even seem like work, even after 12 to 18 hours on average for an entire wedding. Editing only lets me relive the fun, and with the evolving technology, it only gets easier and easier. I recently invested in a new HDV camcorder and my first Apple iMac system, complete with FCP7, Premiere CS5, with a Blu-ray burner. It may be a cliche, but entirely true when editors say that the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. Apart from my independent productions, I freelance shooting, producing, editing, and DVD authoring for several professional studios. Some of my work has been showcased for Porsche, and Larry King Live. Luckily, I have also recently found a balance between freelance work and my full-time job in on-air television. Over the decades, much thanks goes to Videomaker, which I have been reading since issue #1. It's given me the education to advance through this great creative medium.
John Taylor - Weddings in Motion by JT