Reader Profile - Joshua Maxwell

Name: Joshua Maxwell

Company: West KY Video

Cameras: Sony HDR FX1

Editing Platform: Macbook Pro with Final Cut Studio 2

Microphone: Sennheiser Wireless Ew100 Lavalieres, AKG Perception 200

Support Gear: Varizoom Tripod, Custom made camera track system, Soft box light kit

Website: youtube.com/user/westkyvideo

I made my first commercial in the 5th grade with a VHS tape recorder for a class project. I received a B+ and from that moment was determined to make quality video productions for the rest of my life.

I started my professional career in mass media as a radio DJ for a southern gospel radio station when I was 17-years-old while running my high school television station. I worked my way through college as a television production assistant and earned my first full time paid position shortly before I graduated. Several positions later I am now running a local access educational television station in Kentucky, teaching television production courses at Hopkinsville Community College and running my own video services business creating television commercials, TV shows, wedding videography, real estate videos, and documentaries. I am constantly searching for new ways to create quality with less than what the big boys have. My dad is a machine engineer and designed a camera track system specifically for my tripod and camera. I have used it on virtually every production since.

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Quality video production is all about planning and time management. I teach my students the camera basics but I focus more on planning and pre production than anything. I tell them the first day of class that they are producers now, and that I don’t want to see any more horrible online videos from them. In my studio at the college, the students have the opportunity to work with Panasonic AG HPX500s, which are not point and shoot cameras. They require planning and force my students to think about their composition, color balance and settings. If there’s one thing I want my students to learn it is planning their productions and to be prepared. B roll, B roll, B roll…

I took a photography class abroad in London, England in 2008. It taught me patience, planning, and better composition. It was one of the best things I could have done for my videography skills. It helped me to step back and think before I hit record.

Documentary production is my favorite of all video projects. I love telling a story with video that I shot. I completed my first documentary in 2009 – 16 Days: A Media Diet, which was a participant-observer documentary in which I removed myself from all mass media for 16 days. It was selected for the Rivers Edge Film Festival in Paducah, KY and won a Communicator Award in the documentary category. I am currently producing a documentary about a regional baseball league that ended in the 1950s. Traveling throughout Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee is a wonderful adventure and has allowed me to capture some amazing HD footage of the region.

I am currently saving up for a Sony PMW EX1R or EX3. My goal is to have a documentary broadcast on PBS or The History Channel. Making good quality TV, that has been my goal since the 5th grade.

Joshua Maxwell – Producer

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