Welcome to a new website, a new company name, and essentially, a new way of thinking.
After eighteen incredible and inspiring months at Canada’s leading arts institute, The Banff Centre, I’ve taken the winter to decide how to re-enter ‘real world’ production. Anyone who’s been immersed at the Banff Centre can share my feelings that it is a life-changing experience and as such, my former identities of Sequence Interactive and Sequence Media Productions did not sit well with me. I havn’t written a line of code in years, so no need for interactive. And while I love the term ‘sequence’, with its inherent tie to visual narrative, this company, this entity – its just me, myself, and I.
So with this act of rebirth, the former company names are gone, as are the multitude of production services that I provided. No more production management, no more assistant directing, and no more directing. Banff focused my attention to all things camera and I’m utterly absorbed by it all; from lenses to lamps, sensors to sample rates, and bounces to background lighting. And as cliche as it sounds, the more I learn, the more I’m aware of how much there is to know in this specialty. But why change? Why the rebirth?
Looking back, I had started Sequence Interactive with the hopes of creating online documentary and non-fiction content. It was a worthy yet naive goal as I had very little experience in either production or storytelling. And so I took every production job I could, from Production Assistant to Grip, Coordinator to Assistant Director. I worked on documentaries and music videos, corporate and commercial projects, and even spent some time on short and feature film sets. After several years of freelancing, I ended up production managing shows for HGTV and Food Network as well as the occasional music video for CMT and doc for Discovery. It was great work but I was very disconnected from the story and the visual content, and there’s only so long you can do something you don’t love before the ‘chewing-on-cardboard’ effect really kicks in. What I really wanted to do was be behind the lens, to take a physical and creative role in creating the image.
Having shot still photos since my father bought me a Nikon as a graduation gift many years ago, I thought this would be a relatively simple transition. Another clear win for naivety! Transitioning from stills to video is akin to thinking you can stand up on a surfboard if you know how to snowboard – its not going to happen straight away. Yes, they’re both cameras and you need to compose, light and understand the meaning of certain angles. However, movement within the frame adds another level of complexity that is not only challenging but requires absolute connection to the subject. For me, the challenge has been well worth the reward: After several months of repeated failure, I stood up on a wave, just for a moment, and made that connection.
While my time at Banff gave me the opportunity to learn the technical side of the camera, it was collaborating with the artists that really changed my way of thinking about creativity. I’d come from a world where everything had to be just so, perfectly planned and executed, no room for mistakes or at least a solid plan B should something go amiss. This mindset is critical for productions to ever see the light of day, but deadly for creativity. At Banff, I met artists who openly admitted they did nothing but correct their own mistakes, over and over again. I watched opera singers play around and interact through movement workshops. I saw dancers rehearse over and over again, exploring and opening the choreography to new levels. All in all, I learned that it was ok to make mistakes as long as you keep developing the idea. This may not be news to anyone out there, but it was news to me, and really helped to develop a new way of thinking.
So out with the old and in with the new, welcome to CH Video & Photography. If you like the images you see on this site and are interested in collaborating and creating, then I would be grateful if you would consider me for your next production. (And let’s hope there’s just a little of that naivety there to keep us all learning.)