Life in advertising and media began in the early 1990s when I got a job as a traffic assistant at an ad agency. Ask me about how I got the job. It's kind of comical, but shows my spirit in going for what I want. While there, I got a taste of video editing when someone got me a copy of Adobe Premier 4.0. I then began playing with audio, taking songs and chopping them up to make my own mix. Eventually, I got into DVD authoring and convinced the president of the agency to stop using VHS when submitting their RFPs and go with DVD.
After leaving the agency in the early 2000s, I freelanced as well as tried my hand at my own company, partnering with a college buddy. Based in Buffalo, New York, we created anything for anyone, large or small. Video, audio, voice-over, photography, websites, business cards, brochures, virtual tours, you name it. Unfortunately, things did go as planned and I returned to full-time freelance while looking for a full-time job. I was soon working for a small video production company doing everything it took to run the place as the only full-time employee. Editing, camera, lighting, set design, audio engineering, voice-over, photography, studio manager, IT, and even helped build and engineer the new facility when we moved in 2009. I love it all.
From the days when I lugging around my father's video camera, making stupid videos of my brother and myself, to editing commercials that have appeared on network television, I've always enjoyed many parts of the process from start to finish. I'm comfortable behind the camera as well as in front of it. Why limit yourself?
I started using SVHS deck-to-deck editing but quickly took to using Adobe Premier 4.2 back in the early 1990s. From there I went on to Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer, but still use whatever tools are necessary to get the job done. That's not limited to video editing. You'll often find open windows of Adobe After Effects, Apple Compressor, and DVD Studio Pro. But it doesn't stop there. I'm often found behind the audio console, running a teleprompter, setting up camera and lighting for a shoot, and setting up or troubleshooting any of the equipment that may have issues. I'm not afraid to take something apart that isn't doing what it should.
I've always loved audio. Music, voice-over, sound effects, foley. It's just another art form, manipulated and contoured for the ear. I had a very short run performing and recording with a couple of bands. I've even been able to get hand hands dirty with my own recordings, but mostly engineering voice-over work. Some day the world will notice me for my untapped character voices.
Things started out when I recorded my brother's band on an 8-channel audio console fed into a cassette recorder. Around that time, my VO career started with a PSA for Safe Rides, an organization giving no-questions-asked rides home to other young adults. Fast forward to more recent gigs like mixing and recording audio for commercials and training videos, mixing and recording the multi-piece band at church, recording and mastering a 12-CD set of relaxing music and guidance for a local hospital, or my own voice-overs for webcasts and commercials.
0:00 – Sherri Shepherd, LUXHAIR Wigs promo
0:13 – Michael Strahan, VO for T.I.P.S. video
0:27 – Rev Run (Joseph Simmons), “Rev Run Around the World” bumper
0:44 – Kardashians Bank Holiday Binge on E! promo
0:59 – Sharp Aquos Quattron radio spot
1:17 – Nissan City television spot
1:32 – Customer Program Portal demonstration VO
1:45 – Robert Smigel VO recording for “100” character on “Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1”
2:05 – Vocals/on-set audio recording for children’s ESL video “Our Discovery Island”
2:19 – Clarke Peters, documentary VO
2:38 – Harp and VO engineering for 12-CD set, “Self Healing Through Guided Imagery”
3:04 – “O Come O Come Emmanuel”, live audio mixing at Christmas concert
3:40 – SFX & VO recording and mixing for pharmaceutical company drug launch event
When I was in high school I thought I wanted to design logos when I grew up. My first taste was when I won a contest to design a new logo for the Bridegwater-Raritan Education Association, the school system my father taught in. When I saw the flyer with the information, I set out to design one. I won, but my father got the credit as it was for the staff only. Years later I got a my first real job at an ad agency, learning from some of the smartest and most creative people I've known. It was the start of my career, but also the realization that I didn't want to do print my entire life. I still enjoy it, but other forms of media had beckoned me.