My first-ever dream — even before working for WWE — was to become a movie director. This was ages ago, but video and storytelling has struck a chord with me since I was a boy.
In high school, I threw myself into making videos, alongside my best friend Edgar (aka Camera Kidd). This was our escape from growing up in the middle-of-nowhere Nevada. It's pretty humbling to look back on our old YouTube channels — TheBangsurluna and Camera Kidd — just two creative kids armed with a shitty camera, Windows Movie Maker, and a raise-hell mentality.
Some of the all-time goat moments we filmed:
- Me torturing and setting him on fire with a freakin’ cigarette
- Getting robbed point-blank at my mom’s jewelry store
Regrettably, I gave up on my passion for video-making when I took my talents to Reno for college and instead focused on newspaper writing. With the digital landscape as it is today — video dominating and writers being laid off left and right — that was a ginormous mistake in hindsight. Shoutout to my 18-year-old self for being completely clueless.
But it’s never too late to pick up where you left off, right? And that’s exactly what I’ve done since entering the DeVos Sport Business Management program. A few months in, I took over the program’s social channels. Beyond posting dank memes, I knew video would shape my social strategy.
I began the trek back to my roots with the bare minimum — an iPhone and iMovie — filming short-form content like Super Bowl predictions, recaps with guest speakers, out-of-classroom visits, etc. What do you know, for some reason completely beyond me, these videos were actually well received by my peers and superiors. Evoking a reaction out of them, whether that be laughter or entertainment, jolted me like old times. I missed that feeling so much.
Somewhere along the way in this journey we call life, I kind of lost myself. I got away from the creator/entertainer role that’s always fulfilled me more than anything. Falling into society’s expectations does that to you. But I’m still the same kid I was way back in Elko, dreaming out loud, banging on the door. The door may be heavier nowadays, but I’m gonna break that shit down.
To do just that, I invested in myself and picked up a Sony A6500 camera recently. This is going to take my videos (and pictures) to the next level, bruh. Admittedly, I have a lot of catching up and learning to do. A ton, actually.
“The game has changed, but the players are the same!” Shoutout to anyone who got that MacGruber quote.
But on the real, just like everything else I put my energy into, I’ll figure it out and do it way doper than everyone else. Everyone. Cool shit is on the horizon — and plenty of it.
Here’s a glimpse into the first project I pulled off with my new gear. I ran around shooting and editing a youth camp that was hosted by the organization where I do my graduate assistantship.
Full photo galley here.