For creativity and business, how do approach learning new skills and also getting better at what you’re already doing?
When I was in college I just loved shooting. I didn’t think I was ever going to be a cinematographer, but I was like, This is really fun and I want to learn more. So I read all the forums and learned. I never really had a goal, it was just fun. It was lighthearted and satisfying.
When I was in high school I was a huge computer nerd. I was super socially awkward and played a lot of video games but now all that computer dorkiness helps my editing massively. It’s really allowed me to step up my editing to another level, and my technical abilities translate into camera abilities. I didn’t know that would somehow translate into filmmaking but it was just letting those passions run wild and chasing them down.
I think the biggest thing that’s gone well for me in terms of business and creating this career has just been staying curious, humble and asking questions. We’re pretty fortunate that we’re in this landscape with a bunch of brilliant minds and when I look around at what everybody else is doing, I think about it in terms of, Well, why did they do it that way? And I think one of the lessons I learned on the writing side of things is whenever I read something I ask myself, Why did they put that sentence there? Why did they open with that? Why didn’t that fall in further into the story?
I think if you go about it with a humble and open mind, whether you’re reading an article or looking at how somebody runs their business, you can learn a lot without necessarily having a traditional education or learning the lessons the hard way.
I think a lot of what I do is just observation in terms of looking around and paying attention to what’s going on, what people are doing.
But I’m also not really afraid to ask people. I’m the biggest fan of skiing and I’m just a total 14-year-old fanboy still. I ask a lot of people a lot of questions and people in this world and sphere are really nice, humble and open. It’s really cool I get to meet my heroes and ask them questions and ask them for advice. I’m definitely very grateful and appreciative for the guidance and kind of help that I’ve gotten.
Recently it’s been Cody Townsend, Pep Fujas and Todd Ligare. Ligare helped me improve on big back flips off natural cliff take-offs. And Cody helped me figure out how to build a brand and go about content marketing with a more refined focus.
I think there’s something to learn from everyone.