My Come Up: Connor Jenkins, A Journey Into Videography

The year is 2002. Mylar foil balloons tied to the back of my chair reflect the chandeleir light
across the whole dining room table. People everywhere. Directly in front me, and slightly downwards,
some kind of large box wrapped in what ironically looks just like a thousand tiny versions of the festive
silver objects currently leering over my head, ever so gently bouncing off the back of my skull. Yes, it is
my birthday. Yes, this is my last present patiently staring me in the face. Yes, I have saved the last gift
my grandmother lovingly bought. We always saved my grandmother’s presents for last. I need not to
explain why. I could hardly stand it. I grasped both sides of the mysterious item, pulled it closer, ripped
the ends from it as if the key to understanding this unruly stage of adolescence was hidden inside. As the brown lips of the cardboard box peeled back in a way that made me question if boxes could actually
smile, I saw it. I saw what? I was startled. No, I was confused. Three letters reflecting off my gorgeous baby blues. JVC. JVC? Gosh Darnit Grandma! Are you senile? What am I going to do with a JVC GR-
AXM250 VHS-C camcorder? The “c” stood for compact. I wrapped my hands around her for the first time

and with all the gentleness an 11 year…12 year old boy could muster, I removed her from her home. The
more I inspected her, the more my heart began to race. “A two inch flip out LCD screen. 600x zoom
written across her front eye. Oh man, the strap on the side of her is so squishy.” I slid my hand in. I
placed my right eye against her back eye, closed the lid to my other eye, fumbled around to turn her on,
and then, it happened. I was seeing through her eyes for the very first time.
It happens to everyone differently their first time. Some folks might not understand it. Some may
experience a surge of excitement, but fail to ever revisit that feeling. For me, I was hooked. I knew I had
to experiment. I knew I was going to make movies. What i did not know at the time, was anything about
videography.

I spent the first few years as a hobbyist, allowing dust to collect on my compact camcorder
every few months, as most children do, but something within me always knew, always wanted something more stabilized. (creative pun). It wasn’t long before I moved on.
I was fifteen when my father, the yacht broker, approached me with a business proposal. He
would provide my hands with a Sony HD 10.2 MegaPixel HANDYCAM in return for ‘walk-through’ videos of the yachts he had listed for sale. I did not have to think twice about it. “No thank you”. Right, the words from my lips seemed to betray what i knew to be true, but I also was at the age when school starts to be serious, and I already had a job. He then sat me down and said these words that I would never forget. Paraphrased of course. “You are creative. You are more creative than anyone in this family. You have talent, and I believe in you. Just do one and see if you like it.” My father knew nothing about videography. I knew nothing about videography still, but his belief in me spoke past that. How could I argue against those gentle, supportive words? So, I bought IMOVIE.

For the next five years, I pushed myself. I taught myself breathing techniques for more
stabilized shots, and how to walk while eliminating camera shake. I taught myself transitions and cutting clips and how to sync to music. I was taught by YouTube the improper ways to use copywritten music. They taught me very quickly. I learned to never ever use my own voice as a voice-over. My point is, I had no training. YouTube was not then what it is now. I pushed myself in creativity, I clung to critiques from my peers, and I eventually started getting paid for my work. It took almost 7 years from my first camera to my first paid gig, but it happened. I became a videographer.

I am now 27 years old. I am proud to say my creative platform is not IMOVIE, and that I have
switched cameras as well. Many times. Too many times. I have filmed weddings, corporate events,
lifestyle shoots, a television commercial, travel videos etc. I get to do what I love for a living. I get to
create and put my ideas into action and invoke emotion in people. I get to capture moments for a lifetime. I take no credit for where I am though, because if it were up to my twelve year old self, I would have bought me a gaming console for that 12th birthday of mine. It’s funny how life works. I wish we had
recorded it.

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