Shawn’s background is mostly unknown. Legend has it that he was raised as a Highlander in the great mountains of Washington State. Records indicate he began taking an interest in filmmaking as a wee lass, and has been working in that industry since the dawn of the new millenium. While very little is still known about this stately Gallowglass, it has been documented that he moved to Oklahoma in 2008 to work as a Video Producer for a GPS Tracking company. He sharpened his skill set on Broadcast and RED Cinema cameras, spending a majority of his time on commercial sets and in an editing suite creating digital wizardry with lenses and computers. In 2013 he moved to Bend Oregon to continue his work for TeamUnify. He has been spotted running with wolves, mountain biking with bears and swimming against the current in the mighty Deschutes river. In 2015, he moved to Utah to tell visual stories about education in America for Imagine Learning. He also has a wild, red-headed daughter and an obese cat. In his free time, he writes irreverent jokes on the internet and blogs about film, storytelling and pet peeves. He did not write this bio. It was found in a celtic tome buried along the sands of Loch Lomond.
All you need to know about me is I love visual storytelling. Whether that be through photography, or video, I can't get enough of it. I spend an enormous amount of time watching films and even more time trying to learn the art of filmmaking.
I first picked up a camera when I was just a young lad. My parents gave me and my brother full access to the family VHS camcorder to do with as we please. We made hundreds of movies. Mostly stop motion animation with lego men and G.I. Joe's, but we eventually branched out into creating incredibly bad movies with whatever props we could fashion in the garage and the family dog. This led to me to taking my first video editing class my junior year in high school. This was the first opportunity I had to take full control of the crap that I shot. I no longer had to film the entire project in order, nor had to rewind and record over what I presumed was a bad take. I fell in love. I knew from the moment I sat down to edit my first project that this is what I wanted to do.
After high school I joined a leadership school where, over the course of four years, I was able to develop my skills as a filmmaker and photographer much further. I started with Windows Movie Maker (It was a dark time in my life), worked my way into Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premiere Elements and eventually Final Cut Express when I bought my first Mac. I ultimately upgraded to Final Cut Pro and have since migrated completely over to Adobe Creative Cloud, where I primarily edit out of Premiere, After Effects and the rest of the production suite.
I started doing freelance photography in the summer of 2004 with one of my best friends, Red Williamson. We did everything from weddings to concerts to photo walks. Our cameras never left our sides and I learned a tremendous amount from all of it. I started to understand how to tell a story from a lens.
In December of 2007 I made the leap into doing all of this full time and promptly moved 2000 miles away to Oklahoma City where I took a job as Director of Media at Destiny Christian Center. I spent the next 18 months working under some amazing leadership that let me take creative liberty and gave me an environment where I could further my education.
In 2009, I took a full time position at US Fleet Tracking where I led the Digital Production department. I spent my days creating content for the web as well as broadcast commercials. In 2012 the company diversified and I was responsible for a web-broadcast college sports show, SportsMag.tv (now since sold off). This was in conjunction with my responsibilities at US Fleet Tracking and stretched my talents even further. Before I left, I led a team of three in a small studio and put into motion plans to expand beyond that and start accepting outside work. In late 2013, the Northwest beckoned me once again and I accepted a position at TeamUnify in Bend, Oregon. Here I was tasked to recreate the department I created at US Fleet Tracking.
I left TeamUnify in May of 2015 to pursue full-time storytelling, filmmaking and freelance work. I spend a large portion of my time shooting for various organizations and individuals. While I no longer shoot weddings, I have expanded into featurettes, commercials, mini-documentaries and anything else that piques my interest. I also took an opportunity in Provo, Utah to work for a wonderful education company and travel the US telling stories of kids overcoming learning challenges everywhere.
A Very Particular Set of Skills
I've worked with 16mm, Sony Cinema Cameras, Reds, DSLR's (with and without Magic Lantern), Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, Arri Alexas and ENG cameras. All of which are wonderful, but I believe the best camera I have is the one in my pocket.
I work primarily in Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop and Audition. However, I also frequently use Final Cut X if it fits the job. I have found each piece of software to have its own advantages so there's no reason to pigeon-hole myself with just one. I'm familiar with Avid, but I can't say I'm completely sold on it just yet.
I've never been one to brag, so I will let my work speak for itself and let you make the decision if I'm the right fit for your project. I'm always looking for new opportunities to learn and am willing to do whatever it takes to make something awesome.
If you didn't skip any of the above, then you've officially read a lot of blathering, which I must admit was mostly fueled by the two pots of coffee I consumed while writing this. So I'm going to shut up now and leave you with this picture of myself.