This month we’re featuring OFU teammates that work with our team remotely. Alex, our Editor and Motion Graphics Designer relocated to Montrose this past year.
First of all, why Western Colorado? And how’s the new locale working out, Alex?
My wife’s family has deep roots in Montrose, and we had always joked about moving here one day. However, I’d always say that I wouldn’t be able to do what I love in Montrose, and I don’t want to change careers. But now that I can work from anywhere with a strong internet connection, Montrose suddenly became a viable option for us.
So, while the pandemic was extremely difficult for us and everyone, it forced us to consider remote work as an option. And now I’m able to work virtually right across the field from grazing cattle and the majestic San Juan Mountain range. Sometimes it’s still a bit unbelievable.
What gets you excited about your craft and what are your favorite types of projects?
Being able to flex my creative muscles everyday, mostly due to lack of actual muscles and fitness workouts. I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by creative thinkers, problem solvers, and storytellers. My favorite type of projects are usually long form edits that allow me the time and freedom to make something cool.
Talk us through a day in the life as a remote OFU employee?
My day starts at 7AM. As the proud dad of 2 boys, Calvin (6 months) and Theo (3 Years), my mornings fly by, making breakfasts and packing Theo’s lunch. We’re out the door by 8AM, where I drop Theo off at school. Then it’s time to make espresso.
About 8 years ago, my now wife, Molli, bought me an espresso maker for my birthday. I’ve used this thing well over 2,000 times, and I’d like to think I make a pretty good shot of espresso. Before kids, that shot didn’t used to be crucial, but now, I can’t really start my day without it.
By now it’s getting close to 9, where I sit down and check the status board on our project management app to get an idea of what my day will look like. I’ll check in with Andrew and the rest of the team over instant message or a zoom call.
My day is normally spent inside the Adobe Creative Suite, with After Effects and Premiere logging the majority of my days. I will forget to eat lunch until about 2pm, then I’ll hop back into work tasks. After work is wrapped, I’ll log off the computer and head to pick up my boys from school / daycare.
I have a dedicated office space inside our home. A door that locks and a supportive wife is a crucial component to this setup. Having a space dedicated to work is super important for my productivity. I need a full keyboard, mouse and dual monitors to be most effective, so I can’t really take a laptop to a coffee shop or co-working space to work.
What helps you stay connected and motivated?
Daniel’s IT wizardry helps me literally stay connected to our servers and office, but in reality it’s probably the zoom meetings and being able to see people’s faces.
My motivation comes from all different places, but primarily my love for the work I’m able to do. I’ve known what I wanted as a career since I was 15 years old. I consider myself very fortunate to work in an industry I’m genuinely curious and excited about 18 years later.
Much has changed within the editing world, but my motivation to make cool stuff has largely remained the same
What’s it like working with your team remotely?
Efficient. All the time saved from not commuting means I get to truly work 8 hours or so per day. Communication through instant messenger or video chat makes it feel like we’re all working in the same office but on different floors.
How does professional development come into play working remotely?
I just want to continue to get better at what I do best. Hopefully my eye for design remains a strong point and I can become a more complete motion designer.
I taught myself After Effects around 12 years ago when I saw the industry shifting towards editors who can also do some motion design. The ability to learn and improve with After Effects seems somewhat limitless.