What is it like to create videos of people talking about their callings, the joys and challenges of their life and work?
Laura Kelly Fanucci interviewed Ryan Corcoran, owner of Modern Image Film & Video Productions, about his work as the videographer for the Lives Explored project of the Collegeville Institute Seminars. Since 2012, Ryan and Diane Millis have produced 10 video portraits of vocation which show Christians from diverse backgrounds and professions sharing stories of God’s call in their lives.
What is one surprising thing you have learned from working on the Lives Explored project?
Before starting my company, I spent several years in the corporate world where it seemed as if everyone hated their job. Work was simply something you had to do to make ends meet, and there was little hope of truly enjoying your occupation. I began to think that was just the way that life works.
What has surprised me most working on the Lives Explored project is seeing the passion and love that many people have for their occupations. Even occupations that don’t seem particularly appealing on the surface can be so rich and fulfilling to the right person with the right talents. We all fit perfectly into a certain role—sometimes the tricky part is finding it.
What are some of the challenges you encounter in creating these videos? What are some of the joys?
Almost inevitably, our greatest challenge is taking more than 60 minutes of wonderful commentary and paring it down into a 7-minute video. There are such great stories and wisdom that we just don’t have the time for, and it can be hard to let go of it sometimes.
The greatest joy is seeing how a video comes together. During the production process, I maintain an analytical mindset and am constantly thinking about if a certain segment will make sense to viewers or if the audio level is too high and so on. Once the video is completed, I’m finally able to watch the video the same way that a viewer does. I can let go of all of the technical details and allow myself to become immersed in the story and be moved on an emotional level. That’s my favorite part about working on these videos.
Can you share a memorable moment from filming one of the Lives Explored stories?
Working on Francois’ story was quite memorable for me. If you who haven’t seen his Lives Explored video, his story is very moving and emotional. He was educated in Burkina Faso as a sociologist, immigrated to the United States, ended up working in a restaurant and ultimately fell in love with baking. The experiences he’s had have given him a great deal of wisdom. It was wonderful to hear his story in person and have him share his outlook on life with us.
How has working on this project influenced your own work as a videographer?
Working on this project has helped to cement my passion for video – particularly my passion for producing the style of video that I love the most. I love to tell human stories and tell them as authentically as possible. This project, more than any other project I’ve been a part of, has allowed me to do that.
What is one thing you wish more people understood about your profession as a videographer? What is your favorite part of your work?
One aspect that is often misunderstood about my work is the amount of dedicated time that goes into creating a well-produced video. In a world where you can watch just about anything online with a single click, it’s easy to forget how much time and energy goes into producing a movie, TV show, or online video.
One thing that I love about my work is that the film/video industry is constantly changing. Cameras, editing techniques, and styles are always evolving, and it’s something that I have to keep up with. I really enjoy the learning and the challenge that new technology presents for me.
But my favorite part about my work is the variety. I absolutely love having a job where I’m constantly meeting new people and learning about new things.
Watch to learn more about Ryan and how he found his life’s work in video production: