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Meet Mark Savage

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Savage.

Mark, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My journey as a storyteller began when I was twelve years old. I developed a great appreciation for outer-space and imagining what it would be like to travel amongst the stars! I loved to take things apart, had numerous invention ideas, and other abstract interests. I began expressing myself through poetry and hip-hop which served as an emotional outlet for my inner thoughts about the world I lived in. I would take everyday items such as old toys, clothing, and anything else I could get my hands on to construct a specific story concept. This natural talent would soon seep into every facet of my life, leading me on a creative journey of self-discovery. I became a true mixed media creator. I remember 1999 being a pivotal year for me, cellphone technology had just become a global phenomenon and online platforms like myspace sprouted up; which would soon shape and evolve my creative process.

My teenage years were filled with ringtones, summer camps, and pop-culture. During my senior year of high school, I began dabbling into multimedia and film production. I joined my high-school TV club and it took a few years before I could fully grasp the concept of being a true content producer & creator. In 2003 I began attending West Chester University of Pennsylvania, which had a Digital Media Center. It was the perfect time for me to learn how to master digital video making. A few years later, I had the pleasure of working on big-budget commercials & movie sets. With the creation of FaceBook,YouTube and DSLR camera I was able to meet the digital integration head on. Looking back I see the process of capturing stories with 35mm film as a true art that has since faded away, but the silver lining for me was the incredible experience and relationships I would obtain during this time. Not to toot my own horn, but my keen sense of visual composition, storytelling, and analytical mind allowed me to grasp the complete extraordinariness of film production.

That was it, I started filming everything I could think of and continued to learn about the business structure as well. I decided to become a freelance videographer and made business cards to promote my services. I was hired to film weddings, music videos, and film projects while finishing up my degree. I knew that this would be the career path for me. A major bonus had to be the effortlessness I had when I was in the field, it never seemed like work; more like doing what I love and getting paid for it. Once graduation came around, I thought I would have to scramble around job hunting like other millennials, but fortunately, my skills landed me an internship at QVC. It was the perfect gig for someone like me looking for steady work as a creative. I learned so much, working with on-air talent, setting up equipment, and bookkeeping. A true blessing was my ability to listen and implement the nuggets of wisdom everyone willingly gave to me. To be a successful creator you have to marry artistic talent with a business strategy. I was able to do this very well, and for the past 12 years, I have been doing what I love and worked with some amazing individuals and brands like BET, Sony, Radio One, PBS, Jill Scott, The Roots, Mural Arts and so much more.

Currently, I reside in SoCal and work on projects large and small. I am at a place where I feel the need to start producing more content from my interests. I love Sci-Fi and have a few cool ideas that I am developing currently with blockchain technology. If you are a creative individual, I challenge you to use various mediums as I have; to tell your stories, do not box yourself in and limit what you believe is possible. Do what you love and try new things that will expand your mind and take you outside of your comfort zone. Do not be afraid to ask for help and shadow someone that is currently doing what you see yourself doing for a living.

Has it been a smooth road?
My journey as a self-employed creative has been a very intriguing one. I have had the pleasure of experiencing the stable side of independent contracting with a large corporation like QVC, but the long hours and night shifts did not balance well for my health. I have also experienced the month to month fleeting gigs which can be extremely volatile if you do not have PR & marketing consistently leading clientele to your inbox. Nowadays, I have to plan and budget to make sure everything is taken care of with a long term vision in mind. I love stepping outside of my comfort zone which causes me to want more out of life; this ultimately was the driving force for my move to California and desire to work on bigger projects. It was not a hope or a dream, more like an intuitive feeling that this is where I belong. Yes, I had to start over, but rebuilding my clientele has been an enlightening path full of obstacles, courage, passion, and resilience. My work and personality speak for itself and I always aim to give my clients what they ask for with a touch of my creative sauce. I see things as harmonic and not black & white, there is an intimate balance in the creative process that allows thoughts & ideas to become manifested masterpieces for the audience to enjoy.

Anyone working for themselves needs to study and know the business side of their industry. Get a mentor or take online courses. As I transition to self-funded projects, I enter a new realm of creation and resources. Having fun while you do what you love is key and will fuel your drive for longevity & consistency! Lastly, I’ve created a portfolio for savings & investments which includes blockchain technology and stocks.

Please tell us about your business.
I am currently a freelance cinematographer serving the Los Angeles area. My strengths are concept development, storyboards, editing, and directing. I offer a buffet of services to local and remote clients. I am mostly called for social media promotions. I have taken all of my skills and learned how to assist brands and individuals with marketing through digital media. Being able to shoot an infomercial allows companies to soft sale and market directly to their target audience. Everyone can benefit from this type of production, but they may not know how to go about it. That’s where I come in, a key attribute has been my ability to keep up with the changing demands of viewer retention and engagement. I have mastered short form and long-form content that is fun and palatable for the viewing audience. This world likes to consume any and everything when it comes to entertainment, and I aim to keep an edgy-feel good narrative.

The one thing that sets me apart is my abstract look on life, I do see things a bit different and this plays well in my creation process. I love that I can start and finish just about any project regardless of any obstacles in between, a true superpower. Also, my love for sci-fi gives me a different point of view on how to approach content in general. I am an innovator, which is what the world welcomes and needs, fresh thoughts, and energy always sparks the imagination of the masses.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the energy and vastness of Los Angeles. I grew up in an urban city; so mountains, palm trees, and beaches are pure bliss for me! I am deeply connected to mother earth, so I can stay grounded and feel more peaceful in this place I call home. If there was one thing I like the least about LA, it would have to be the homeless population, I am developing ways to create a basic income platform where individuals can perform simple tasks to provide for themselves in this beautiful and abundant location we occupy.

Pricing:

  • Editing Services – $65/hr
  • Video services – $350/ 4hrs, $650/ 8hrs
  • Direct/Produce – 25% of budget & $400/ 4hrs, $750/ 8hrs

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Image Credit:

Mark Savage

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