Growing up, one of my dreams was to work in the television industry. What an opportunity it was to write and produce 50 television spots for KBYU, a PBS affiliate. Those two years allowed me to develop my talents and provide me with a satisfying creative outlet.

When I worked at BYU Broadcasting as a student (2002-2004), the opportunity to make the first membership spots for BYU Television literally fell in my lap. A co-worker of mine was originally given the assignment, but she graduated before she was able to complete it so she passed it on to me. She gave me all the raw footage and the basic text and I was given free reign from there. I carefully selected a song from the station’s audio library and fit the footage and text together to make something everyone liked and that aired internationally every half hour for a month! I don’t have a good copy of “Montage 1”, but it used similar footage, set to a different song, and edited using a split screen style (modeled after the New Order “Regret” music video).

After successfully completing the first membership spots for BYU Television, I was given the chance to produce a few more. This one employed a crossword puzzle to capture people’s attention and invite them to become a “sustaining member” of the station. To make this spot I used Adobe After Effects and Adobe Photoshop. The animated letters were created by a co-worker of mine using Maya, a 3D animation program. This spot also aired internationally. The sister spot to this used a Wordsearch puzzle to get the same point across.

This spot was my second effort at directing a shoot on location using actors, a camera crew, etc. I wasn’t happy with how my first effort turned out, so I made sure to maintain creative control over this one. I was happy with the final product and it ended up impressing my superiors. Nice. For the record, I wrote, produced, directed, and edited this spot. Also, the cookies were baked and donated by Allen’s Supermarket in Springville, the wagon was borrowed from Toys ‘R Us in Orem, the music was written and performed by my cousin Brian, and the apron was given to me by an old lady I knew in Philadelphia who grew up with Grace Kelly. The spot aired mostly during pledge drives, I think.

Every month for the two years I worked at BYU Broadcasting I was responsible for making the KBYU Kids’ Club Activity spot. This usually gave me the chance to take a road trip to some fun location in Utah to gather footage of kids playing or exploring. One month, I was given the assignment to make two spots, since we had an extra activity. This spot was animated using Adobe After Effects and used the actual costume sketches created by the Theatre Department and the voices of the actual actors from the play. This gave the spot an element of authenticity or accuracy for those who attended the play.

The director of the play was so happy with how the spot turned out that she dropped off a bag of warm homemade chocolate chip cookies and a nice note. That was awesome and made me feel good. Here’s what she wrote:

Dear Mark,
Many thanks for the delightful promotion you created for The Wind in the Willows. It was an entertaining and whimsical way to introduce the show to the viewing public–especially the children. Thanks for generously making video copies of the promotion for Ken, for me, and for each of the actors involved. That was so kind of you. Thanks so much for you help. Your efforts are very much appreciated.