This week’s Featured Member has been apart of our community for several years. Preston Herrick‘s first project with us was back in 2010 for Universal Studios, and he’s been a loyal member ever since; most recently placing 1st in the Spy Gear project! Learn more about this talented filmmaker who is from right here in the state of Washington!
Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
I began working in broadcast television waaaaaay back in 1984 and then branched out to do my own thing in 1989 – so I guess in filmmaker years that puts me squarely in the “old-man” category with a wife, two nearly grown kids, and a small production company. No dog, sorry.
What first interested you in film?
I’ve been interested in filmmaking since I was 12-years-old. I was particularly interested in special effects and would pour over whatever books I could find on the subject at the time. Remember the J.J. Abrams movie, “Super 8” that came out a few years ago? That was like me and my friends back in the 70’s. One of our films was a cross between Star Wars and Planet of the Apes – but silent because we couldn’t do sound.
I first learned about Zooppa in 2010. A good friend, Jonathan Johnson, and I partnered creatively and our first entry was for the Universal Studios King Kong 360 3-D contest – and we took first place. He and I have partnered on every entry since.
What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?
They tend to offer flexibility and the freedom to stretch ourselves creatively in ways that we might not be able to with paid client work. Of course, there’s some risk involved: We’re gambling time, resources, and sometimes even some cash to produce them – but that’s part of the fun. It’s also fun to see how other creatives tackle a challenge.
What do you like to do when you’re not creating video masterpieces?
Build cars. My alter ego is a gearhead. For me, it’s another form of creative outlet.
Where is home for you?
Wenatchee, Washington – smack dab in the middle of the state.
Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?
Studied a little film and TV production at a University and am a “graduate” of the Hollywood Film Institute, and some on-the-job-training along the way. But most of my education has come by simply doing it. Nothing like hands-on. Formal training will give you a good foundation to build upon but I learned by studying on my own and then doing.
What/where do you find inspiration for your films? Share a bit about your creative process.
My creative partner and I first produced a sci-fi short years ago and found that we worked well together – he with the creative writing skills and me with the technical know-how to pull it off. We just sit down and start spit-balling ideas back and forth until we settle on something we’re both happy with. Sometimes we get our wives involved to get their feedback.
Which was your favorite Zooppa contest to participate in? Why?
That’s hard to say. They’ve all had their unique set of challenges and things we particularly liked or enjoyed. King Kong would be right up there though because it was cinematic in nature and we had to come up with ways to do the VFX in a short period of time and limited resources. A lot if it was old-school techniques.
What are you currently working on (job, films)?
Mostly corporate/industrial work for clients – until the next Zooppa contest that we feel might be a good fit.
Link us to any work/portfolio that you would like mentioned.