Meet this week’s featured member, Chris Chamberland! Chris is a filmmaker who currently lives just outside of Orlando, Florida. Recently, his documentary on a small jam and jelly business made him the Grand Prize Winner of the AT&T: Real Business Stories campaign! Be sure to check out his work and learn a bit more about the talented filmmaker!
Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
I am married to the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met, and we are the proud, doting parents of an awesome 10 month old little girl. They are my inspiration to be the best that I can be in all areas of life, both professionally and personally, so that I can make sure that their lives are comfortable, safe and enriched by the work I do. Without them I don’t know what I’d do. Creatively I am constantly brainstorming the next project. Most of my idle moments are spent thinking about how I can elevate my art to the next level, or how I can do things better.
What first interested you in film?
Film is a fascinating medium. It’s the moving picture! From watching a real, live Superman take flight to becoming enthralled with the Star Wars stories, movies have captured my imagination for as long as I can remember. Through film, one can make the fantastic tangible, and make the impossible become possible right before the audience’s eyes, and that to me is very special.
What drew you to the Zooppa community?
A friend turned me onto Zooppa this year. He’d seen my work and thought that I’d be at least competitive within the contests, so I sort of dove in head first. I think Zooppa is an awesome tool for creators to be able to participate in real, important contests using awesome source material and win actual prizes and recognition from National name-brands.
What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?
The magic in this is the competition itself. You’re up against some very, very talented people, so I think it pushes people to go that extra mile to be better as creatives and produce higher quality work. There are some very excellent producers in this community, and knowing that I have to try to be on par with them makes me work harder, and I really enjoy that aspect. It’s also a great resume and demo-reel building tool because even if you don’t win a contest, you still have something that you’ve produced and can use that to leverage new work.
What do you like to do when you’re not creating video masterpieces?
I have a ton of different hobbies that I kind of pick and choose from as my schedule allows, such as fine art photography and video games. My wife and I have an acoustic guitar / vocal duo that we perform with occasionally as well. But my current passion is woodworking. Being able to make something from a stack of lumber, some tools and a can of finishing oil is an awesome feeling, and I recommend it to everyone.
Where is home for you?
We live right outside of Orlando, FL in a small town called Mims along the east central Florida coast. It may not be the most glamorous place to live, but there is a certain solitude that comes with living in the sticks that is irreplaceable in my opinion.
What/where do you find inspiration for your films? Share a bit about your creative process.
My biggest inspiration comes from real life, and the stories that we’re all living. We’re surrounded by pictures and the stories that accompany them, and sometimes all it takes is someone to put that story on film to make something that may seem mundane on the surface to be very special in the end. There is an inherent beauty to be found in almost everything, so go out and find it!
My creative process is fairly straightforward, and it always starts with an idea, followed by a series of questions. What am I trying to communicate? How do I want the audience to experience my idea? What’s the best way visually to communicate that idea? Once those have been answered, I’ll then write the script, roughly storyboard the shoot, and then get get to work. I could go on and on about this (laughs).
Which was your favorite Zooppa contest to participate in? Why?
I’ve only entered (and won!) one contest so far and that was the AT&T Business Circle Real Stories contest. It was definitely a learning experience in that I had never entered before and had to learn the intricacies of the process, but moving forward it should be smoother from my perspective. Dealing with Zooppa Customer Service was awesome, and they made it super smooth for me. My contest entry featured my wife’s jam and jellies business, so I had an extra layer of pressure to make sure that I communicated her story effectively otherwise I’d be in trouble (laughs).
What are you currently working on (job, films)?
I’ve been working for NASA as a design contractor at the Kennedy Space Center in FL since April of 2000. I started out in a temporary position hand-coding HTML for the first Kennedy Space Center website, and after a lot of hard work proving myself was eventually hired on full time as a graphic designer for the website. From there I transitioned over to and helped develop the first Flash Design Team, way back when flash as a design experience was relevant, and from there I moved over to the Web Studio making web videos for NASA launches. I’ve been there ever since, but my role and responsibilities have changed and am now a Senior Designer focused primarily on motion graphics, video editing, 3D work, and live broadcast graphic engineering. I love my job!
What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Success!! (laughs) I want to be the best that I can be at everything that I do. I’m driven towards that goal and I’m obsessed with my work being perfect. Ideally I would like to continue my employment at the Space Center because I think that not only is my work there important, but it’s personally rewarding as well. Other than that, I would love to manage a team of designers working on high visibility jobs, turning out project after project of flawlessly implemented ideas.
Link us to any work/a portfolio that you would like mentioned.
My work can be found at http://www.behance.net/codaflow