Alumnus Profile: Jonathan Hartwig
WHAT YOU DO • • • Owning a business brings with it a hodgepodge of responsibilities. No two days are the same. Some days are dedicated to business development and finding that next project, whether that's taking lunches or hosting Skype conference calls, while others are for scheduling crew, auditioning talent, running a set, or occasionally freelancing for your friend at the rental house in exchange for a discount. And the list goes on. It's a delicate balance of business-to-business interaction and development, and your actual trade, which is making videos.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • Opportunity. The nine to five is great for a lot of people, but I was never very good at it. So I started freelancing and doing what I loved and what I was actually good at. Over time I've been lucky enough to work with a lot of talented people and, in that time, have come to a more rounded understanding of their craft. Once you really understand all the different moving pieces of production, you can start producing. And that, in turn, has become something of a business for me.
Additionally, EVERY business needs video these days- especially web video. I saw a hole in the market and took it.
HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • • • Ideally I always want to come from a place of contribution. We've actually let go of business where we didn't think we were going to have the impact the client deserved! So in addition to growing this business, we want to grow everyone around us. Because together we all do better. To quote a former BLC professor, "For the good of the group!"
HOW BETHANY HAS PREPARED YOU • • • Bethany opened up a lot of doors by giving me real-world experience in a high-stakes environment where no one else would have. I work in a professional hockey broadcast right now- there's no way we'd just throw a bunch of college kids on a graphics machine or in the technical director's chair. But Bethany does just that. You get your hands on the same tools and equipment we actually use in a professional broadcast environment.
Furthermore, the amount of creative control you get at Bethany is unprecedented. I don't know of any other place- seriously- in which you get so many chances to run your own show, produce your own film, and have access to the crew and equipment to make it all happen.
WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST • • • Hockey. The comfy sofa in the editing [lounge] room. Avid. Film festivals. Great people. The grand piano in Old Main. A severe albeit exhilarating lack of sleep. Rhetorical Traditions. Intramural sports. All the awesomely talented and remarkable international students who became close friends. And the people. The people you keep around forever and the people who pushed you to succeed. Always the people.
ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS • • • Get your hands dirty and don't wait for tomorrow to do it. Consider your tenure at Bethany a ticking clock. You have four years to stuff your brain with as much information and experience as you can. Cherish every second of it.
Challenge yourself. Do the best work you've ever done, then try to find a way to one-up yourself. Reach out to people. Grow your network. Think outside of the box whenever possible and surround yourself with people who are going to push you to grow and become something better. Be there for each other. And never be afraid to reach out to a total stranger.
Be like the turtle. He has a hard shell and has to stick his neck out any time he wants to move forward.