Snapshot: Ed Sparks
Years at AACC: 32 years
Main responsibilities: Produce media for the college—mainly public relations, archival and instructional media by combining video, photography, audio and graphics.
Quotable quote: “People would say, ‘Ed makes videos; he can turn them into magic.’”
Hometown: Glen Burnie
Hails from: Georgia
It’s not everyday you can combine your passion and skills and make a living out of it; but for Ed Sparks, that’s all he’s known for over 30 years. Since his introduction to AACC as a full-time, work-study student, Ed has become the backbone of the college’s media projects, progressing to a full-time employee just a month after graduation. His work encompasses a landscape of visual mediums that include directing, shooting video, creating graphics and music, and editing.
“I love shooting video,” he says. “My real love is the editing, creating the final product and taking that raw footage and putting in graphics. As a musician I love creating the music for that, and then I incorporate that into video. It’s so much fun.”
As a child, Ed grew up in a home where he was surrounded by creativity and music. His mother was a fine arts artist, a writer and major influence in his life. “She told me, ‘Do something you love that’s going to make you money,’” he recalls. And he did just that, not only at AACC but during his off hours, too. Throughout the late 80s and 90s you could have found Ed playing guitar in a band at the local bar, art festivals, and even the Homestead Garden spring fest. Now he’s part of a trio, Sparks, Raymond & McCoy, who play once or twice a month around the area. “We call it acoustic music,” he describes. “It’s very much like the The Beatles and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.”
Evidence of Ed’s creativity and expertise can be seen throughout the AACC campus. In preparation for a group of Chinese visitors, Ed and his colleague Kelly created beautiful Chinese graphics for the library’s display cases; each year he directs and shoots the commencement ceremonies that are transferred to DVDs and sold at the AACC bookstore; and any time an awards ceremony is scheduled, Ed is the one behind the camera.
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