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I am AACC: Ed Sparks, Media Producer

Staff Snapshot

“I love working with people,” he says. “Someone comes to me with an idea and they know the content they want, but they have no idea how to bring it to life. I start with a really rough idea of what they need to communicate, and then, using media, music and editing, I get to turn it into magic.

“It’s the medium that conveys the information so well. What I really love is taking all those visual and audio elements and putting them in to a program.”

In addition to his technical skills, Ed has had to become comfortable interacting with all kinds of people and more importantly, making them feel comfortable not only in front of a camera but also with him. “I’m coaching the people that we’re videotaping and helping to make them less nervous, which is one of my most fun challenges,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot of people skills over the years.”

Currently, Ed is working on various multimedia projects and preparing for the upcoming commencement May 24. After 30 years, he continuously crafts his love for multimedia and staying educated on the latest technology. “Just when I think I’m getting bored, new toys come out or I get a set of new challenges,” he says. “I’m constantly learning and upgrading my skills.” And with limited staff and time, he is used to learning things quickly. “We learn under fire,” he says with a smile, “and I find all that a lot of fun.” kr

More on Ed

Family: His wife Teri and children Stephanie, 25; Joshua, 20; and Philip, 13

Did you know? Ed used to run a coffeehouse called The Red Door Coffeehouse that hosted local musicians and musicians on tour in the area.

Biggest job challenge: “Deadlines. ‘Time is the artists’ worst enemy.’ If you have more time you can be more creative. With media, it’s being as creative as you can be and still meet the deadline.”

Advice for those looking for careers in media production: “Get college experience. You need the coursework and a degree; mainly because there are so many talented people out there that it will set you above someone else. Simultaneously, do some kind of internship because when you go to look for a job that’s what they look for with a portfolio that consists of video, audio and graphics.”

“Don’t rest everything into one area. There are people all over the country who are very talented when it comes to music and creating video so there is a lot of competition. If you can have multiple skills it can make you more marketable.”

After hours: “I like to write and record music. I have an instrument collection of about 30 vintage guitars. My wife and I go to vintage guitar shows. I like to build instruments and have made them for myself, family and friends.”

Favorite foods: “Things I’m not supposed to eat. I like pizza, spaghetti, and Chinese food.”

Recent reads:4 Way Street, The Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young Reader” and "The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story to the Beatles"

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