Adam Patch - Commercial Director

Summary

Freelance director Adam Patch graduated ten years ago from San Francisco’s Academy of Art with meaningful connections in the industry and an impressive demo reel which launched his career. Since moving to Denver in 2013 and starting a family, Adam found steady freelance gigs which allow him to work remotely, traveling only for the days of the shoot. Some of Adam's recent clients include tech giants Apple, Square, Google, and LinkedIn.

Show Notes

[00:28] Adam Patch began his film career as a motion graphics artist and editor but became increasingly interested in directing so that he could interact with other people.

  • Some of his clients include Apple, Google, Honda, Square, and LinkedIn.

[02:38] During his first semester at art school, he began shooting on 8mm film (this was before professional video cameras were a thing). The school did require some prerequisite classes, but most of them were “somewhat related to art.”

  • The Academy of Art required significant hands-on experience but focused little on art theory.

[06:52] Going to school and getting a foot in the door to the industry

[09:28] Adam's thoughts on school

  • He used his time at film school to build a demo-reel that inspired post-graduation projects.
  • “Be super into it and if you’re not super into it, then maybe that’s not the thing for you to be doing right now.”

[11:06] “So many relationships have either started at school and just continued since then or just have led to meeting other people…”

  • Going to art school is not about getting a degree; it’s about showing people what you can do.
  • Having a degree felt like a good back-up plan.

[16:15] Moving to Denver

  • Traveling from Denver for projects has been easier than traveling for work from Boston.
  • Adam typically only works one local job a year, but he tries to do most of his work (besides the actual shoots) remotely.

[17:42] Can you make a living off of film and video work in Colorado alone?

[19:00] Work and family life

  • No matter where you live, you still have to travel in this industry.
  • Adam typically travels once or twice a month, but as a director, there’s a lot of work that is done before the shoot which he’s able to do remotely such as casting, finding locations, and storyboarding.

[22:30] “How many days am I working or looking for work?

[24:38] What does a commercial director do?

[29:29] During his time at film school, he freelanced on the side as a visual effects artist and animator to pay the bills. 

[36:00] By working on commercials in post-production early in his career, Adam was able to network and learn from directors and clients.

[39:00] A lot of money is being spent on social media-related projects.

[39:40] Adam's typical budget

[40:43] His first projects involved him putting his own money into the job and borrowing equipment.

[43:19] Adam is represented by a production company that has a traditional model of matching clients to directors, but he also does direct-to-client work.

[45:49] Collaboration and trust make for a great client.

[48:05] For the most part, he’s stayed really busy for the last ten years. In large part, he credits this to the diverse skill sets he offers. For example, when things are slower on the directing side, he can find gigs using his post-production skills.

  • Living off of directing work alone would be tough.

[53:43] Supportive parents

[57:57] It’s critical to take the time to develop your own point-of-view instead of always emulating someone else’s.

[59:49] In the last year, he’s made an effort to keep pushing himself creatively and to be more aware of when he’s merely coasting along.

[01:02:09] One of the main lessons he’s learned in his career has been …

Links and Resources

 

Be sure to check out podcasts with other great guests in the film and media industry on our DMP Podcast Page!

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