Jun 24, 2013

Freelance Video Spawns Millions of Views And Career for UC Alumnus

Patrick Meier and Chaske Haverkos
When Patrick Meier graduated in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, he wasn’t sure how he would start his career. Like many new grads, Meier, a 2009 graduate of DAAP, worked a few jobs to get by but desired to use his degree. So, Meier started Contrast Productions and looked for freelance opportunities to jumpstart his career. Soon after starting his freelance work, Patrick produced a music video that catapulted him to internet stardom.

“My first major music video production was for a friend Nick Petricca and his band Walk the Moon,” Patrick explained "I thought I could make a music video for them and inject them into the music scene. I had an idea for the song ‘Anna Sun’, and I called Nick out of the blue from my car one day to share my idea.”

Meier ended up working with Nick Petricca to film the music video over the course of two days with the help of 80 or so extras. The shoot included a 2 ½ minute continuous take at the Mockbee, an iconic venue in Cincinnati, culminating in a dance sequence choreographed by Kim Popa.

“After finishing the music video and posting the video to YouTube, it was picked up by an established blog and blew up like crazy,” Meier explained. “It’s the main reason I have my current position as Director of Video & Motion Graphics at Eric Mower + Associates (formerly Strata-G Communications). Eight months after producing the video, I took my job here. Shooting as a freelancer led to professional relationships that spawned more video work, and ultimately my career.”

To date, the ‘Anna Sun’ video Meier produced has more than 7 million views on YouTube. Meier’s video for Walk the Moon was just the start. After the video he worked with a few local artists, and eventually worked with Eve 6 to create a new video for their song ‘Curtain’ in Long Beach, CA at Shoreline Aquatic Park.

“Eve 6 played at an event with Walk the Moon, saw the ‘Anna Sun’ video and wanted to touch base with the producers,” Meier said. “I was contacted by the lead guitarist and he gave my information to the label. I was approved to work on the video, and only had about a week to develop and pitch a concept for the video.”

Meier wanted to create a video that could go viral, and reintroduce the band to the music world.

“We came up with an idea to film the whole song backwards. It was a surreal approach.  The frontman had to sing the entire song backwards while walking backwards during a single shot take,” Meier described. “There were events that took place during the video that reinforced the reverse motion technique. In post-production, we reversed the footage so all of the movements were very unnatural, but his mouth matched up with the vocals. ”

Meier wasn’t alone in the creation of the Eve 6 video. Another DAAP alumnus and Eric Mower + Associates employee, Chaske Haverkos, helped Meier bring his concept to fruition.

“Patrick and I had worked together for a while and I helped him with a previous music video,” Haverkos explained. “Patrick had talked to me about the Eve 6 video opportunity and I was interested in working with a band of that level of stature. It was a challenge because we wanted to make some sort of viral video and had to think outside of the box.”

Both Meier and Haverkos established professional relationships within the music industry by producing music videos like the Eve 6 video, which helped them develop their careers. Meier and Haverkos also credit their education at DAAP for providing a foundation for success.

“I felt like there was a good mixture of creative freedom in DAAP, and I was able to explore things on my own accord. I learned how to practically apply design principles,” Meier explained. “The principles I learned at DAAP have translated to the work I do every day.  Lessons in painting, drawing, video, photography culminated into my fine arts degree that has taken me so many places.”

Haverkos echoes Meier’s sentiments about UC. “The degree I got from DAAP and the experience I have from there has proved to be very valuable. I graduated with a foundation of design knowledge needed for professional life.”

Meier and Haverkos are just two of many alumni who use their degrees to pursue their professional dreams, and develop extraordinary careers. Do you know someone who has extraordinary success while putting their degree to use? Comment below!

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