I am a Lifer employed at San Quentin Television (SQTV) within San Quentin’s Education Department, where I have worked since late-September 2005, a month and a half since I transferred here from Pleasant Valley State Prison. Prior to being incarcerated, I already had musical skills in that I play guitar, keyboards, and bass and I also had strong computer skills. Unfortunately, I didn’t take advantage of these talents. Currently my title is “Video Production Coordinator”, and I work with four other people at SQTV under the supervision of Television Specialist Larry Schneider, as well as five graduates of the Discovery Channel Film School. My capacity is to coordinate and perform camera shoots for the many groups and programs here at San Quentin utilizing high definition cameras. This enables me to edit the footage on one of the four Apple iMacs the Discovery Channel donated to the Film School. With this I an able to create the finished product for internal broadcast on the SQTV system and media for various educational groups. I also create original music scores for videos we produce here, either solo or in collaboration with one of my co-workers, “Blue” Wilder.
I work on equipment that
video professionals use in
the “real world” on a daily
It is an intense job; people come from the inside and the outside with projects. Yet this job supplies me with valuable knowledge as to the ins and outs of media production. Because of the generosity and vision of Radical Media and the Discovery Channel, I work on equipment that video professionals use in the “real world” on a daily basis. For example, Final Cut Pro is the industry staple, and with the many features this software has, I can see why video producers swear by this valuable tool. I would love the opportunity to use the skills I am learning and developing on projects once I am again in the free world. I believe there are an abundance of opportunities in media production (i.e. movies, music videos, etc.) and especially freelancing, so I want to make my contribution out there. I would like to let the public know what rehabilitation can do for someone formerly incarcerated, but also to help spread the message to young people who live in a disenfranchised reality. To teach them that they too can learn this marketable trade of video production, and remove themselves from the vicious cycle of unemployment that permeates their community.