The old man and the outlier

Tonight FRONTLINE airs June Cross’s latest film, The Old Man and the Storm. (Trailer below) Due to PBS carriage rules, you have to check local listings, though in most places FRONTLINE airs at 9 PM. The film was edited by Robert Salsbury – a frequent contributor to many of the online editing communities I frequent.

Having recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers – which I highly recommend – I was struck by how much anyone’s success is attached to opportunity. Gladwell uses extreme examples, outliers, to illustrate his point, but any reader can’t help but pause in awe over the number of turning points in his life due to unexpected opportunities.

My big professional turning point came back in 1996 when I was given my first opportunity to use a little known Mac application to animate the still images for a primetime documentary. Until then, such work was always done on a traditional animation stand. With a lot of late nights, I made it work. In hindsight, the producer who hired me took a chance, and that chance led me to a career in motion graphics. Shortly that led to a creative director role in a dot-com consultancy… and so on until I landed here at Avid.

So what this have to do with The Old Man and the Storm? The producer who gave me a shot in 1996 was June Cross. So in my little way I’m returning the favor by turning over my humble blog for a day as a promotional vehicle. (And the application was After Effects.)

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