“Curiosity about life in all its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people ,” said Leo Burnett, founder of the agency that bears his name. One of our core values here at Hanson is to “stay curious,” which is one reason we developed an ongoing series asking fellow Hansonites to reflect on what they’ve learned thus far in their career. Recently, we’ve talked to VP of Experience Innovation Mike Osswald, Video Producer Krysta Adamczyk, and Director of New Business Development Craig Hagenbuch. Today, we’re talking to John Rerucha, our Director of Photography.
Sally: John, I understand you graduated with a degree in communication. How would you describe your transition to the work you do at Hanson?
John: Well, I started my own video production business as a junior in college. I brought it back to Toledo and ran it for 18 years until I was introduced to Jenny Jacob and Steve Hanson in 2006. Since I’ve been at Hanson, I haven’t had to deal with the inner workings of running a production business, but I’ve been involved in many aspects of the production process. It was a big jump going from my own small business clientele to the large corporate clients Hanson partners with. It’s been extremely exciting over the last ten years to experience the increase in the scale and creativity of the work we do.
Sally: So what made you fall in love with video in the first place?
John: My dad won a camera from his work when I was in high school and I began shooting all the activities surrounding me and creating videos to entertain my family and friends. I love storytelling and I’m all about putting on a show, so having a tool like video was thrilling! I still have that original video camera sitting at my desk.
Sally: Wow! Is there anything that particularly surprised you when you first got involved in the video production world?
John: I think I’ve been more surprised in the last decade with the increase in video quality, enhancements in the production gear, and the power of software programs today. I laugh because I’m one of those (older) guys who brags about how we used to have a huge camera on one shoulder and a video deck strapped over the other shoulder running around on shoots all day. I lived through the 3/4 tape days of A/B roll systems, when putting a dissolve between two shots was amazing. So now, the ability to take your beautiful 4K footage and alter the colors, exposures, and lighting in post-production is even more amazing!
Sally: What have you learned over the years that you wish you would have known when you first started?
John: I’ve learned that you don’t have to have the best and latest equipment to create something amazing. Creativity is enhanced by technology, not born.
Sally: What advice would you give to someone going into your field?
John: You may look at a project brief you’ve just been given and say this one is bland or lacks any real creativity, but there is always something you can gain from a project if you look close enough. It may be something in the planning, a technical aspect, a better process initiated, or a client connection made. Don’t ever go through the motions just because the job isn’t what you want to be working on at the time. Every project has some sort of takeaway, you just need to identify it. And then when the good stuff comes along, you’ll be able to truly appreciate it!