My first multimedia story… 11 years ago

I’m often asked how I came to know so many multimedia skills at a relatively young age. I recently rediscovered the answer.

In the summer of 1998, I participated in a project called Waking Hours that aimed to illustrate the interconnectivity of the lives of 20 Los Angeles teenagers, using the web as a platform. At this point I had no intention of being a journalist, yet we were armed with cameras and told to document a day in our lives. The summer before the big day we learned how to shoot photos and edit them in Photoshop (my first experiment was cloning my head on a friend’s body) and how to properly record audio.

The site itself is very 1998 — built with frames, small images that are barely visible — but the core values of multimedia storytelling are there. And the site reinforces that at 15 years old I was a multimedia journalist in the making. In the blog-like diary that includes links and photos, I describe reading Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine, creating maps on a Macintosh Classic computer, and the perils of chatting in AOL chat rooms (priceless quote: “I’m not a techno freak, I just like the Internet.”)

Being exposed to multimedia tools at such a young age unbeknownst to me left an indelible impression and is likely the reason you’re reading this blog today. Check out the project by clicking on “The Show” and read my entries by clicking on “Mark L.”

I leave you with my response to the question “Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

“In ten years I’m going to be a really famous person. I’m not sure how I’m going to be famous but I will be, I’m going to have this gigantic house probably in Hollywood, or maybe in New York city. I’m going to have a butler and a couple of little kids running around the house. I’m gonna have a gorgeous wife who always looks good even when she wakes up. I won’t have to work and I can just party when I want and play around, like playing basketball and stuff. If I’m living away from home I’ll take my own airplane back here to L.A whenever I want to so I can visit old friends and family.”

I’d say I came pretty close.

Also on 10,000 Words:

Do children really want to be journalists when they grow up?
Just what are they teaching future journalists?
How film school helped me become a better journalist