Common Ground – Jarrett Heather – Expanded

Published On August 17, 2014 | By Mike Carroll | KCRA-TV, Mike's TV News Stories

A few weeks ago I posted a same-day news story about Jarrett Heather, the tech guy for the California Department of Food and Agriculture who, in his spare time, made the #1 most-watched music video on Youtube Word Crimes  for Weird Al Yankovic, animating the entire film with Adobe After Effects on his home computer.

I was only with Jarrett for a bit less than an hour, but he shared so much great information that I knew I was going to have to make two stories out of it.

Within days after putting together the one-minute thirty-second news story — and in my own spare time at work — I expanded it into a three-minute twenty-second magazine profile for KCRA’s once-a-month magazine program Common Ground.

This expanded version ran on Saturday, August 16, 2014, at 6:30 PM after the six o’clock news.

Jarrett should be an inspirational story for all filmmakers. He proves that to make great films you don’t need a team of people, just a lot of personal dedication. In Jarrett’s case, he’s always loved graphics and animation. He wanted to learn how to make an animated film so he got Adobe After Effects and came up with a project where he would be able to learn-and-create as he was going step-by-step through the instruction manual. That first effort, Shop Vac, took him eighteen months to create. But he was able to take his time, learn the software, allow for plenty of trial and error. And, most importantly, he wasn’t on a deadline and didn’t have to rush. He took his time and got it right.

This self-teaching of animation and Adobe After Effects prepared him for being able to make Word Crimes in 90-days — one-sixth the time it took to make Shop Vac.

Learning by doing. Learning and doing.

A great lesson.

You can learn more about Jarrett Heather and see some cool early behind-the-scenes clips of Word Crimes at his website



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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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