Chris Hackett 101

15 Oct 13

Bringing with him a film background that includes Wilderness of James and Deep Dark, Chris Hackett talks about being here at Swanson Studio.

How did you end up at Swanson Studio?
I was trying to break into the Portland post industry back in the day and was doing a lot of non-profit work, at PCM and others, teaching youth about making short films. Through a connection I met Janet McIntyre who needed a colorist for her documentary Faded. After the job was wrapped, Janet told me about Swanson Studio and an emerging business in motion. Janet and Marcus had gone to college together, so she put in a good word for me and since then I have been assisting on 20/2 shoots and advising with video technology and post production.

What inspires you?
Inspiration comes in many ways. I really enjoy surrealistic and anti-image approaches towards film making and narratives (Enter the Void, The Comedy, Santa Sangre). I like to follow Reddit to see what’s visually trending in the internet consciousness, and sites like Motionographer to find random threads of inspiration. Being an after effects user I’m always following Andrew Kramer from Video Copilot and Stu Maschwitz of ProLost for learning new techniques and skills.

What are some of your favorite places in Portland?
Like any true Portlander I love breakfast. I really enjoy Tin Shed (I always order the Roll Over). Outside of that it’s really the people I’ve met here in Portland that make the city indispensable for me. I meet a lot of highly-skilled, incredibly intelligent, and honest people that have made it very hard for me to ever leave this town. When I’m not buried in color correction and compositing, I try to get out of the city and explore the gorge and the coast.

Do you read blogs and if so, which ones?
I’m an internet junkie, so I follow a few sources. One of them is Reddit whose tagline is “The Front Page of the Internet” and another being a web tool called “The Old Reader” that aggregates multiple websites into a single place. But to name a few: Motionographer, Nofilmschool, Video Copilot, Grey Gorilla, Endgadget, Boing Boing, Google News.

What’s a day in the life of Chris Hackett at Swanson Studio?
It’s different every day. Sometimes I’m on set managing data and monitoring scopes to assist the photographers with exposure and focus, other times I’m in the post room working on visual effects and color grades. And then there’s days where I’m cutting aluminum and fabricating a table dolly. It’s a varied job, which is one of the reasons I love it.