Derek Blidy is a 21 year old creative from Joliet, Illinois. Derek primarily focuses on video production but wants to push the boundaries in several creative mediums. From helping with his dad’s company to traveling to Colorado to help with video production, Derek tries to innovate with each project.
Ben: Before we break into questions, can you give readers a brief introduction of yourself?
Derek: Yeah of course, my name is Derek Blidy I’m from Joliet, Illinois and I am currently a senior at Illinois State University studying Mass Media.
Ben: When and how did you discover your passion for videography?
Derek: I think it was sort of gradual thing for me. I remember in high school whenever a video project was an option in my english classes, I would choose to do those every time. I think it started out as a way to not write papers, but I started to realize that I really enjoyed the process of visual storytelling (even though I was awful at it).
Ben: What type of growth have you seen since you started?
Derek: I think my technical proficiency has grown leaps and bounds since I first started. Having a true understanding of cameras, as well as, editing software can change your entire perspective in video creation. Also having a set pre-production process makes the shooting and editing process so much less stressful - and I believe when you get rid of that stress, it frees up your brain to be much more creative in how you edit.
Ben: You’ve been able to help your dad with his business. Can you dive into what he does and how you help his brand?
Derek: Yeah absolutely! My dad has recently started a motivational speaking/mentorship company in an attempt to reach high school and college students. The company is named Speak Life and the goal of this is to help youth understand how they can take control of their life through the power of choices and consequences.
This is something that he is extremely passionate about and a cause that I fully believe in. So as for now, I am helping in anyway I can. Recently I have been doing alot of video work, but also brand managing and creative directing. Really wherever I am needed, nothing gets me more excited than being able to work creatively on something I believe in, so I am happy to help in any way.
Ben: Over the summer, you were in Colorado doing some video work that looked amazing. What was that experience like?
Derek: Colorado was nothing short of amazing. I was working with Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, CO. To try and summarize, I was working with a group of 4 other interns under our boss Andrew Winchell to create recap videos of 12 day retreats, that 18-25 year old students go on. For me this was a dream come true. I lived in a cabin, and woke up everyday to go shoot some activity that these students were doing. Sometimes this was studying apologetics in a classroom, other days this looked like white water rafting with a GoPro or lugging a camera while hiking up Pike’s Peak. It was a unique summer for sure and it took a little getting used to but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Ben: Are there any other types of video that you want to explore?
Derek: I have dabbled in music video work but nothing too serious. I would love to work my way into the hip-hop scene and create some content there. Many people don’t know this about me, but I enjoy following streetwear fashion. I think working to create videos for some new designers would be a blast.
Ben: Who have been the biggest influences in your journey chasing your passion?
Derek: My dad has been a huge influence on me creatively. He worked extensively in sports broadcasting through the 90’s in Chicago and has acquired about every accolade possible in that field. I think when working in a creative field often times your friends and family give false compliments because they are too afraid to hurt your feelings. But having people that can tell you when you make something that just is not great is very important. And that’s what my dad has been for me, he is always pushing me and telling me things I can improve.
Also Cole Bennett because of how is making such major moves in the industry at a young age. I have followed him very closely and think his work is so refreshing.
Ben: You’ve already accomplished some amazing things in your time but it’s human to always want more. With that being said, where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Derek: I would love to be my own boss. What I love about being a “creative” is having the freedom to push the envelope and have my own vision when making a video. So I really don’t know what that looks like yet, I would love to work with other passionate people and creatively represent people/organizations that we believe in. I’m not the kind of person that needs the future super planned out, for now I am going to keep developing my skill set and work on graduating in May.
Ben: It’s so important to give back to others, especially the people chasing their dreams. What advice would you give to someone following their passion?
Derek: There are a ton of cliche quotes that could answer this question, but if I could give serious advice for someone looking to follow a passion it would be this, do something about it TODAY. It is so easy to make excuses to push off learning a new skill or practicing what you love, but doing something (even if it is small) everyday helps tremendously.
For me I used to say “I’ll start really working on videography skills when I get a better camera/ editing software.” That is BS we tell ourselves to justify laziness. Between Youtube, Google, and smartphones it has never been easier to learn a new skill. So if you want to pursue videography my advice would be to take your phone today and shoot a minute long video. Edit on iMovie if you have to. But if you think new gear will make you a motivated creator you couldn’t be more wrong.