Our member of the week is Mark McKennon. Mark works in film and television production as a location scout and manager, and is an expert on the New York metro area. Mark’s job has taken him to parts of the city that most of us will never see (just take a look at his picture, on the way back from scouting locations on Governors Island.) You can learn more about Mark and his business on his fantastic website, as well as in his profile. Also check out the short interview to learn about Mark’s personal experiences as a freelancer.
1. What has been your most interesting project?
I've location managed 8.5 independent movies, 13 commercials, and a number of photo shoots, and have scouted cumulatively for dozens more TV shows, movies, commercials and print ads. Many of them are interesting because over the course of them I get to meet a wide variety of people and visit places I might never imagine existed -- palatial homes, funky bars, luxury lofts, hospitals, farms, et al. And on occasion I've done a lot of industrial strength driving. A car is an interesting place for an office...
*2. Why did you decide to go freelance? *
I didn't have a burning desire to become a permanent part of the corporate grind. The job security and probable prosperity were tempting, but ultimately not for me. I'm creative -- a writer in addition to working film/TV/commercial locations -- and for the most part, an 8-6 assignment in the same place with the same people doing similar functions day in, day out seemed like it would be stultifying. I appreciate the freedom my niche affords me. It's required sacrifice, but the rewards go to those who take the risks. One has to be true to the desired goal and do what is necessary to achieve it.
3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?
Don't go deeply in debt to do it. Have a plan, a business model, and goals/quotas. Then execute with passion, discipline and consistency. DO try to have fun, and DON'T drive yourself crazy, otherwise you may as well have the pressures of a full-time job.
4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?
Prospect Park and the old classic brownstone blocks near my apartment.
5. What is your inspiration?
Good movies (when I have time to watch them), good health and fitness (both of which take work and commitment), and good music (Beatles, Beethoven, Santana). Pump up the volume.