Byron Turk primarily works shooting and editing in the television industry alternating between the two to avoid burning out on one thing.
Although Turk can be spotted in front of the camera on Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, as part of an IMAX film crew trying to make a movie about tornadoes (which keeps him tied up for three to four months out of the year working alongside Sean Casey and Josh Wurman) it is behind the camera that he feels the most comfortable. Having experience being on both sides of the camera works to Turk’s advantage when it comes to working with people who may not feel at ease in front of the camera.
” Most people don’t feel comfortable in front of a camera. It takes work, and I’ve gone through that with being a character on Storm Chasers so I can appreciate the akwardness of having a lens shoved in your face. It’s really all about establishing a trust and a connection with the subject,” states Turk.
It is this understanding of how intimidating the first time in front of a camera can be for anyone, that has allowed Turk to work on a wide range of projects from a documentary on a Marines’ Boot Camp to music videos for independent music artists.
Turk goes on to say this about the people he shoots, “You need to get them to instigate conversation with you, get them to want to tell you something, or you lose normal speech pattens and tone, and it comes off awkward. I like to think I make a new friend everytime I shoot someone. At least on MySpace or Facebook.”
Aside from being inspired and looking up to other members of the Storm Chasers team (who also are part of the Deadliest Catch series) this avid music fan has great respect for the work of Director Sam Bayer who has directed music videos for the likes of Garbage, The Offspring, Metallica, Blink 182, David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, and Green Day.
“I’m a huge Green Day fan and every video he [Sam Bayer] put out during the American Idiot tour just blew me away and inspired me. If I were to blatantly rip someone off it would be him right now,” admits Turk.
When asked if he believes there is a common thread between most successful movies or TV shows Turk states. “Success is getting people to like what you do enough to pay for it. ‘The Dark Knight’ was awesome, but is it the same watching a bootlegged copy on your computer as it is watching it in an IMAX theater? It’s about finding your audience and figuring out what they want.”
Despite first coming into the world of film after dropping computer science as a major in college and non-commitally choosing film as a replacement, this UC Santa Barbara alum has learned to see the world through a filmmakers eyes “grabbing a story out of a situation or subject.” It is this certain way of operating that has allowed him to get where he is.
To learn more about Byron Turk visit www.byronfever.com.
(left thumbnail photo by Jenn Ryan)