Blakesley Clapp

Digital Filmmaking & Video Production

Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor
The Art Institute of Portland

Blakesley Clapp

Have a good attitude, work hard, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Blakesley Clapp , Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Instructor , The Art Institute of Portland
What would you say is the defining moment in your life when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

I don’t really have a defining moment. I have been involved in creative endeavors nearly my whole life. It is interesting how a creative career rarely takes a linear path.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience to provide an industry veteran's sense of the realities / challenges / opportunities of the profession?

I always try to bring my experience in the field into the classroom in a couple of ways. The first allows me to give them real-­world experiences in terms of the technologies they are learning. How they are used and why they need to know them. The second is by sharing the mistakes I’ve made over the years. Seems like you always learn more from struggles than successes; so I do my best to share a little of my journey that way.

Is there a class assignment that exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring? Similarly, how does your approach inspire each student to push themselves beyond their own perceived limits?

The key for me is to treat each student as an individual. Everyone has different skills and fears that can get in the way of those fears. I do my best to address the industry challenges in ways that make sense to the individual student.

What role does collaboration contribute to students’ success, especially when students from other programs contribute to the same project?

Collaboration is the lifeblood of the film industry. It is literally a profession that could not exist without collaboration. This makes it one of the most rewarding and the most challenging parts of the industry. That is why I always start the students collaborating as soon as possible.

In your opinion, what is the single most important thing you impart to your students to help them succeed in your class and in the real world? Alternatively, what is the most critical advice you would offer any student as he / she embarks on a creative career?

There are two things really.  One—that hard work and a good attitude will always trump over a specific skill. You can always learn a new skill—an attitude and work ethic is harder to learn on the job. The other is that you can never stop learning, especially in an industry that depends so heavily on technology. To stop learning is to remove yourself from the running in terms of career.