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Big ships to video clips

Marine Institute student's videography nominated for ECMA

Student Life

By Leslie Earle

With a 2016 East Coast Music Award (ECMA) nomination to his name, Devin Sooley is proving his creative and analytical skills are as strong in the videography field as they are in his budding naval architecture career.

As a naval architecture student at the Fisheries and Marine Institute, Mr. Sooley has spent many weekends and evenings since the age of 13 creating wedding videos for couples in St. John’s and around the Avalon Peninsula.

“I first got started in the video business when a teacher of mine at the time asked me to do a video of her wedding,” he said. “I had a small camera and decided to give it a try. It was a really great experience and everyone was happy with the outcome.”

With a full editing suite in the basement of his home, his business has grown significantly since that first shoot, with Mr. Sooley not only expanding his equipment but shifting his focus to include several commercials and music videos as well.

Last summer, he met Gordon Huxter and Jon Pike of Everglow, a band based in St. John’s, N.L. The duo was looking for someone to shoot a video for their song Feel Your Heart. Although Mr. Sooley had only worked on one other music video, he was up to the challenge.

“I met them for the first time on the day of the video shoot, so we didn’t really have a plan,” said Mr. Sooley. “I don’t usually have a scripted plan in mind for my video shoots, I just show up and everything seems to fall into place.”

Mr. Sooley first filmed Mr. Huxter and Mr. Pike running through the streets of downtown St. John’s and rounded out the shoot at a pond in nearby Paradise. Soon after, the Feel Your Heart video was wrapped and posted to YouTube; Mr. Sooley learned in February that his work was nominated for an ECMA in the Fan’s Choice Video of the Year category.

Focused on pursuing a full-time career in naval architecture upon graduation from MI, there is no doubt Mr. Sooley has a bright future ahead—both behind a computer and a camera.

“I’m really focused on my education right now, but I do love the video business,” said Mr. Sooley. “Going forward, the focus will certainly be on naval architecture, but I’ll make time to do some video work along the way.”

The Feel Your Heart video can be viewed below and has earned more than 30,000 views on YouTube. The ECMA awards will be presented April 13-17. In addition to the EMCA nomination, Mr. Sooley’s work was nominated for a MusicNL award last fall.

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