By Karl Schneider
Sometimes, it’s the little things that put us on the big paths in life. For Joe Kowalski, freshman at Lorain County Community College, it was Disc 2 of Monsters Inc. that let him find his direction. The DVD was full of extras and special features during the production of the movie.
“I spent hours caught up in the world in that DVD and I can remember wanting to be a part of that world,” said Kowalski. The world of film has always been a fascination for him and his drive and ambition is paying off.
Kowalski is currently working as a video editor for a nationally airing reality television show. ‘The Outdoor Option’ showcases a family from Elyria, OH who spends their time hunting, fishing and enjoying the outdoors. The show is broadcast on two cable networks: The Sportsman channel and Pursuit channel.
In 2010, Kowalski set up his own YouTube channel, ‘Pogiejoe’ to create and show the world his creative endeavors. “It gave me a small but persistent audience and over time I’ve had some famous people on my channel,” said Kowalski.
Director of the serial thriller “Silence of the Lambs’, Jonathan Demme, young adult author John Green and even a small appearance by Weird Al Yankovic have made Kowalski’s YouTube channel.
When Kowalski’s girlfriend insisted on him taking LCCC’s Interactive TV and Video Production, an opportunity was waiting for him. His class was presented with an opportunity to work on a big project, if they could convince a producer who wanted to collaborate with LCCC. The theme of their project was “How to make a grilled cheese sandwich”.
“It’s incredibly hard to make something like that stand out, but I guess I impressed,” said Kowalski. He and two other LCCC students, Tyler Pleban and Michael Ellis, were picked to help out on the project.
“The three of us took it by the reigns and took it on air,” said Kowalski. The show is scheduled for a total of 13 episodes and at press time, the team is currently working on the sixth episode.
The experience is vital for future film editors. The team takes hours of rough footage and edits into a cohesive and coherent 20-minute show. “It has showed me how to work as a team and take an episode in a very rough form and polish for an audience,” said Kowalski. Even though his background is in creating comedy and experimental footage, he has learned to appreciate the content of The Outdoor Option.
LCCC is a stepping-stone for Kowalski’s chosen path. “I want to create something original, find someway to create a fresh story. I would like to work on a lot of different projects, always hopping onto the next project.” He finds inspiration in remaining “creatively engaged”, immersing himself in a multitude of projects. “It’s not good to stay too comfortable, life is about exploration and collaboration.”
Kowalski’s ‘Pogiejoe’ YouTube channel is still up and running. He tries to upload new videos every other week. His channel can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/user/PogieJoe. Interested viewers can also catch ‘The Outdoor Option’ airing on The Sportsman Channel Mondays at 11:30 a.m., Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m., Fridays at 4:30 a.m., and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.