Q&A with USITT 2017 student volunteer photographer Dan Drier
Tell me a bit about your background.
I’ve lived in St. Louis for about three years now. I will be a senior at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in August. I’m a cinematography major with a double minor in photography and environmental science. Currently I’m interning with a production company in St. Louis which I began a few days ago. After graduation, I would like to stay in St. Louis as I really love the city. I think I’d like to work full-time for the company that I’m with right now.
How were you introduced to USITT?
There was an email that went around the cinema and photography department at school and our counselor said USITT was looking for volunteer photographers. After that, I went on the USITT website, checked the company out, and it seemed like a great opportunity so I went through with it.
What about the opportunity drew you in?
The fact that it was considered volunteer work made it seem more easy going in the sense that I could get some experience without having too much pressure on my shoulders. It seemed like a great opportunity to put on my resume and build my portfolio.
Do you think your experience will help you in your future career?
Absolutely! As soon as I got all the pictures done, I put them up on my website and Facebook and people were impressed with them. I used the opportunity to get the internship that I have right now. It really helped me out and I would suggest it to anybody.
Based on your Conference experience, what were your thoughts?
My first thought was that I wanted to stay for the whole thing — two days was not enough time. I was impressed with the overall uniqueness. I had never been to a theatre technology conference before and it was cool to see all the things that happened behind the scenes and all the technology that goes into making a production. It made me want to join and keep up with it.
What would you say to someone who is on the fence about taking an opportunity like this one?
I’d definitely say to go through with it. USITT is a very friendly company and even if you’re not into theatre or technology type things, I’m into it now because they go hand and hand. Even though I’m more camera-technology, there’s a lot of technology that goes along the same lines. I’d say it expands your horizons and gives you new perspectives on things.
Do you feel the Conference made an impact on St. Louis?
I think it gives off a positive impact because if people haven’t been very involved with theatre technology, it’s a great way to get their feet wet and see to what goes on. The Conference definitely had a positive impact on St. Louis. Throughout the Conference I noticed that everybody was happy and I saw a lot of smiles. Everyone was enjoying themselves so I think even if you aren’t involved in theatre you’d enjoy it. Like myself, it was cool to go around to each booth and talk to people and see what’s going on in the industry. It brings the city together through marketing and I even saw some people that I go to school with there, so it brought even more people who are in St. Louis closer together.