By: Victoria Hvaring
Keith Bubach started shooting in the 90’s, but not from the hip. This Studio One alum learned early on, the best shots are taken from the tripod or shoulder.
“Having the hands-on instruction and great teachers [from Studio One ] helped me find my creative niche, and opened my eyes to the world of production, which definitely helped me after college,” this shooter explains. Bubach’s vidography career started at Studio One in 1994. He was with the program for two semesters as a camera operator. He says that his time with the internships was a good experience but “there isn’t one particular moment that stands out, except waking up so early every Friday.” Studio One had a different schedule in the era before the World Wide Web and Y2K. “We would do our pre-production meeting at 5:45 a.m. and produce the show at 7 a.m. That means all of the Headline News Team got there at 4 a.m.” explains Director of Television Barry Brode. “I don’t remember much of it though because I was half asleep!” Brode adds with his signature laugh.
Keith Bubach owns his own production company "Trooper Media." He says that he enjoys telling people's stories.
After graduation, Bubach pursued a career in the television industry. “Most of that time was spent in news and working on a half-hour magazine show, Evening Magazine. “ However, the economic crisis forced his company to lay off several of their employees, Bubach being one of them. As a result, Bubach decided to start his own production company called, Trooper Media. “I [now] work for myself as a shooter, editor, and producer. Working for yourself makes you answer to yourself…it takes time to create the discipline to work when the only person you have to answer to is you,” Bubach says.
Bubach says the time he spent working as an intern with Studio One was an investment in his future, “Studio One prepared me for my current job by giving me a real sense of how a live show is put together. [Studio One] showed me how working as a team was the most important thing in television production.” He explains that everyone has to work together in order to make the show work, “you can’t pull it off by yourself in this business.”
This media savvy alumni says that working in this industry is all about connections and relationships. “I usually get a call from someone, who knows someone, who knows me. It’s not as easy as it sounds, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to nourish and maintain relationships,” he says. When jobs are scarce, Bubach takes on another role – marketing. He calls and email prospects full-time in order to set up work for Trooper Media, “that alone is a full-time job,” he explains.
Bubach has nearly 20 years experience in television production shooting, editing and developing a variety of video projects.
Bubach has taken on many types of projects with his company. He has produced stories on musicians, brain surgery and even helped cover a story on a beak transplant for a bald eagle. However, he says his most exciting shoot was a job he did for the Discovery Channel. The company he did the job for was based out of L.A, and they flew producers out from New York to do the shoot—Bubach being one of them. “The thing about freelance is you end up working with people from all over [the world].” The job he did for the Discovery Channel was on children with Bipolar disorder. “I basically hung out with a family, [with three children with Bipolar disorder,] for 18 hours.” Shoots often come with surprises, “[but] the strange thing was everyone seemed perfectly normal,” he explains. Bubach adds that the time spent with the family, as a very “cool experience.”
In five years, Bubach says his “Lone Ranger” days may be coming to a close. He plans to have a side-kick to help him in his company, “[Studio One] opened my eyes to the importance of making every project a team effort.” He plans to work with a partner to help in brainstorming ideas. Bubach says that “the reality in the freelance world is you take most anything that comes your way…in the meantime I’ll keep my fingers crossed and keep working hard.”
At the end of the day, this sharp shooter says production, editing, and rounding-up video is only part of his job, “The are so many other avenues and opportunities to tell stories. That is what it's all about for me, telling stories.”