Not many high school students can say they work for a Los Angeles-based entertainment editing company.
Chemainus Secondary grad Eli Eckert-Johnson can.
The 18-year-old has been working for Machinima, a premier online entrainment network, for about four years.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s definitely the realm of the editing world,” Eckert-Johnson said, noting he’s worked on popular first-person shooter game Halo.
Editing work, which he manages on top of school studies, can often take a good couple weeks, at least three to four hours, depending on the task.
Contracts see him using real-time 3D computer graphics rendering engines to create cinematic productions, which are then used for things like game intros or demos.
“It’s just like I’m the director, but the director of the characters in the video game,” he said.
Eckert-Johnson was scouted out by Michinima through his work, which he shares on YouTube.
“They contacted me,” he said. “And that was very cool.”
On top of his side-gig, Eckert-Johnson, who was adopted from Russia when he was just two years old, is known around the school for his brains on computer technology programs.
He was awarded the school’s technology award three years in a row.
This year, he also took home a volunteer award on top of one for metalwork.
He’s often helping school staff and students with computer glitches, as well as creating posters for school functions.
And he’s been instrumental in the secondary school’s creative layout for its latest yearbook.
Eckert-Johnson credits past teachers Mr. Norman and Mr. Wall for motivation in getting him involved in computer technology, graphic arts and editing.
He’s also mastered Adobe Photoshop and recently showed off favourite edited images in a slideshow with a number of other accomplishments at the district scholarships judging session.
He plans on commuting to Nanaimo come September to study in Vancouver Island University’s four-year digital media program.
“Studies have shown there are a lot of options for careers if you take this program,” he said. “I would really like one day to be the guy in the back of a movie set, editing a major motion picture.”