We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Salters and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, what role has risk played in your life or career?
In general, I don’t consider myself a risky person. Sure, I try to enjoy adventurous things when time allows, like mountain biking, but I’m not very good and can easily get deterred by the sight of what I’d consider to be a mischievous looking rock. Stepping back and thinking about at my career though, you might think otherwise. Was it a risk in college to switch my major out of engineering so I could focus on my video editing hobby more? My parents probably thought so at the time. Was moving cross-country to Los Angeles a week after graduating for a $10 per hour production assistant job risky? Possibly. After hitting a stride and editing on advertising campaigns for movies like Jurassic World and Inside Out, was it a risk to leave LA for Dallas/Fort Worth so my wife and I could be closer to family? Depends on who you ask. Then after landing on my feet in the sports entertainment market in DFW, was it a risk to strike out on my own as a freelance video editor? My kids don’t think so. In the end I don’t consider anything in my career as risky, but maybe untraditional. As my video editing journey moved along, I gained the skills and experiences needed to make the next big jump, even if I didn’t know where I was going to land. The only thing that truly mattered was that I was doing something that I enjoyed and that it was something that helped me support my family. So far, that’s worked out pretty well.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a lover of all things video. Most would call me a nerd and I proudly wear that badge. When I first became interested in video editing, it was a goal to become a movie trailer editor. YouTube wasn’t a thing then and to do anything like that level of editing, you had to be in Hollywood – so I went. It wasn’t long before unexpected doors began to open in front of me and after peeking inside, I liked what I saw. This is how I learned to tell stories while editing, by working in original content and crafting short documentaries for films and tv shows. Think of it like branded content, before branded content was a thing. Fast forward a few years and I not only had those story-telling abilities to lean on, I also had years of experience working in a fast paced global marketing agency, Trailer Park, Inc. The skills acquired there are what set me up for success when building the TCU Athletics’ video department from scratch. The difficult part with TCU was the balancing act between time to create and time to manage. In the end sleep was what was sacrificed to achieve both. I’m proud of what my team and I accomplished in my time at TCU, but am more proud about how the department was set up for success after I left. When time is a scarcity, it’s not long before most will start wishing they were the owners of their time and that’s exactly what happened to me. I felt that the freelance life would be the best option for my family, keeping me around home more, but it was a scary prospect dipping my toes into the Dallas/Fort Worth market for the first time. Fortunately stubborn persistence and a bit of luck were on my side. For the past 3 years I’ve been beyond blessed to have worked with numerous agencies and creative staffs around the DFW area, and even others across the US and Canada! Every new year brings a new challenge, but instead of fretting about the “what ifs”, I’m now excited by them.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well this is a fun thought especially considering we’re in the midst of a pandemic, but at some point I hope a bit of normalcy returns. My favorite spots across DFW are Sundance Square in Fort Worth, followed by a rustic trip to the Stockyards. We’d stuff our faces at the Rodeo Goat and then after grabbing coffee at Avoca or ice cream at Melt, we’d trek over to Dallas to check out the Perot Museum and Clyde Warren Park. Obviously if you’re in that neighborhood you’ve gotta have breakfast for dinner at Yolk. I’d round out things by a trip to Grapevine to drink some wine and check out Main Street.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My life and career would look incredibly different if it weren’t for my wife Lindsey. Ever since I tricked her into marrying me, she has been my biggest champion. Without her encouragement and (most importantly) patience, I’d still probably be stuck in a dark tape room in LA.