Interview with Lynnette Thacker
Writer, Producer, Editor
GC Graduation Year
Why or how did you choose your field? Were there specific experiences that influenced you?
I ended up with a communications degree by default, really. My strength was NOT in math or science (I challenge you to find ANYONE working in television that can do arithmetic!), and I didn’t want to teach, so I picked communications. I do remember as a young girl, going on a tour at a local television station. The tour concluded in the studio at 5pm, just in time to watch a live newscast! It clearly made an impression on me as 25 years later, I can still tell you what the set looked like, who the anchors were, and where I was seated.
What’s exciting about your job or field?
I am responsible for local television commercials from concept to completion. I’m a very curious person by nature, so the best part is the ‘field trips.’ I get to see how different businesses operate—something I’d otherwise never have the chance to see. I’ve shot a commercial in a potato chip factory, the Ohio State House, in an operating room during an open heart surgery, a cow barn, a car assembly plant, and the list goes on. There is always something new to learn from each of these location shoots. When I’m not on location, I’m back at the TV station editing on my AVID. It’s a special feeling to have a vision for a project and be able to bring it to life on television.
What has been a challenge in your career journey?
A television station is a fast paced, high pressure locale. And technological advancements are rapid. The manner in which I edited, even 5 years ago, has changed. It’s difficult to keep up with industry standards and not fall behind in execution, vision, and skill set.
There’s also only so many ways to make a car dealer commercial unique!
Looking back, would you do anything differently?
Right after I graduated from Goshen College I went to work for a small production company. I thought I needed to ‘get a job.’ It was lack-luster, and I decided to try voluntary service. That also was lack-luster, and I ended up with a part-time job (eventually working my way up) at WHIO-TV. If I had a do-over, I’d pay more attention to my interest in cultural anthropology–perhaps taking the time to blend my interest in cultures and my interest in creating something (in my case, video being my medium of choice). AND I would have paid more attention to the importance of networking. In this business, it’s all in who you know!
How did your liberal arts education assist you in your journey?
It’s become apparent to me that even while working among other very smart, college educated people, very few have a global perspective. SST opened my world and was a catalyst to traveling to places like Palestine, Israel, Bolivia, Guatemala, Japan, Spain, and Tanzania. I come in contact with a diverse pool of people, so my understanding and awareness of cultures and the world in general make it much easier to relate and tell their story. We did a spot for a Palestinian shop owner a few years back. Since I had spent time in Palestine with a fellow GC’er, I surprised him by speaking a bit of Arabic. My familiarity with his culture and homeland was an instant bond. I even was asked to edit a spot in Spanish because no one else could speak the language.
Did anyone offer you some memorable advice that you’d like to pass on? Or…what advice would you give to a young person just starting out?
Every workplace has challenges. Instead of trying to change the dysfunctional workplace or the work flow sometimes you have to just change your attitude. Otherwise, you’ll feel defeated.