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Alumnus Jarrod Markarian mentors developing videographers

Avery Jones | The Feather Online

Jarrod Markarian currently is a free lancer Camera/Movi Operator, and travels between Fresno and Los Angeles.

Inspired by those who dedicated time helping him build his career, campus alumnus Jarrod Markarian, ‘17, invests his time mentoring current Feather video journalists. Returning to his high school alma mater, Markarian teaches video students on The Feather and uses situations from his past to help them be successful.

Enrolled in Feather adviser Greg Stobbe’s 2013 honors English class as a freshman, Markarian struggled with writing but continued to look for opportunities to advance his skills. Convinced by Stobbe, Markarian joined The Feather photojournalism team at the end of his freshman year.  

“I got started taking photos by sneaking onto the list to the photo bootcamp with adviser Kori Friesen,” Markarian said. “I have always been drawn to cameras and had never had the opportunity to use one in a professional setting.”

Currently, Markarian is a camera/movi operator working on different film sets such as documentaries, commercials and music videos between Fresno and Los Angeles.

Over the last year, cinematographer Chad Saechao has worked with Markarian on different film sets. Saechao’s work has been nationally televised and featured on many platforms such as Fresno State’s CollegianVisalia Times Delta, Voyage LA, MTV and many more.

“I’ve worked with Jarrod numerous times on set; his knowledge of cameras and lights comes in handy every time,” Saechao said. “That knowledge he brings saves so much time when we’re stuck in a pickle; he’s very quick and thinks on his feet. Every time Jarrod is on set with me, he’s undoubtedly the hardest working crew member there. His passion to help his team get the job done efficiently and effectively is what makes Jarrod such a great and valuable filmmaker.”

Markarian went through a four-year stint on The Feather, starting as a freshman reporter and as a photojournalist for his next two years, later transitioning to video journalism his senior year.

“The skills I have learned from The Feather set me apart on set,” Markarian said. “Some skills I have learned in The Feather are writing, interviewing, and talking to professionals in a work environment. I have had the opportunity to work with industry people that have been working in the industry for longer than I have been alive. I would not have had these opportunities without the skills I have learned in The Feather.”

Photo and video journalist adviser Kori Friesen began teaching Markarian at the end of his freshman year. Through years of on The Feather team, Markarian went through video and photo training while learning to better his writing and language skills. 

“Jarrod picked up skills quickly,” Friesen said. “His tech knowledge helped him retain information and his desire to learn helped him become a great photographer pretty quickly. The CV Honor Flight was a turning point in his photojournalism career.”

As the video journalist adviser, Friesen currently teaches five Feather video journalism students with the help of  Markarian.

“Jarrod offered his expertise and time to this years team willingly,” Friesen said. “Recognizing how The Feather invested in him, his was gracious to give back to the team. During first semester, he was here weekly during the video period, walking the guys through multiple processes in storyboarding, editing, and filming. As the video team worked on ‘Choices’, he took on the producer role instructing and overseeing the project.”

Jarrod Markarian | The Feather Online

Jarrod Markarian photographs veterans as they arrive at the Vietnam War Memorial, greeted by students.

During his sophomore year, Markarian was able to go on the Central Valley Honor Flight as a photojournalist with his great great grandpa, a WWll veteran.

While photographing and personally interviewing war veterans, he got to experience all the emotions within a camera lens while furthering his love for photography.

“It was my great grandfather who was actually on the flight with me as one of the WWll vets,” Markarian said. “It was a very humbling experience to watch these great men and woman that served 70 plus years ago, seeing them finally getting the recognition they deserved.”

Hometown Heroes Radio host and play-by-play announcer for Fresno State sports, Paul Loeffler, works with the veteran community, and oversaw Markarian as the photographer on the CV Honor Flight.

“When Jarrod Markarian accompany an Honor Flight as a photojournalist, he produced some of the most captivating images we have seen on any of our flights,” Loeffler said. “Having a young student journalist interact with our veterans on the Honor Flight is mutually beneficial. The veterans love imparting their wisdom and experiences with a younger generation, and students can gain a deeper understanding of history and the price that has been paid for our freedom.”

Loeffler continues to be involved with The Feather journalists, seeing their progress over the years.

“Great photographers train their eye for light, angles, and perspective that someone else might not perceive,” Loeffler said. “I’ve seen Jarrod’s creativity grow, and his eye for images that wow the viewer has grown sharper and sharper. Feather journalists have impressed me as being very thorough, detail-oriented, unafraid to tackle tough issues, and industrious enough to discover unique and creative story angles.”

Markarian passion grew for serving the veteran community, and hopes to go back and work with the CV Honor Flight again.

In the following podcast, Avery Jones, ’20, interviews alumnus Jarrod Markarian, ’17, about the time he invests in the current video journalists along with his experience on the CV Honor Flight.

This year, the current video journalists, along with Markarian’s help, created a high school PSA video titled ‘Choices’, which talks about teen pressures, substance abuse contribute to health issues, social misconceptions, and more.

Current Feather video editor Braden Bell, ‘20, worked alongside Markarian to create the PSA, along with the other video journalists. Bell learned professional skills along with getting to use professional equipment.

Specifically to the making of ‘Choices’, our short film, Jarrod was there every step of the way,” Bell said. “He helped us formulate the idea through storyboard drawings and whiteboard sessions, to the process of casting and setting film locations. He brought his professional camera gear to help with the filming of the video and even helped in the processing of the finished video.”

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Jarrod Markarian helps the current video team during filming their PSA, ‘Choices’.

Markarian began mentoring the video journalists before knowing how to use a camera, and after many hours of work the video team began producing videos. 

“From helping with video ideas, to constant support and even lending us his gear at times, “Bell said, “Jarrod has been a vital asset and role model to the video team this year.”

Bell joined The Feather his freshman year as a journalist, later switching to become Twitter editor his sophomore year. Currently Bell is the video journalism co-editor.

His (Markarian’s) skills and experience in the field of video and marketing has allowed each of us to look toward him for answers and help,” Bell said. “Jarrod has spent hours pouring into each of us; it’s been amazing to see him come alongside us through every step of the process.”

Over his four years on The Feather, Markarian earned four CSPA Gold Crowns, two NSPA Pacemakers, and a Letter of Recognition from the Mayor of Fresno.

“Looking back, I would not be where I am today without Feather advisers Greg Stobbe and Kori Friesen, Markarian said. “I want to give a shout out to Kori Friesen for helping me advance my skills in the photography world. Stobbe, thank you for sticking with me and pushing me to be a better communicator and realize the importance of writing in my everyday life.”

Saechao is a director of photography based in Los Angeles, CA. He works on commercials, music videos, an narratives. Recently, Saechao and Markarian worked on set where Markarian was the First Assistant Camera and Steadicam/ Movi Operator.

“The thing that stood out to me the most about Jarrod is his work ethic,” Saechao said. “I look for someone who is sharp on their feet, a team player, knows how to problem solve, and is just an overall great human being. Jarrod is a pleasure to be around; and I’m happy to say Jarrod ticks off all those boxes. If I could, I would have Jarrod with me on every single one of my shoots.”

Markarian currently attends Fresno State and is studying business finance; he hopes to later pursue a career in federal law enforcement. In between school and working as a Camera/ Movi Operator, Markarian continues to find time to mentor young students as he hopes to give back to those who gave him so much. 

During his senior year, Markarian was presented the opportunity to film a marketing commercial for Fresno Christian Schools.

FCS high school commercial from The Feather Online on Vimeo.

To read past articles written by Jarrod Markarian, read Senior Reflection: Jarrod Markarian and COLUMN: CV Honor Flight changes perspectives (VIDEO, SLIDESHOW).

For more videos by Jarrod Markarian, watch FC Auction 2017 and Kids Day 2017.

To read more articles read Landon Goldsborough, Alina Ochoa demonstrate positivity, potential in campus choir and City of Clovis celebrates 81st Big Hat Days.

To learn more about Markarian, visit his website.

Jarrod Markarian can reached via email, and or by phone 559.408.2091.

Avery Jones can be reached via Twitter, email and Instagram.

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