Videographer makes international magic

By John Kurucz, Coquitlam NOW January 14, 2010

Just eight years into his career, Shawn Lam has carved out a niche in the ever-changing world of digital technology.

A corporate and event video producer by trade, the Coquitlam resident received the B.C. Professional Videographers Association’s (BCPVA) distinguished service award in early December, representing only the third time the award has been handed out in the association’s 14-year history.

“It is by far my proudest accomplishment,” said Lam, owner of the Coquitlam-based video production studio Shawn Lam Video. “My previous awards recognized me for a specific project, but this award has a much larger scope and recognizes me for my video production work and my contributions to the industry.”

Lam’s areas of expertise centre around capturing both personal — live concerts, weddings and school graduations — and business-type gatherings or promotions. His breadth of work spans from working alongside the likes of high-profile musical acts like Tom Jones, 54-40 and Colin James to creating corporate videos for businesses such as EBay and 1-800-Got-Junk?

It’s that kind of a vast reach across the digital spectrum that has allowed the 32-year-old to net several awards and notable clients, and his work was recognized at some of the most high-profile industry trade shows in North America in 2008: a silver medal at the 18th annual Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA) international convention and the Emerald Artistic Achievement Award for stage productions at the Video ’08 convention. In 2005, he received WEVA’s Merited Professional Videographer Accreditation, a type of peer-reviewed accreditation similar to that of a chartered general accountant. Lam is one of only 17 videographers with such a designation worldwide, and is the only one in Canada.

“Shawn’s accomplishments in his video business are equally as impressive as his contributions to the industry,” BCPVA vice president David Cooperstone said in an e-mail. “Being local has not restricted his work locations, as Shawn has been hired to work in Belgium, Mexico, California, Denver, Florida, Ohio, Washington — to name but a few.”

Lam maintains that his key to success is going back to what works, as school graduations and certain corporate events are go-to gigs that he can count on annually.

“The event markets are renewable every year,” he said. “It means that I don’t have to hustle as a business owner to get new business every year, I can go back to existing customers and grow my business that way — I don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time.”

With a background in business, Lam gravitated towards digital media eight years ago at the prompting of his brother. The two pooled their collective talents, and Lam handled the business side of the operation until he nurtured his understanding of the intricacies of camera work.

“I didn’t have a knack for this in the beginning,” Lam said. “But since then, I’ve acquired a passion and a love for the art of video, although I still consider myself a business person and a technician first, and an artist somewhere down the scale,” he said.

Lam’s knowledge of the digital world has also landed him a position as a columnist for EventDV magazine, and he also serves as a product reviewer for industry giants like Sony, Adobe and Sachtler.

“Running a nice tight business is what keeps me going,” Lam said. “I love hearing feedback from my clients, and seeing the looks on their faces when they watch the videos for the first time.”

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