Having already taken some TV classes, Cody graduated from Killingworth-Haddam High School in 2012. At the time he wanted to attend college in California, but that didn’t work out. Since he had been to the Middletown campus, Cody and some other friends from high school decided to attend Middlesex Community College.
Cody earned his associate degree in 2014 and discovered his potential as a digital media production and broadcast communications student at MxCC. In fact, Cody credits his internship and production work experience while attending college as being enough to propel him in his current career as a “travel creator.”
Cody’s favorite classes at MxCC were those that involved broadcasting, especially learning how to be a news anchor. For a digital production class, he prepared a short film called “Daydreamer,” where the stories featured what three kids want to do when they grow up: be a doctor, an actor, or live in a fantasy world.
For hands-on learning, Professor Rich Lenoce helped Cody get an internship with the well-known TV show, The People’s Court, filmed in Stamford, Conn. His duties included making calls to recruit audience members, handling defendants, and even appearing in the audience a few times himself.
His favorite Middlesex memory is when he participated in the Center for New Media’s annual media festival. Cody also enjoyed the digital editing class with Professor Rick Eriksen, where he learned how to use important software skills such as Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects—both programs he continues to use now.
Working for a production company for almost two years, Cody researched other jobs and started to freelance after college. He filmed plays, weddings, and anything else to save enough money to start producing his own YouTube videos. For one of his first big adventure trips, he traveled to Thailand, noting that these films are popular with young people in their twenties in that country. He spent 30 days there, filming everyday. The videos became some of the top viewed within a couple months.
In 2016, Cody and some friends traveled together and began to market and promote their videos by posting to other websites, news sites, and social media, including Reddit. At least two videos were posted a week with trending topics—sometimes shocking—to gain attention. Another way Cody promotes his videos is through Right This Minute, a TV show and website where videographers can upload videos to try to get them to go viral.
To further market his videos, Cody says boosting shorter versions of his videos on Facebook can then be shared and linked to YouTube for the full versions—and then promoted again on YouTube with an ad.
After a popular video he did at Skulls Island in Bali, Indonesia, Cody’s audience started growing, and he was able to charge more, get more work by people finding him, as well as secure sponsors. He also attends YouTube’s annual Buffer Festival held in Toronto. Cody also took a stab at a TV pilot and will soon debut a show on Insight TV, a Netflix-style venue which claims to be the “most adventurous TV channel in the world!”
Reaching back to his college days, Cody said, “Middlesex was a good place for me to start and get more professional in what I am doing.” To other broadcast/media students, his advice is “to not just do the work while at school, but to continue to hone your craft at home. To do really well, you should be willing to work the long hours beyond just in class.”
While the media industry is constantly changing, this doesn’t intimidate Cody’s future plans. “I would just create content specific for that platform,” he said.
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And thanks to Cody for appearing in some of MxCC’s recruitment materials!