#ProfilesOfTenacity: Derek Walker

Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?

I wanted to study filmmaking in college, so Grady’s Entertainment and Media Studies program was the perfect match. I was excited that I would get to study writing, directing, editing, cinematography and even a little about the industry itself.

What has been your proudest moment in the past year?

I’m proud that despite the pandemic, I took lots of opportunities to improve my craft and be creative. I worked on even more films and videos for myself and others than even outside of a COVID year.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I’m a huge Pokemon fan! It’s the only video game franchise I’ve consistently played since 2008.

What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?

Tenacity to me means the constant pursuit of a goal or improvement. With each project I complete, I look for ways that I can do the job better going forward. I make note of the things I learn and find ways to apply it in the future.

What is your most memorable Grady experience?

Going to the Virtual Reality lab was one of my most memorable Grady experiences. Fruit Ninja is a lot more exciting when it actually feels like you are swinging the swords and you can do that with VR. VR enhances gameplay and visual experiences in some exciting and interesting ways. It has so much potential that I can’t wait to see realized.

Who is your professional hero?

I admire Donald Glover and how he operates in music, television and comedy. He does not limit himself to one creative avenue.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received from an instructor/mentor/family member?

This is not a piece of advice that I’ve gotten from one particular source, but through conversations with people and my own personal experience. I learned you will not be “you” forever. We constantly change as people and grow, hopefully for the better. I had a pessimistic feeling that if I didn’t already have a natural affinity for something by now, I would never be good at it. I think that mindset was born from a misguided thought that I wouldn’t continue to develop, learn and improve after a certain age. Yes, there are some goals that will be out of reach forever, but we have the potential to accomplish something great even if we don’t show signs of it when we want to.

What are you planning to do after graduating? What is your dream job?

I would like to create and show run an original fictional series on television or produce feature films. How exactly I will mark out those paths post-graduation is a mystery to me. Right out of college, I’m looking to work in post-production as a video editor or become a writer’s assistant.

What has been the hardest part about adjusting to COVID-19 in your life as a student and future professional?

Beyond the constant dread of living in a pandemic, it feels like my time in college is passing by too quickly and I’m not experiencing it enough. Spending time with people is a lot less spontaneous. There are fewer social events to be a part of and fewer memories to make. I’m going to be graduating soon and it feels like I barely spent any time with my cohort. The prospect that I will never make up this lost time is scary to me. On top of that, how the industry and job opportunities are going to look post COVID-19 is something I don’t want to even think about.

What is your favorite app or social media channel?

My favorite social channel is YouTube. The platform is full of so many creative people that I cannot help but be inspired.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

Indoors, it’s the Tate Student Center. If I’m outside, I like the green spaces on North Campus.