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John Warkentin

09: Aug 2013

John Warkentin grew up near Reedley, California, a small town in the Central San Joaquin Valley known for its agriculture and small towns. He studied art photography at Fresno State University and worked under a man who had just finished his doctorate in film studies at USC. During those years he worked on numerous multimedia projects.

Later in life he spent 10 years traveling throughout Western Europe, telling stories in the German language, first in a multimedia format and radio, and then later in television. He was able to produce stories that were shown in the first regional channels that came into existence in those years and finally on satellite programming.

In 1994, after experiencing the fall of the Berlin Wall, and tremendous change in Germany it seemed like the right time to head back to his roots. He landed a job at Fresno Pacific University where he established and directed the Multimedia Arts Center for 14 years. This center was a collaborative venture between four institutions: AIMS Education Foundation, the University, a seminary and a mission agency. He loved working on science and math projects for AIMS, getting to shoot with Skydivers, Hot Air Balloonists, teachers and kids. He also got to produce stories in the far reaches of the world.

In the last 5 years he has worked on stories in 16 countries, slept in the middle of the jungle, climbed one of the most dangerous mountains in Austria (on a shoot), walked paths with the nomadic people of Tibet, been accosted by police in DR Congo, and ridden motorcycles out into the bush of Burkina Faso.

He is still in the pursuit of telling stories using pictures, images, and sound and hopes to get better at this craft so that he can communicate even more effectively to new audiences.

John participated in the August 2013 MediaStorm Methodology Workshop. He had the following to say about his experience:

After spending 5 immersive days in digital storytelling with MediaStorm I have many takeaways that will impact my storytelling going forward. Brian and his staff opened up their box and showed us how they work, tell stories and use today's media. They left nothing unturned. We learned from them and from one another. It was a superb workshop and one that I hope to benefit from for years to come!

Thanks again Brian and team for bearing your souls for the sake of better storytelling around the globe!