3 minutes with…Mark Dietzler, Summer Stage Video Editor

Mark Dietzler
Mark Dietzler
Mark Dietzler

“I like to be able to tell a story with video, but more importantly witness the reaction from people when they view it.” – Mark Dietzler, Summer Stage Video Editor

Summer and Summer Stage are one in the same for Mark Dietzler. He grew up in the program, watching his older brothers participate and then taking his turn in the Children’s Theater shows. During the last couple seasons he has participated in the Mainstage productions, last year perfecting his Latino accent and his fight-scene skills in West Side Story for the tough-guy role of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks. This year, Mark hob-knobbed with the first-class passengers in Titanic, the Musical, playing John Jacob Astor, one of America’s wealthiest citizens. The two roles are worlds apart, but because of Mark’s drive to tackle new concepts and to constantly challenge himself, he convincingly played the polar-opposite characters with confidence and maturity beyond his years.

Last year Mark was hired as Summer Stage Videographer and this year his title is Video Editor, working with Tristan Santana who is capturing a great deal of the Summer Stage images. When editing the videos that are posted on the Summer Stage Web site and Facebook pages, Mark is tasked with capturing the essence, “the magic” of Summer Stage. Ask anyone who has viewed his season-opening and season-closing videos and they will tell you he nailed it.

What motivates you?

If I’m really motivated it’s that I’m going to do something I haven’t done like  teach myself something new or create something I haven’t created before. I’m always pushing to improve what we’ve already done. Every time we do a video, I want us to capture better footage than the time before and put out a better product than we have before. And really see the progress of where we started and where we’re going.

What makes you most happy?

I don’t emote the most, so when I have – for me – a big reaction to something it compares someone else’s smallest reaction.

I like to be able to tell a story with video, but more importantly witness the reaction from people when they view it. Like the end-of-the year wrap up video. I love to sit in the back and watch people’s reaction to it.

I recently watched the movie “Secretariat” and it’s a great example how a story can really pull emotion out of people. When I’m able to affect the emotions of people through my videos, that’s when I’m most happy and satisfied.

What is your pet peeve?

I get annoyed with a lack of professionalism and a lack of manners. I think it’s important to treat people the way you want to be treated and I get frustrated when I encounter a lack of common courtesy.

A movie that has moved you?

The movie “Finding Neverland” really grabs me.  It’s about J.M. Barrie who wrote “Peter Pan.” It does a great job of capturing Barrie’s descriptions of boyhood. The wonderful, magical, and innocent time of life. There is a scene in the movie when he the kids are looking out the window, and you can see how he came to write about the journey the children took in “Peter Pan,” as they were learning to fly. You can relate to how he creatively piqued the kids’ interest and sparked their imagination.

What is your favorite playlist on your iPod?

It depends on what I’m doing or what mood I’m in. But one favorite is just called “music” and its all background music. I like showtunes and then I have “favorite songs to sing to – or try to sing to.” I have a playlist with all epic songs that really gets me inspired.

What are some of your favorite activities outside theater?

Besides sleeping, anything that is design-oriented. Interior design, clothing design, you name it. I can spend hours looking up different product designs and I have bookmarked hundreds of Web sites that give me inspiration.  When I feel like I’m creatively blocked, I look for ideas, things that inspire me and get the creative juices flowing again. It helps me get back into the flow of creativity. I can get wrapped up in this world for hours and that’s when I’m completely happy. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I’m always looking for ways to improve upon a design or format. I can spend hours just studying fonts.

As we wrap up the Summer Stage season, do you feel like it’s an ending or a beginning?

It’s an ending and a beginning. We worked this summer to capture all the things we did this year and that helps us to tell the story as we prepare for next year. We captured Harry’s goodbye on stage which becomes the opening for next year’s video. And it becomes a cycle. One where we are always learning and trying to improve upon what we accomplished last year as we begin a new year.


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