Monday, September 22, 2008

The full package

What can you do with a pot, an apple, and a knife? Many folks might say apple cobbler, but BYU junior Benjamin Thompson has frequently used those items to juggle.

Claiming Idaho as home, Thompson recalls growing up with juggling balls. While his mother sat visiting with her neighbors, 12-year-old Thompson rushed into the house and exclaimed that he had just juggled fire. With a family of five boys and Thompson being the youngest, his mother wasn’t surprised when he shared his new achievement.

“My mom’s friends were dumbstruck,” Thompson said.

His dad was a professional juggler and he quickly picked up the skill. In high school his senior all-night party was the sixth all-night party he’d attended. He had attended five parties before that, performing juggling acts with his father.

Though he is skilled in juggling, another passion seriously took over early on in his life: Film.

Leaning back in a chair at the rear of BYU library’s media computer lab, a place he frequents often to train students in video editing, Thompson related how a TV commercial sparked his interest at age 9.

Watching TV, he had just seen Utah Jazz basketball player Carl Malone playing on the court. Then during a break, Carl Malone appeared in a commercial.

“I was like, ‘what the crap?’” Thompson said.

He was astounded at how quickly Carl Malone had changed clothes and gone from the basketball court to the TV studio. He didn’t realize that the commercial was a prerecording.

“I was interested in how they did things,” he said.

That statement now drives his continuous efforts to produce high-quality motion-graphics and moving film productions. He currently works for BYU Broadcasting, doing video editing for many of the station’s commercials.

With a successful record of hard work, a passion for film--which includes a dream to get a film in the Sundance Film Festival--and a hidden juggling skill, Thompson is a “jack” of some interesting trades.

“I’m the full package,” he said.

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