Meet the Team is our monthly chance to introduce you to the fabulous, quirky, talented people that work at Vidyard, using our favorite medium — video! In today’s episode, we caught up with Creative Director Blake Smith on his childhood heroes, favorite travel stories, and more:

What Didn’t Make the Cut

Blake went way beyond swimming with sharks in this interview, so here are a few answers that didn’t make the cut:

What brought you to Vidyard?

That’s a long story! Michael Litt and I would pass each other in the halls of Communitech and a little birdie who still works at Vidyard introduced us. Mike and Devon were managing a media company called Redwoods Media, and they were looking for some talent to help do some of their motion graphics work. They saw my work, they liked it, and they brought me in on contract.

Over time, that turned into full time managing the Redwoods Media side of things while they fleshed out Vidyard. It was interesting starting out at the company when there were 6 of us sitting around a dinner table, which has now evolved into a Megazord of teams. It’s been a crazy experience so far, and it continues to excite me to see where we’re going next!

What is your favorite video on the internet right now?

My favorite video on the internet is nothing new – it’s actually been around for two years. It’s a called Junk Mail, and it’s a short documentary about an elderly woman named Mary. She’s 98 years old, and this piece touches the fact that she’s lonely. She has great-grandchildren and family, but they don’t visit often. So to keep herself busy, she takes all her junk mail, rips it up into little pieces, and cuts it into smaller with scissors, and then throws them out.She does this because she has nothing else to do with her day. She says in the video that if she didn’t do it, she would go nuts.

The rest of the video touches on this community centre that’s there for individuals like her that don’t have anything else to do with their day. This group of people want to make sure that the elderly people in their community that have nowhere to go and nobody to talk to have something to do other than sitting there all day. I really enjoy it because I love videos that tell a story and pull at the heart strings. And from a production standpoint, the visuals, the sound effects, the sound editing, and how it all gels together brings tears to my eyes.

What’s your favourite place to eat in Kitchener, and why?

My favourite place in KW is a place called Kenzo Ramen. A few years back I went to Japan and I was introduced to ramen – not the instant packet kind, the legit stuff. We ate it all the time because it was super cheap, and when we came back I had this fixation for it. I needed to eat more and more. About two years ago this ramen place name into the KW area as there are very few options to go out and buy ramen in our city. This place has a huge variety of different ramens and I was all over it.

I would recommend the Netsu Ramen or the King of Kings. They share the same broth, smooth yet spicy, and they come with pork, soft boiled egg…I don’t know how else to put it. It’s just really good!

Jon Spenceley