Tired of editing all my dumb videos in camera, in the mid 90s I began begging my dad for video editing software. Then one day he came home with one of the early versions of Adobe Premiere. My computer could barely run it but that didn't stop me. Soon after I began making videos involving skateboarding, basketball, juggling, my dogs, and very bad short films with my friends. In high school I took my first video class and later my first design class. I kept making skateboarding videos and started designing graphics and websites for my punk rock bands. Little did I know at the time how influential those experiences would be.(Watch the pinnacle of my high school filmmaking career)
After a year of studying engineering at college, I decided to switch majors in order to study what I was really interested in: art. I got my bachelor's degree in Graphic Design and started freelancing as Peter Johnson Design in 2006 and worked at a small ad agency as the head designer in 2008. During this time I honed my graphic design skills and learned a lot about running a small business.
Though I was enjoying my creative career, I felt a calling to do more. In the same way that I had discovered my creative media passion in high school, I wanted to help other teenagers discover the world of design and filmmaking. So, In 2010 I moved to Portland and enrolled in a teaching program. In 2011, I shed Peter Johnson Design and launched Detective Media because I wanted to create a more collaborative creative agency in order to develop an even more serious side-hustle. That allowed me to stay active in the creative field while I simultaneously began my career in public service. Soon after getting my Masters in Teaching, I landed a job teaching digital media (photography, film, and graphic design) at Steilacoom High School.
In order to grow, Detective Media started collaborating with other creatives and, as a result, began doing all kinds of creative work for all types of clients. We successfully helped launch multi-million dollar businesses, doing comprehensive branding, websites, billboards, promotional materials, and advertising. We designed graphics and posters and websites and logos for institutions big and small, for profit and not. Meanwhile at school I was teaching filmmaking, and through that process my own filmmaking and editing skills began to drastically improve. So we started making films for clients, for the school, for weddings and churches and anyone who had a story to tell.
We're still here and we are still growing. We thrive on challenges. We solve problems and tell stories that connect with people. We are excited to be here and can't wait to see where our Journey takes us. I'm still teaching, but now at Mount Tahoma HS in Tacoma, WA. At Detective Media we're continuing to create really fun and interesting design work and making more and more films.