Meet MCM Editor Extraordinaire: Tony Zucconi
Tony Zucconi is the Operation Productions Coordinator for Montgomery Community Media (MCM). He’s also one of the staff photographers and editors at MCM and working alongside him is a real pleasure.
I recently asked Tony a few questions about working at MCM and his life growing up in Montgomery County. I think you will be able to tell from his responses that he makes MCM a “cool” and interesting place to work and you will understand why his passion for his craft is so respected.
Question: Tell me about yourself personally. Did you grow up in Montgomery County?
Answer: “Born and raised in Silver Spring, my family moved from Hillandale to Cloverly just over 20 years ago. I swam on the swim team in the summer and played on a travel NCSL (National Capital Soccer League) soccer team through high school. We traveled as far as Albuquerque, New Mexico as the Olney Hawks. We defeated the Oklahoma state champs in a semi-final game before we lost our next game which sent us home. We came home to find our names in one of the local papers. That was one of the highlights of my soccer career. I was always involved in sports, and with three equally active siblings we kept my parents busy. I played soccer at Gonzaga College High School. I went to Salisbury State University, now known as Salisbury University, where I majored in Mass Media Communications. I met a gentleman named Mike Camillo who spent more time in the TV Production Studios than some of the people that worked there. I had assumed he worked there, and always went to him with questions about how to add a transition between video cuts. A couple years later, on my first day at MCM, I ran into Mike. He was one of the class instructors…small world.”
Question: How did you get started in TV? What sparked your interest?
Answer: “I started freelancing when I got back from school downtown at the Fox News Cable network. I met Mandi Wyndham who told me about MCM. I was looking for more work so I called them up and started working part-time as a production technician soon afterwards. Been here ever since. When thinking about what major I wanted to choose in college I thought to myself: ‘I could use watching TV and movies as an excuse to improve on my craft.’ So I picked Mass Media and stuck with it and love it. Now I shoot and edit video that goes out on the airwaves. Pretty cool if you ask me.”
Question: How long have you worked here? Do you freelance or work at other TV stations too?
Answer: “I’ve worked here for six years. Started out as a part-time tech, and within a year, I secured a full time gig. I freelance at Fox News and MSNBC occasionally. I also get calls from people I’ve met at those stations to do other gigs which is great for extra money.”
Question: What do you do at MCM? Describe your typical day.
Answer: “I edit, write, make graphics, edit, shoot some video, and edit some more. I helped make the station’s graphics after they were conceptualized, provide a lot of graphics content for the website, cut packages, promos, PSAs, write scripts, produce some pieces…it’s always something different which helps my days from getting stale.”
Question: What do you like better: shooting or editing?
Answer: “Somedays I like shooting more than editing, but either way I’ m making magic happen. Capturing the best footage possible at the best angle and best composition can be very rewarding when it comes out just right. I aim for looking back at something I did and making myself think: ‘Damn, if I had the chance to do that over, I couldn’t have done it any better.’ I won’t say that happens often by any means, everyone is their own best critic, but it’s what I strive for.”
Question: Tell me about some of your favorite projects and/or awards.
Answer: “This year [Editor] Diego Torres … and I won an award for Best PSA (Public Service Announcement) from the Alliance for Community Media. It was for the Agricultural Fair last year. We had fun doing the piece together and I think it shows. We just received the plaque if you want to check it out on in our Production Department area.”
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: “Right now I’m working on answering interview questions, but when I’m done … I’ll get back to prepping the graphics for the Monty’s awards show. Don’t come back here looking for a list of winners though, they’re locked up for safe keeping.”
Question: Do you spend a lot of time with media personally? Do you take photos and make videos at home too?
Answer: “I sometimes edit for fun. During Snowmageddon I edited a video piece together to prove to my coworkers that I couldn’t drive out of my neighborhood. For my older sister’s birthday, I converted her 8mm footage from her baptism so I could put it on YouTube. Best $20 birthday present ever. Highly recommend it if anyone has a similar opportunity.”
Question: Finally, I know you are a big music fan. Anything you want to share about that as well?
Answer: “Three years ago while working with our green show, Think Green, I interviewed a record shop owner from Joe’s Record Paradise. It was the second time I had interviewed him. The first time, I learned he had a massive amount of records stored away somewhere that he was trying to get rid of. I thought, wow, a hidden pile of records that I would love to sort through. He assured me they were total trash and he was just waiting to recycle them by giving them to a vinyl blinds manufacturer. The connection at the vinyl blinds maker fell through and I felt bad for the guy. He said if he couldn’t find someplace to recycle the records he was going to throw them away. I had recently found a company in Philadelphia that made bracelets, clocks, and bowls out of records and thought I’d see if the guy could use some extra vinyl LPs. Couple phone calls later, Joe’s Record Paradise has the owner of Vinylux in Philly showing up once every couple of months to pick up old records. I recently went to Joe’s to sell some unwanted records a friend had given me out of his basement only to find that Joe’s is still sending records to Vinylux, all thanks to me. Needless to say I was pretty excited. So if you have old records at home, take them to Joe’s Record Paradise, they won’t go to waste.”
Thank you Tony!