For Tanner Rex, a State College native and Penn State senior, crafting a video from outline to production is more than a creative hobby. Although he didn’t have a far move from home, Rex has attention deficit disorder, commonly known as ADD, which made his transition from high school to college more difficult than most. ADD causes him to forget homework assignments, miss clicker points and forget about doctor’s appointments.
“It is a day to day thing you have to deal with; it doesn’t just go away because you have been working on it,” says Rex. “You just keep your head up and keep trying your best.”
Seeing that his GPA was not where he wanted it to be, Rex decided to branch out into multiple internships to gain beneficial experience in the working world.
Although Rex is a telecommunications major, he’s had a few internships in marketing and sales. His current position with The Station in downtown State College allows him to create promotional videos along with his actual duties. Another internship he had involved creating videos for Penn State’s College of Engineering.
In most of his work opportunities, Rex always finds a way to utilize his talent for videos. Creating these videos, whether for work or for pleasure, has become Rex’s escape away from his ADD and all the obstacles that have come with it.
From making videos about his personal experiences during spring break to shooting promotional videos, Rex’s videos are all a product of his mind.
“I associate the ADD with my creativity,” Rex says. “I do not have an organized brain because that is the way it is.”
Rex can be inspired by something like a song and have a whole storyline play out in his head. In all of his videos, Rex makes this storyline come to life after having dreamt up every single detail within the video’s visuals.
In a video Rex made for his job with The Station he used stop motion — stopping and starting the recording in order to move the objects so that when the video is finalized it looks as if these objects are the moving on their own. In total, the production of this video took about 100 hours of Rex’s immense focus and concentration.
“Paying attention and staying focused is something that people with ADD struggle with,” says Rex. “I have such a big passion for [making videos] that I can kind of use this [disorder] to my advantage.”
This advantage is what Rex hopes will make his videos famous someday, noting that he believes he has not nearly tapped into his potential in what he creatively can produce.
With aspirations in the entertainment industry, Rex hopes to one day be shooting music videos for some of the world’s greatest artists. One artist he particularly hopes to work with is Dua Lipa, expressing his love of the creative visuals and storyline in her “New Rules” video. There are no plans of dropping everything and moving out to Los Angeles as of right now, but he definitely has the city of angels on his mind.
Rex also aspires to work around people similar to him. He hopes to work with creative minds who think “outside-of-the-box” and have similar goals, whether these people have ADD or not.
For now, videos are still an activity separate from his education, but he is working on turning this hobby into his career. His new year’s resolution was to reach out to a new person every day, contacting DJ’s, artists or companies that may be willing to work with him. Rex says he’s usually connecting with more than one person a day through Instagram.
Although the next step in his career is unknown, Rex knows that creating videos is his future. Daily battles that he faces with ADD won’t stop him, he says. After graduating from Penn State, Rex hopes to head out into this world and bring with him a mind full of creativity and boundless potential.