We had the good fortune of connecting with Alex Hogue and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alex, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
The simplest answer to this would be to say, ‘I’m from California’. In other words I’ve moved around a lot, specifically back and forth between San Diego County, The Bay Area, and Orange County.
I was born in Riverside, CA where I grew up off a dirt road ranch with about 15 acres of land, and a ton of dogs and cats. My dad passed away from Cancer when I was ten. Looking back, this shaped my life tremendously and because of this traumatic experience at a young age I had to ‘grow up’ a little quicker than some of the other people around me. I moved to be closer to family, had to start working as soon as I was old enough, but it also gave me a jump start on a lot of life lessons and how to overcome challenges. I try to find the good in ‘bad’ situations. That might sound easy to read, but in reality – it can be very hard and take years to see the ‘good’, but it’s there.
Fast forward a decade or so and I graduated with honors from San Diego State University, with a Bachelors in Television, Film and New Media Production. From there I ventured out into the workforce full time pursuing all things video and more so, media in general.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well.. I’ve never been one to call my work, ‘Art’ haha – don’t ask me why – but I suppose it is considered to be in the creative realm. I’m currently working as a self-employed outdoor adventure filmmaker and photographer. Though I do pretty much all kinds of video (marketing, social media, TV, etc) – I’m most passionate about crafting powerful, thought provoking, authentic content. There’s a lot of power in media these days, and I’d like to put it towards good causes and efforts that inspire good. That’s the dream. The reality is I have bills to pay like everyone else, so not every job I take is glamorous and fun. But I will say I am incredibly grateful for some of the life-changing opportunities I have gotten to be a part of.
I’ve spent a large portion of my creative video career working for GoPro, which was my dream job when I joined the incredible group of people (now all friends) back in 2014. I love the outdoors, action sports, and the company culture – it was a great fit for me. To get there? Well, back in highschool I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to go to college for, not a clue. I always liked making videos – and I had started out making BMX videos at my local skatepark for fun – self taught. I took my first ‘video’ class in highschool, taping the announcements and some other silly projects. I decided, what the heck, i’ll go to college and explore video. Well, it wasn’t that simple. I wanted to go to San Diego State University – they had a great program (though impacted), and I liked San Diego, plus it had a bit of familiarity to me. I didn’t get accepted, and money was a real concern. I didn’t really have the drive that I thought everyone else had to go to college. It seemed like everyone around me knew what school and program they wanted, but I felt a bit unsure. I was even considering joining the Marines with one of my good friends, mostly because I didn’t think I could afford college, and I come from a long family line of Marines. That time came and went, so I began taking classes at community college, College of San Mateo. I took some video classes there, and got my AA Degree before applying to SDSU again. I was denied, again. I appealed the application and, after a bit of back and forth I was finally accepted. But then I was denied financial aid, which I needed in order to attend. A wonderful lady in the financial aid department, I’ll never forget – her name was Rose – she listened to me and believed in me. She got me the financial aid I needed to go to SDSU. I also managed to earn a couple smaller scholarships to help pay for costs. About 3 months before graduating, I lined up what I thought was an excellent opportunity doing compositing and special effects type work for major motion pictures. I won’t name the company, but they had an office up in Carmel Valley. I did a 6-hour working interview, and was offered the position to start full-time once I graduated. That was my first lesson to not rely on verbal agreements – get it in writing. It all fell through right as I was graduating. I had no source of real money lined up, already told my landlord I was moving out – and had no idea what I was going to do.
Then I got a phone call for a winter internship at TGR I applied to months prior. I quit my long-standing part-time job at REI and packed my bags for Jackson WY – for an unpaid video internship. Lots more on that, but I’ll speed things along.
After that winter I basically ran out of money and moved back to San Diego. I worked for Bob Hoffman Video in Kearny Mesa, then Aperture Films in Irvine before applying for the 3rd time to GoPro. This time it worked out and then that’s where I had been doing most of my work until COVID hit and GoPro had major layoffs in April of 2020. I had toyed with the idea of working for myself for about a year or two, but was too scared to leave my comfy job. It was the kick in the ass I needed to take a new life plunge. I knew I wanted to move out to Bend OR, and so I told myself I’d take a year and try it out – see how it went. Well it’s been about a year out here in Bend – and I’m still alive HAHA. I’m doing alright, and I’m growing in the process.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well seeing as how I’ve been in Bend for only about a year – I’m still that guy figuring out all the awesome spots – especially with COVID. But restaurant must’s would be: Spork – amazing fusion place where literally everything smells and tastes like heaven, and Wild Rose – a traditional northern thai place with wildly good flavors. Bend is really great for people who love the outdoors. If I were with a visiting friend, we’d be checking out some of the incredible waterfalls in the state, back-country snowboarding, and try to squeeze in a mountain bike ride and maybe a backpacking trip.
Back in San Diego – it would be surfing around Tamarack with some Spike Ball on the beach, maybe go get some Cardiff Crack Tri-tip Sandwiches. Burritos / tacos at Trujillo’s (near SDSU) or maybe Cancun in Encinitas (honestly so much good Mexican food, it’s hard to go wrong). Probably cruise to Mission Beach area and get out on a sailboat or some jet skis…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, there’s so many people, organizations, groups, books etc that have helped me get to where I am, it’s incredibly difficult to name just a few. First and foremost – my immediate family. My mom is one of the strongest people I know in overcoming struggle, and she’s always supported me. I honestly don’t know how she does it, but it’s served as an inspiration to me countless times. My sister paved the way. She was a year ahead of me in school and whenever I had questions – how to file for financial aid for college, or how to even apply to college – she was my go to. We didn’t always get along so well when we were younger haha, but as we’ve grown older she’s always been a sturdy support rock for me. My brother too, he’s about a decade or so older than me – but he’s my go-to for so many life questions and experiences, he has truly taught me so much. My family has always been there for me when I needed it most, and in my darkest times, they did whatever it took to get me back on track. I’m forever grateful to have people like that in my life.