Three Minute Squiz With… Wes Hetherington

Wes Hetherington is a one of those people you meet and don’t forget. Through his passion for filmmaking, Wes is on a mission to help businesses make quality videos using only a smartphone. He is currently on tour in regional Victoria and took the time between listening to The Squiz Today podcast and his morning surf to tackle the Three Minute Squiz.

How and where do you Squiz?
I have been Squizing ever since its launch. I now listen to the podcast on my morning drive/surf check. It’s a perfect way to stay in touch with the world when I live on the road and don’t really get to watch TV or read newspapers.

Your business, TapEditGo teaches people how to make quality videos using only a smartphone. What got you started?
I have had a video camera in my hand since I was 16yo before the explosion of digital cameras and YouTube. It was always a love of mine and came easily to me. I was lucky enough to work in almost every aspect of the film industry from large feature films to running my own production house. The part of the job I enjoyed most was working with businesses to tell their story to their audience. So when smartphones came along and gave people the ability to make amazing videos using what we all already have – a phone – TapEditGo was born. 

Who said rockstars are the only one who can tour? You’re currently on the road taking your workshops to people across regional Victoria and NSW. How’s it going? And why regional?
I have actually been a tour manager for bands before and this is my first tour without musicians. My liver is liking it better…

I wanted to take TapEditGo on the road because I know many people learn much better in a classroom environment than through online video tutorials. When people have a place to stop, sit down, collaborate and learn with others, the information sinks in. If I made an online-only course they might get the information, but they wouldn’t have the support or environment to really push themselves to get out of their comfort zone.

Why regional? I grew up on the South Coast of NSW (shout out to Pambula Beach) and I know regional businesses struggle to get great information nights or have speakers come to their towns. I wanted to first give back to the people that need it and want it the most. They appreciate it and have become great advocates for the business. 

So you are currently living out a van that you gutted and set up as a home-away-from-home. The best and worst things about van-life?
The best thing is the freedom. I love going on adventures. When you are not tied down to booked accommodation and all your food and clothes travel with you, you can just go anywhere and not worry about it.

The downside is you do get a bit lonely. As a full extrovert I need to be around people and friends. I have a lot of friends I stop and see in towns but on the long drives, you sometimes need a friend. This is why having Zoe with me now is great.

Speaking of your travelling companion Zoe Joseph – she’s working with rural women in her own workshops called S.H.E Change. You seem an unlikely pair, how does it work together?
By unlikely pair you mean unique, right?…. Our businesses are not aligned when it comes to the content, but our audience is similar. The majority of my audience are busy working women who handle a lot of their own social media and have a lot of different hats on. We are both also in the startup phase of our businesses. Zoe runs a night workshop and mine run in the day so we can split the cost of venue hire and tech.

Wes, tell us about the work you’re most proud of?
Tough one, but I think the work I loved the most was documenting my grandmother’s story five years ago now. She now has dementia and can’t tell the stories she used to. I rewatched the video recently and it made me cry seeing her smile and listening to the stories again. I highly recommend capturing your family members’ stories now – even just with your smartphone – you won’t regret it.

Name four people, living or dead, you’d love to sit down to dinner with?
Ohhh this is a hard one. I am a huge music fan so I would have to say Dave Grohl, Bruce Springsteen, Ray Charles, and Buddy Guy. Not because they are my necessarily my favourite musicians (Dave aside) but because they are the happiest musicians. I reckon putting them in a room together would give you some epic stories that would all have a belly-laugh ending. I would even be happy just to be a fly on the wall at that dinner.

What skill or talent do you not have but wish you did?
I do wish I could play the piano and sing. But my attitude is if I want a skill, I should try to learn it. Last big international trip I did was four months in South America and by the end, I decided I wanted to learn how to whistle loudly without using my fingers. After trying for a few months and driving everyone crazy that I was travelling with, I can now say that when I go to a gig I can hold two beers and still cheer the band on when they smash out a song without spilling a drop.

Most overrated virtue?
I’m going to change this to underrated virtue. Empathy. The one thing I was taught for documentary interviewing was to always see the interviewee as 100% right. When you see it from their point of view with none of your opinions, not only do they open up more and feel comfortable telling you everything, but you have the ability to make a stronger connection. Everyone is right in their own mind, you just have to see their point of view.

What qualities do you most value in a friend?
Similar sense of humour. Friendship is always a two-way street and if they can make you laugh as much as you make them laugh, then you will be friends forever.

What would you say is the most currently overlooked news story we should know about?
Couldn’t tell you. I trust The Squiz to give me everything I need to know!

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