Young Adult Spotlight on Sean Comber

Sean Comber has become a vital part of shining the light on teens

Sean Comber is the man behind the lens. The 19-year-old St Pius X (Rodgers Forge) parishioner was everywhere at the Baltimore Youth Catholic Conference, taking photos and producing videos for celebrated films and galleries. Comber produced several promo films for BYCC to get teens excited about the conference in Ocean City.

The Loyola Blakefield graduate did all of this while attending Drexel University, where  he is a sophomore.
Scott Miller, director of Youth and Young Adults Ministry for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, called the aspiring music producer and engineer a “photographer and videographer extraordinaire,” this week in one of his blogs.
Comber answered some questions about his efforts.
Matt Palmer: The BYCC Man video was a bit hit, as were the others from BYCC. What went in to putting that together?
Sean Comber: We began talking and thinking about exactly what we needed and wanted out of the video around the time of late summer.
After that it was a matter of figuring out what to talk about and locations to work at. We ended up talking with the staff of the BYCC location hotel and worked out a day that we could go down and get access to a room to film. Through out the day we shot footage for three videos: the rules video and two promotional videos. Other footage and voiceover audio was shot and recorded at my studio in Towson.

Matt Palmer: How early did you and Nate (BYCC Man) Nockett go down to Ocean City to film? What were the biggest obstacles and what was the most fun?

Sean Comber: I along with Scott Miller, head of DYYAM, and Nate Nockett, BYCC Man took a day trip to Ocean City on 7th of September. We arrived somewhere around 9 a.m. and left around 2 p.m. Probably the most challenging aspect of the day was working around the fact that we were shooting in a foreign environment. We were not able to script out exactly what we wanted in the video. It was more a process of making a list of possible scenes that we wanted to incorporate into the videos and then figuring out how we would accomplish the shot once we were on location. That being said, probably one of the most fun parts of the day was interacting with people.
Although we were not down there at peak season, there were still a lot of people. It’s not easy to walk across ocean highway and the boardwalk dressed as a superhero with a camera following you without going noticed.
Matt Palmer: Is filmmaking something you’re interested in?
Sean Comber: For me filmmaking is a hobby that I also do freelance. I enjoy making films and videos, however I do not see it as a career.

Matt Palmer: How did you start doing pictures and videos for the youth and young adult office?

Sean Comber: I received my first gig with the Archdiocese from Kristin Witte (now assistant director of campus ministry for Loyola University). We had talked at retreats such as Justice Action Week. After talking about many things we eventually landed on the subject of film and video. From there it was just a matter of time.

Matt Palmer: What other projects have you worked on for the archdiocese?

Sean Comber: I have produced Pilgrimage promos for 2010 and 2011, a Pilgrimage look back with photos that I took from the event in 2010,  as well as a promotional piece for Justice Action Week in addition to my BYCC 2010 work.

Matt Palmer: What has been your favorite and why?

Sean Comber: Although BYCC was fun to film, I must say that the Justice Action Week Promo is my favorite. I got to have fun with this. We set up a sound stage at St William of York and spent a few solid days filming interviews in front of a green screen. It gave me a lot of footage in front of a changeable background that I was able to sift through to find exactly what I wanted.

Matt Palmer: Were you involved in youth ministry in high school and how did that affect you?

Sean Comber: I was very involved in youth ministry in high school. I went to all the conferences, retreats and events. Having been previously involved as a participant in the events that I have worked allows me to approach the project at an angle that appeals to the participant as well as some of the major factors of the event or retreat that I know from experience will be a major selling point.

Matt Palmer: Why do you continue to be involved in projects like this for the archdiocese?

Sean Comber: Aside from being able to work with a great group of people, it gives me a chance to revisit all the great events that I loved when I was in high school from a completely different point of view.

Matt Palmer: What would you like to try with these projects that you haven’t done yet?

Sean Comber: I am always thinking of how I can make the videos look more professional and be more appealing and engaging to the audience that it is intended for. I would very much like to incorporate more material that is from the point of view of actual participants.

Matt Palmer: What have you learned about teenagers through these projects?

Sean Comber: I have learned that the young church (middle and high school age) is as strong as ever. Every year we are getting more participants that are even more energetic than the previous year. It is inspiring and comforting.


Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.