“It was so much fun,” Eaton says. “Getting to understand the client’s vision and working with him to bring out my ideas — it was my first real taste of the business.”
As a film major, Eaton was able to cycle through all the different roles and responsibilities of a typical film production crew. He directed, produced, participated in lighting and set design, learned about camera operation, sound production, editing, color correction and After Effects.
Through it all, he noticed one common theme. Computers.
“Everything on set and in post-production is run through computers. It’s all computers, which got me thinking,” he says. “If something goes wrong with our cameras or our editing software, it would probably be pretty valuable to know how to fix it, right?”
To add to that, Eaton was bound and determined to focus his filmmaking energy on CGI, or Computer Generated Images.
“While I was working in After Effects, I noticed I couldn’t get any of the precise effects I wanted without actually coding into the program,” Eaton says. “So that’s when I was really convinced I needed to get a computer science degree.”
Eaton, who commenced from Hawk Hill with his undergraduate degree in 2021, quickly enrolled in SJU’s stackable computer science masters program to continue his education while maintaining his position on the track and field team.
Life has been hectic for Eaton, though. As he dives further into his film career and takes on a new degree program, he has come to realize that an around-the-clock production schedule ends exactly when his training and meet schedules pick up.
“One really memorable experience was wrapping a shoot at 3:30 in the morning when I knew I had to be up at the gym for lifting at six,” he recalls. “And there was nothing I could do about it. It was the only time our actor was available.”
But Eaton wouldn’t change it for the world.
“When you find something you really like, you should be able to throw yourself into it entirely,” he says. “I found two of those things — film and track. I’m so lucky to be juggling them.”