Employee Spotlight – John McOwen

“The team tackles each challenge and job with a creativity that is amazing to see”
Our Employee Spotlight this month features John McOwen: Post Production Supervisor. John has been with Mills James for 28 years and speaks about his experience prior to Mills James and what it’s like leading the Post team. Read John’s interview below to learn more. 

How long have you been at Mills James?

I just recently hit my 28 year milestone here at Mills James.

28 years is a huge accomplishment! What roles have you held while being here?

I started as a videographer freelancer, although I tend to think “failed artist” would be more apropos. When I became full-time, I was in the TapeRoom (now known as the MediaCenter), moved to be Post Operations Manager, and now am the Post-Production Supervisor.

Where were you before Mills James?

I worked for a non-profit organization called Orbis International. The mission is providing eye care to mid-to-low income countries. I worked on the flagship airplane, a retrofitted DC-10 aircraft that contained an Operating room, Recovery Room and several Exam stations. It also had cameras in the operating room that I would control during surgeries and broadcast to the classroom at the front of the plane, as well as a peripheral classroom in the airport. The classrooms were populated with local doctors who could hear and see the visiting specialist as they performed the surgery. During the surgery the specialist would teach the latest techniques in eye surgery. All of the surgeries were recorded, edited by me, and given to the host country to continue the teaching mission.

What led you into a career in this industry/creative field?

I grew up loving movies. After graduating college with an English degree, I had to find something that you could actually get a job in, and found my way to the video industry.

What is a project that you’ve worked on that sticks out to you compared to the others?

There are so many great projects that have happened and are currently taking place at MJ, but one that stands out would be the first McGraw-Hill project that incorporated graphic stories with teaching lessons. It was one of the first we had done of this type and it was exciting to help usher that through Mills James from beginning to end.

What is your favorite part of leading the Post team?

The curiosity that is on display every day. The team is filled with diverse talent and specialties, but one thing that they all have in common is their curiosity. The team tackles each challenge and job with a creativity that is amazing to see.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to run and cook! And, of course, I still enjoy watching movies.