Employee Spotlight: Trevor Cummings

Trevor Cummings

Editor & Graphics Animator

Our Broadcast Department is full of colorful characters, and editor Trevor Cummings fits right in. He talks about picking up many hobbies throughout the pandemic as well as his many projects at DE, including one that earned him a Silver Graphis Award. 

Well, how did I get here?

I’m from San Bernardino CA, just a couple hours outside of LA. I lived pretty far away from friends when I was growing up in the desert of the Inland Empire, so when choosing a college I was drawn to a smaller town and a much cooler climate. I chose the University of Montana in Missoula and enrolled in their Digital Filmmaking BFA program. In the first two summers, I interned at Davis Elen in the broadcast department, mostly working under and learning from the incomparable Hector del Pino (Editor). I stayed in Missoula for another year after graduation, but Jacob, a friend and frequent collaborator from my college days, had moved to LA and easily pulled me back there. 

I spent my first or so year back in LA working on web videos. I wrote and directed comedy shorts for a comedy troupe called NightPantz and produced and directed a comedy cooking series for Delish.com called “Gingers On…” with Jacob. I spent that time knowing that I wanted to come back to Davis Elen as none of the jobs I’d held since interning here had that perfect ratio of creative fulfillment, stability, and a team that always has your back. So I was very fortunate that Bert Kelley (Partner & Executive Producer) brought me on board and I spent the next two-ish years enjoying the surprisingly beautiful view from the tech closet that was the Dub Room.  

And then Covid hit. 

After working from home for a year while living next to Union Station, my partner applied and got into the University of Oregon, working toward a PHD in Comparative Literature. Thanks to the agency’s bold and employee-forward decision that made working from home permanent, I was able to join Kit in Oregon where we are living a more relaxed Pacific Northwest lifestyle, and appreciating the existence of seasons. 

Letting the days go by.

Even before Covid, I was an extremely online person, so I was fairly well set when it did hit to continue a large portion of my socializing time on Discord. These days, I still have board game nights every Tuesday and Saturday, most Thursdays and the occasional Sunday with friends who have since been spread out all over the world (which admittedly has made scheduling these hangs quite difficult). And a large portion of the rest of my time is spent with my small menagerie of pets. At this point, we have a textbook mutt of a dog (he’s like 12 different things and none of them were the things we thought he was going to be) and three cats, two of whom are quite fond of me. 

Covid did, however, allow for a lot of experimentation with new hobbies just to have something to occupy the head and hands and help avoid the mind-numbing banality that was living in quarantine. I started by trying to make sourdough as most of us did in the early days when yeast was nowhere to be found on the shelves. That failed quickly. Then it was building Lego sets which I found very enjoyable, but the level of enjoyment didn’t quite justify the cost of continuing the hobby. I then pivoted to learning to draw with the help of a sketch book Kit got me for my birthday during the first summer of Covid. I’m not particularly good, but I can draw something recognizable with some speed. This has been particularly handy since I play a lot of Jackbox and GarticPhone during our occasional Sunday game nights. Then I got into craft cocktail making. I’ve built up a versatile bar and can make just about any type of cocktail you can think of, my favorite being the Paper Plane. And I got into crocheting just before Christmas so I could hand-make Christmas gifts for my family. 

As for the outdoors, we live very near Skinner’s Butte (named after the Eugene Skinner, who also lent his name to the city itself, as well as Principal Seymour Skinner from The  Simpsons) so we’d make a point to hike it roughly every day. But now that we’ve gotten a bit more comfortable going out, we joined an equally nearby rock-climbing club, where I can be found  after work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (that way I can save the other days to play Tabletop games). And we’ve joined a climbing group consisting of mostly poets from the U of O. 

Same as it ever was.

All the while, Davis Elen has been a sturdy rock for me.. When I was called in for my in-person interview with Bert, I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d be walking back into six long years after my internship there. But my fears dissipated as soon as the 12th floor elevator doors opened. It felt like being back home. There were familiar and friendly faces everywhere, and Hector and I reminisced about being cramped up in the Dub Room for those summers. 

Silver Graphis Award | Trevor Cummings

Once in a lifetime.  

I’ve done a lot of work that I’m proud of at DE, namely the Toyota Popsicle LED shoot, which netted me a Silver Graphis award for my Camry photo, and the Smart & Final ‘Beat the Heat’ campaign designed by Chris Joos and the excellent S&F creative team. I credit the ‘Beat the Heat’ with finally ridding me of my fear of After Effects once and for all. I also enjoy working on Dice with Zachary Moranville and Terrence McClusky as it allows an unusual amount of creative liberty on my part to play and animate in the beautiful workspace environments designed by Chloe Kim. 

I feel very fortunate working in the Broadcast Department. It’s filled with kind and talented folk who are always happy to lend their expertise or a word of advice. I’ve been very lucky to work with the  incredible broadcast producer Chesare Hardy who has helped make me a much more organized person in general just through her own example. I could easily go down the list of the people I work with day to day and describe how great they all are but hopefully through Emma Davis’s employee spotlight series they’ll get a chance to tell you themselves.  

Not many people get the chance to work at a company that respects them with people that they respect, and I’m very glad that I’m one of the lucky few.