dave knode
video | graphics specialist
Background & Experience

It's a rare position that I haven't held in the AV rental, & production industry.
I've been asked how I could have such a broad yet deep background in all three disciplines of Video, Audio, & Lighting.
The short answer is that I started very young and have been extremely blessed with fortunate timing that has allowed extensive opportunities to learn on the job. I have God to thank for that. I also have to thank my industry mentors who have trusted me with their high profile shows and clients. My parents, who instilled strong self confidence, high ethical standards, and an entrepreneurial spirit. And daily, I am blessed with my wonderful wife and tremendous mother to our three children. She keeps my life somewhat balanced in this industry known for it's strain on relationships.

The long story is hard to follow. I post it because I know that you may be considering me for a key position on one of your events. Since there are lots of faces and names out there to hire, I feel like reading this comprehensive summary of my technical background will provide a comfort level as you entrust me with your valuable clients & events. For more information on my confidentiality policy & ethics please visit my general terms page.

And the story begins...
(Sorry about the third person tense, it just seemed like a better way to write it)

The Mid 80's

Dave began high school in the DC suburbs where his interest in technical theater began.
Being the first freshman to achieve a letter in technical theater as well as membership in the school's theatrical honor society, Dave designed or supported multiple musical theater, drama, and the department of defense touring group performances, with lighting, scenic & audio.

Following his freshman year, Dave's family relocated to the Charlotte, North Carolina area. There, Dave became an instantly valued technical resource to the high school administration who relied on him to single handedly support all of the technical needs of the recently completed, 700 seat, state of the art performance venue. As a junior, Dave was trusted with keys to the various parts of the facility. Dave began purchasing supplemental sound equipment to support the growing audio requirements of groups coming to the space. Carolina Sound Services became the name of this enterprise. By the completion of high school, Dave owned multiple sound systems and was supporting community events with sound systems as well.

Over the summers, Dave began working for the nearby regional theme park. Dave's first position included mixing a five piece band with six singer/dancers, triggering sixty two lighting cues from memory, triggering twenty eight slide cues, multiple curtain cues and two sound effects cues on cassette. There were no stop or back buttons on the lighting or slide controllers. Dave did over seven hundred performances of that show. Dave turned sixteen, midway through the season.

Since the theme park shows only operated during the day, Dave moonlighted three nights a week for another nearby attraction. He held multiple roles, of A1 and A2 for the park's two hour long evening presentation, as well as lighting tech.

During high school, Dave developed a valuable relationship with a local sound contractor who taught him best practices for installed sound design and shared his vast knowledge of audio electronics engineering. This relationship also provided Dave with ample opportunity to learn these concepts in a practical way as he participated in many installation projects and repaired countless cables. Dave even learned how to add phantom power to a mixer that didn't have it. This relationship also enabled Dave to grow his equipment inventory. He was able try the latest products in real world jobs as he became the primary A1 for countless fashion shows, pageants, and industrial shows that were the staple of this contractor's rental department.


Late 80's

Dave completed high school having mixed or operated lights on over 2,000 performances or events. Dave relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma to begin college. Within weeks, Dave became the Music Ministries Equipment Manager for Oral Roberts University. As a first semester freshman, Dave took over for two graduating seniors. His duties consisted of maintaining twelve touring sound systems and four complete sets of back-line. Dave supported three weekly services on campus, as well as various one-off events, and the international touring groups. While performing these duties, Dave carried a full load of theater classes and directed the lighting for the department's annual musical.
Personally transporting cross campus and setting up complete back-line packages three times a week took it's toll on Dave's health and the combination of burn-out, and an illness prompted a return to Charlotte after his first semester.


Early 90's

Back in Charlotte, Dave continued his education two days a week, graduating in four years with a BA in Technical Theater & Design from Winthrop University.
The condensed schedule allowed Dave to maintain his growing sound company, and develop a solid reputation as a "go to" freelance audio engineer and lighting designer.
Dave designed the lighting for all seven theater department productions his senior year. A feat that no student has ever duplicated.

Dave's last production introduced him to a freshman theater major who would soon become his bride. Dave's wife graduated and became an accomplished theater director and educator in her own right. Dave's wife now operates her own event documentation firm. They built their first of several homes while completing Dave's final semester. This home contained specific enhancements to facilitate his business, It was the only home in the neighborhood that had a loading dock into an attached warehouse, and 220 volt power in every bedroom in case he needed "to fire something up". Dave learned residential electrical by wiring the entire home with the guidance of his grandfather who was a retired electrician.

Opportunities for broadcast work also developed, Dave served as the audio floor director and studio A1 during a multi-week, worldwide broadcast for INSP.

Dave continued seasonal work for the local theme park. Having worked at each of the four park venues, Dave eventually became the first "swing" technician in the park, capable of replacing any of the eighteen show technicians when someone called in sick. This role allowed him to also support the park's concert shed where Dave worked as local crew for national acts like, Chicago, Tears for Fears, and the B-52's. Despite six seasons of theme park work, Dave still enjoys days at theme parks with his wife, with or without the kids.

As moving lights began to hit the scene, Dave became an early adopter, purchasing Martin, then High End Systems wiggle lights. At one point, Dave's company had the largest inventory of moving lights in Charlotte.

Upon graduation, Dave accepted a full-time position with one of his mentors. Dave continued to support that company's shows. But he added the hats of sales, and installation lead technician. Dave introduced lighting to that business and developed that segment within that company.

When Dave's mentor decided to retire and close the doors, he passed the rental and show clients on to Dave who continued to service those clients for many years.

With his first child on the way, Dave interviewed, but eventually declined Disney's offer to manage the AV at the Swan convention center. Instead, Dave took a position with the largest music and audio retailer in the region.
Within weeks, he was promoted to manager of the rental division. Dave managed the day to day rental operations and the multiple high profile events and festivals that the company supported. Dave also traveled with the roadshow account that the company held with a major cosmetics manufacturer.

Dave's small sound and lighting company continued to grow and eventually Dave had to leave his day job in order to manage his own business and freelance accounts.


Late 90's

As more events began integrating video screens and cameras, Dave built relationships with various video production companies and considered adding video to his arsenal of sound and lighting equipment. One company brought Dave in to outfit their new studio with a lighting grid and dimming system. The owner of that studio began utilizing Dave to provide the sound and lighting support for a variety of high profile events that they supported with video.
When the owner considered an upgrade to a Mac based non-linear editing infrastructure, he turned to Dave.

Dave had been, and continues to be a loyal Mac user. Dave's reputation for Mac knowledge and troubleshooting skills had recently fostered a relationship with a large locally based
textile manufacturer to provide support for all of their Macs. Dave had to learn the basics of video post production in order to consult on what would become a multi-year build out of five edit suites in two locations for this client. Video came very natural to Dave. He studied video lighting and shooting. Then he began producing videos and eventually CD-ROM, DVD, and web based multimedia projects.

Editing and motion graphics continue to top Dave's list of favorite work to do. Dave became a well known non-linear editing trainer and consultant in the area. He edited a weekly broadcast for a regional affiliate. He also consulted with several church's broadcast ministries and supported many independent production companies. Engineering the edit suites grew into engineering multi-camera video shoots. That parlayed into building out multi-camera flight packs. Dave would subsequently serve as EIC, TD, and director supporting higher and higher profile events with more and more cameras and playback decks and the latest craze, Powerpoint.


Early 2000's

Dave's sound and lighting business had maintained all of it's existing clients, however, video production had clearly become Dave's passion. As high resolution computer sources and projection began to impact live events more and more, Dave's experience with computer graphics, coupled with event video production, opened the door for Dave to become the Charlotte region's expert authority in high res projection, switching, and integrating cameras and record/playback equipment. Dave engineered and switched all of the major meetings and events in the area. As Charlotte became the home of the largest banks in the nation, opportunities to travel around the country supporting bank executives meetings began to draw more attention away from Dave's sound and lighting business.


Mid 2000's

Dave negotiated the sale of his twenty year old sound and lighting business to a national AV provider. He began traveling extensively, raising the technology bar at every opportunity. Dave was trained on and operated the latest switching technology. Dave became one of the very first users of Macs in a live video playback environment. He introduced and demonstrated reliable HD playback from Macs to national AV companies. Dave designed and executed immersive multimedia experiences that had never been seen at the time.

As the financial industry began it's decline, Dave decided to relocate to Orlando, Florida. A top audiovisual vendor offered Dave a full-time position as an account executive. Dave accepted the position and spent nearly a year and a half developing key client relationships and managing several large projects. This position helped refine Dave's customer service skill set and broadened his project management experience.


Early 2010 to the Present

As the economy began to show signs of recovery, Dave took a leap of faith and has returned to the work that he is most passionate about. Hands on technology, production design, show execution, and client satisfaction. It's what drives him. And this passion is reflected in the resources that he brings and service that he provides. That has paid off for several years now as he is consistently privileged to work with wonderful teams of great clients and associates.



©2008 Dave Knode
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Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit more about me and I hope that my story has provided some insight into what experience I will bring to your projects.

Thanks again!
Dave Knode