Introducing Elan

#TeamRogueHeart welcomes another nonfiction filmmaker

June 10, 2021 by Elan

Before I attended film school, I worked at a vegan bakery called Boots. Even though I was only making coffee and sliding cookies into to go sleeves, I loved going to work everyday because I got to converse with my customers. Over the span of 2 years, as new customers turned into regulars, our trivial employee/customer conversations turned into polite prying. Located in Downtown Spokane, I got to know and converse with all different walks of life. After I took a break from Boots to become a full time film student, I quickly realized how beneficial this experience was. But after graduating from film school in the summer of 2019, I was faced with that question… WHAT NOW?

After a batch of applications received the unfortunate sentence, “Thank you for applying, unfortunately…” and a few stunted interviews later, I was getting nervous. Although I was confident in my filmmaking abilities in school, I was becoming skeptical about whether it would transfer over into the professional world. My diploma might just become wall art. All my fears were put aside, however, when I came across Rogue Heart Media. After hearing about their job listing, I scoured over Rogue Heart’s online content, and was super excited: Finally a company that shared my values and focused on documentary narratives.

I believe Rogue Heart Media’s four core values (Be Adventurous, Celebrate People, Appreciate Complexity, and Leverage For Good) are in line with my personal and professional standards. By being open to new experiences and taking on new creative outlets (music, drawing, screenwriting), I believe I am living and creating with a sense of adventure. My enthusiasm for the position  provided me with enough confidence during my interview. It seemed to have gone well when I was given a few trial edits and shoot dates. A few weeks later I received my official offer letter!

While only a month into the role, Rogue Heart has already given me the opportunity to be on some amazing and diverse shoots. From water conservation at Manito Park, to fire prevention at Mt. Spokane, to life-changing moments at the airport where we captured the reunion of a refugee mother with her teenage kids after 8 long years apart… I’m excited to shine a light on our beautiful, growing community, and get to know all of the clients we serve.

I love listening to people’s stories and getting the opportunity to help tell them. Human beings are complex creatures. That is why I believe documentary filmmakers should remain objective and maintain inside the gray areas. To prejudge, or make an uninformed opinion on a subject, would be a disservice to everyone involved. I must put myself in that person’s shoes before I can accurately and confidently represent them on screen. To me, Media that Makes a Difference means using my camera and filmmaking techniques to shine a light on my community. By doing so, I hope to inspire the people in it and intrigue and entertain the people who are not.

Looking forward, I hope to keep growing as a filmmaker and learn all that I can with Rogue Heart.

Elan Toby

Written By Elan

Elan was born in Hemet, CA and moved to Spokane, WA when he was 5 years old. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film at Eastern Washington University and joins Rogue Heart with a shared appreciation for documentary narratives. When he is not working on films, he is either watching them, making music, finding animals to pet, and trying to keep off his phone.

Click to See What Else is Happening at Rogue Heart