Derek Nickell served in the U.S. Navy during Operation Enduring Freedom as a Satellite Communications Engineer. He held a Secret clearance where he oversaw the communications-engineering department for the Third Fleet Admiral’s Flagship. After receiving several awards and an honorable discharge in 2003 he became an Engineer for government contractors, L3 Communications and General Dynamics where he maintained the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Defense Network for the West Coast.
In early 2008, Derek moved to Hollywood to further a career in Film, Television and Live Production by starting his company, Blue Brownie Creative, a multi-faceted production company that produced content for Revlon, Moto Guzzi, Disney and Alienware. Later that year Derek shot his first feature-length documentary, The First, Last Race which was distributed by Engine 15 Media Group and sold to Red Bull Media House.
Along with producing film and television, Derek has worked extensively in the live performance and live broadcast arena. He has produced and engineered shows for clients such as: Audi, The Grammys, Electronic Arts, JP Morgan Chase and worked closely on special interest projects for the CEO of Microsoft, Paul Allen and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins.
Since moving back to Oregon in 2013 with his wife, Jennifer and daughter Eryn, he has worked with local Portland companies Intel and Nike as a content creator and event producer. After spending over nine years as a freelance engineer, producer and director, he has found a home at West Coast Event Productions where he welcomes the opportunity to develop a solid video production department and expand the capabilities of WCEP.
Video Producer – 10/2006 – Present, Los Angeles, CA/Portland, OR
- Niurka Inc. – Produced and directed long and short form video content for web delivery; managed all payroll, tasking, training, and accountability for five creative team members; scheduled, filmed, and edited multiple remote events; engineered live streaming platforms; on the fly editing of live marketing video; graphic design for print and web; technical engineering team lead; custom design and engineering of large editing storage solutions
- Tony Robbins – Produced, filmed, and edited short form sizzle/recap content, on the fly in multiple countries; filmed b-roll, live event, and interviews; edited 20-25 minute video in 5 days or less; complete standalone production unit
- Intel – Scouted venues and produced live events; sourced, hired, scheduled, and trained crew; filmed and edited industrial video content
- Patagonia – Directed, filmed and edited marketing sizzle videos; hired and scheduled local crew including flights and additional transportation; consulted with Patagonia marketing team to ensure market performance; performed on-site editing and delivery
- EA Games (Need for Speed) – Produced and directed over thirty on-the-fly marketing videos; hired, scheduled, and directed a crew of five; filmed interviews and b-roll of brand ambassadors; edited and uploaded live web commercials for live stream promotion; worked with EA Games marketing lead (UK) for release and deliverable scheduling
- The First, Last Race – Cinematographer and Editor for distributed feature documentary; shot and edited dailies on the road for 7 days; set up lighting for OTF interviews; edited P2HD workflow through Final Cut Pro 7, After Effects and Color; created lower third chyrons and motion graphics
- Tamrac Inc. – Produced, directed, and edited commercial, industrial and lifestyle content; wrote outlines and scripts for multiple products; interviewed, hired and scheduled crew and talent; created motion graphics and branded design
- Marza – Produced and edited award-winning docudrama short film; sourced, hired and scheduled crew, on-location facilities, and location assets; auditioned, hired and scheduled SAG Union child talent; editor, VFX artist and colorist, delivered to both theatrical and web platforms
- On Food LLC – Produced eleven 60-90 second industrial videos in two weeks; scheduled crew, talent, equipment, and locations for three days; RED and Final Cut workflow
Systems Engineer – General Dynamics IT – 02/2005 – 02/2008, San Diego, CA
- Responsible for engineering and security of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) network
- Designed and engineered new network topologies to improve data flow and connectivity
- Integrated experimental software and communication peripherals into existing architecture
- Systems Administrator for over 50 unclassified client nodes
- Developed analog wiring and intermediary connections to translate newer technology
- Wrote security protocols for experimental forms of connectivity and data transmission
- Wrote Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for data scanning, ingest and declassification
Field Engineer – L3 Communications – 06/2003 – 02/2005, San Diego, CA
- Installed communications equipment for ships and support craft for the US Navy
- Traveled 70-80% utilizing and managing local crews around the globe
- On-the-spot customengineering and fabrication of equipment
- Installation of network cables and computer equipment
- Multi-strand cable fabrication for permanent rack mount installations
- Ensured all OSHA requirements for wiring and safety were followed during installation
Electronics Technician 2nd Class – US Navy – 09/1997 – 02/2003, Chicago, IL/San Diego, CA
- Managed 15-20 personnel in a work center environment, providing advanced training in maintenance and communications engineering.
- Maintained all satellite and ground based communications systems ensuring 100% operability
- Troubleshot and repaired classified hardware and software on Top Secret UNIX networks.
- Assisted with installation of satellite communications suites adding an additional 3Mb bandwidth to at-sea connections.
- Received Navy Achievement Medal for individual excellence.
- Member of shipboard helicopter flight squadron.
- Disabled Veteran
- Certificate – Avid Advanced Assistant Editor, Moviola
- Photography, BA – San Diego Mesa College
- General Studies – Gold Beach Union High School, Gold Beach, OR
- Veterans in Film and Television (www.vftla.org)
- Oregon Media Production Association (www.ompa.org)