The Creativity Of A Teacher Tom Buck | Creator Podcast Ep. 007


Gear Focus

Sep 19, 2023

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In the world of content creation, one name that has been making waves is Tom Buck. With an extensive background in teaching and a passion for creativity, Tom has successfully combined his love for education and content production on YouTube. In today's podcast, we had the privilege of sitting down with Tom to learn more about his journey and the role curiosity played in shaping his career.

From Teacher to YouTuber

Tom's story is one of following one's passions and curiosity. He began his journey as a high school digital media teacher, spending about a decade in the classroom. However, it was during this time that Tom discovered a new avenue for his creativity – YouTube.

As a lifelong audio and video enthusiast, Tom's fascination with cameras, microphones, and all things audio-visual was evident from a young age. He reminisced about the days when he got his hands on an 8mm Sony Handycam at the tender age of four. It wasn't just about capturing moments; it was the magical experience of reliving those moments and the joy of creating his own narratives that truly captured his heart.

Curiosity in an Unlikely Setting

One might assume that Tom's upbringing was steeped in creativity, given his passion. However, this wasn't the case. His parents held practical careers – his mom was an accountant, and his dad was a mailman. But what set Tom's family apart was their shared curiosity about the world. Even in their 90s, his grandparents maintained their enthusiasm for learning and exploring new things. It was this environment of curiosity that fostered Tom's own inquisitiveness.

The Evolution of Curiosity

As Tom grew older, his curiosity continued to evolve. He began experimenting with stop-motion animation and film with a childhood friend. They made movies, often with comical FBI agents and dramatic chase scenes – a classic element of childhood creativity.

What truly ignited Tom's curiosity was the realization that the movies they made didn't quite match up to the Hollywood blockbusters they admired. This disparity drove him to question the intricacies of filmmaking – the lighting, framing, and audio quality. How could they make their projects look and sound as good as the movies they loved?

Lessons from DVDs and Director's Commentaries

The turning point came when Tom discovered DVDs with bonus features and director's commentaries. He vividly recalled watching movies like "Fight Club" and being blown away by the cinematography and unique style. It was through these special features that he gained insights into the art of filmmaking. Tom's growing interest in understanding why things looked the way they did on screen led him to explore lighting, shot framing, and the importance of audio.

The Quest for Knowledge

Tom's quest for knowledge extended beyond film. He shared an amusing story of watching The Home Shopping Network's camcorder demonstrations as a teenager. Even then, he was curious about why a $600 JVC camcorder seemed to outperform a $500,000 studio camera in low-light conditions. This inquisitiveness about how things worked and why they worked in specific ways drove him to explore new horizons.

Embracing Curiosity as an Adult

Tom acknowledges that as we transition into adulthood, the practical aspects of life can often stifle our curiosity. We focus on work, family, and daily responsibilities, leaving little room for exploration. Additionally, the fear of being a beginner and the desire to excel in our chosen fields can deter us from trying new things.

However, Tom's message is clear – embracing curiosity, even as an adult, can be incredibly rewarding. It keeps our minds active, helps prevent cognitive decline, and allows us to adapt to an ever-changing world. Just like children, adults can derive immense satisfaction from learning new skills and exploring uncharted territory.


Tom Buck's journey from a high school teacher to a successful YouTuber is a testament to the power of curiosity. His story reminds us that curiosity is not limited to any age and can lead us to unexpected and fulfilling paths in life. Whether you're a lifelong learner or someone looking to reignite their sense of wonder, Tom's story is an inspiration to us all. Embrace your curiosity, and who knows where it might take you!

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