James Rudman ’21 explores the crossroads of tech and creativity

student standing in front of a lake

James Rudman ‘21 grew up in the town with the highest concentration of log cabins in the world. Medford Lakes, N.J. was the backdrop to the budding filmmaker’s first videos, which were recorded on a Go-Pro and edited on his high school’s computers. Jumping into lakes, roaming the woods, biking around, Rudman filmed his friends and edited clips together to put on Vine, the now non-existent video sharing platform.

“I thought it was really unique to be able to capture memories and then go back and look at them whenever I wanted to,” Rudman said.

Now a senior studying information management and technology at Syracuse University’s iSchool, Rudman joined the Blackstone LaunchPad this academic year as an Orange Ambassador. In that role he will work to support outreach and engagement with entrepreneurial students across campus.  Eleven Orange Ambassador positions were funded for the 2020 – 2021 year through a generous contribution to SU Libraries by Todd R. Rubin ’04 (School of Architecture), Minister of Evolution and President of The Republic of Tea.

Rudman himself has experience starting his own business. This past summer, as he crouched on his hands and knees as a landscaper, Rudman decided he wanted to do something different. He worked with his friend to co-found 3D AID, a digital marketing company, where he took on the role of chief solutions officer (@threedaid). They produced videos that captured the business’s product, showed their service, and explained how they were adapting in the time of COVID-19. Their first client, a local Açai Bowl shop, helped them build a portfolio and spread the word about their service. Soon enough, they had many local clients. That was the first time Rudman turned his passion for videography into profit.

Throughout the past few months, Rudman has also been adding to his personal YouTube page, producing videos about do-it-yourself dorm décor, quarantine activities,  and summertime adventures. He has also spent time taking a step back during COVID-19. Isolation has allowed him to curate new ideas and get back to running and working out. Rudman says exercising helps relieve anxiety and serves as an outlet.

He has also put his work into a personal portfolio, which he built using his knowledge of web development. It showcases his talents in photography, videography, marketing, and web design.

“I’m a creative in the tech world,” said Rudman

Exploring this intersection of creative pursuits and tech is accessible to anyone said Rudman. He started on free editing software like iMovie before graduating to paid programs. He learned web development in his classes at the iSchool. YouTube tutorials helped him as he gained new skills, so later on he made his own tutorials.

James Rudman with his drone camera

Before joining the LaunchPad, Rudman was an IT intern at Miles Technologies, and before that he was the co-founder of Rescape, a landscaping company. He also has worked at Sidearm Sports as a streaming specialist.

Rudman is looking forward to his final year at Syracuse University working with the LaunchPad to help further student’s entrepreneurial and creative pursuits. His breadth of experience adds expertise and creative energy to the center already teeming with ideas.

“I like the idea of entrepreneurial and creative minds doing more,” said Rudman. “I always thought those people were cool and interesting, and it will be a really cool environment to be involved in.”

Story by Patrick Linehan ‘21, LaunchPad Global Fellow; photos supplied by James Rudman