Electric Universe (Article from past issues)

Reversing the normal procedure of scoring a movie, Pritchard’s team uses the music as the recipe and the movie as the oven: “For me, the music not fitting precisely, like an average musical score would, sets up a lot more visually. When you’re watching it, you pay more attention to the art.” Born in New York City, Pritchard moved to Argentina when he was 8 years old. He won his first art award (for a Peter Maxstyle bald eagle) and received his first piano and Slingerland drumset by the time he turned 10. By 12, he had traveled most of South America and spoke fluent Spanish. After finishing the last two years of high school, Pritchard went back to New York to get his bachelor’s degree in fine arts and his master’s degree in education from St. Lawrence University. While there, Pritchard was exposed to the fresh scene of video art and short avant garde films. He made his first movie in 1983 when he was awarded a grant to film in China as part of an educational group that traveled to Beijing, Xian, Loyang, Nanching and Shanghai. Over the past 20 years, he’s served as a creative director, multimedia consultant and computer expert to Fortune 500 companies, advertising agencies, digital start-ups and educational institutions. He’s worked with big hitters like Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Canon, and Time-Warner. He’s received millions of dollars in grants for progressive and worthy causes. His resume makes one wonder if he’s figured out a way to live his 46 years four times over. In 2001, he opened The Pritchard School of Digital Arts, a multimedia education and production company. His love for teaching fueled his desire to give back by paying his education forward. “Teaching is art. Art is teaching. Life is art,” said Pritchard. The school is located in Williamstown, Mass., home to the prestigious Williams College – one of the institutions where Pritchard has taught. He came back to Williamstown for one year that turned into seven: “I am a country boy now, but will always be a New Yorker at heart.” His school is responsible for setting up organizations like “artistsON digital filmfest,” for emerging digital filmmakers, and “promoFest,” a platform for artists to develop a digital presence on the web. Charlie Chaplin is at the top of Pritchard’s pioneering filmmakers list. Pritchard says that Chaplin wrote, edited, directed, produced, acted and composed the musical score for his films. Maybe this is where multi-tasking rubbed off from. Pritchard is an acute observer who learns from those who came before him.

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