Mark Burchick is a filmmaker, writer, gaffer, gardener, occasional meditator (but more frequent happy hour imbiber), spiritually inclined, life-long student. View my CV and contact information.
I live in North Baltimore with my wife (also a filmmaker!), cat (aspiring actress!), and ever-growing collection of unread books. I graduated summa cum laude from Towson University with majors in both Film and Journalism, and now work as a freelance director, producer, and gaffer, alongside my full time job at Towson University as a Multimedia Technician for the film department.
If I could be paid to be a student, I would. I love the exploration and deconstruction that curiosity can facilitate, so in everything I do, I try first and foremost to let open-mindedness lead the way. This is a constant struggle, but what growth doesn’t come from wrestling with the ego and being proven wrong?
Filmmaking is most fun when it is a collaboration among friends, and I love the feeling of solving problems with a dedicated family of crew members. However, in my own personal projects, I approach writing and directing with an auteur mindset. This is not to say that I am not a collaborator, but I approach my own work as personal visions and growth opportunities as an artist. When I get to work on set as a technician, I’m most passionate about Grip and Electric, camera, and art department roles. As a fan of film, I love nothing more than narrative, character-study documentaries.
With media role models like Jim Henson, Fred Rogers, and Joan Didion, I have a deep commitment to pursuing truth with a heart-centered focus in all that I do. But I also live with the tension of mentors like Werner Herzog, Charlie Kaufman, and Hunter S. Thompson, where subversion and blurred lines tap into deeper truths. To paraphrase Herzog, “why be a fly on the wall, if you could be the hornet who stings?”
I don’t have the patience of a Fred Rogers, but I try. I don’t have the gumption of a Werner Herzog, but I try. I am none of these media makers. Hell, I often dislike my past work. But I can’t seem to stop making, and that is the greatest blessing.
In matters unrelated to filmmaking, I consider myself a student of religion, spirituality, consciousness, and folklore. I am deeply informed by my Catholic upbringing, but have found great influence from all of the world’s wisdom traditions. If I’m talking to my priest, I’d piously pay respects to mystics such as St. Francis and St. Hildegard, as well the more contemporary Padre Pio and Thomas Merton. If I’m talking to my friends, I’d say I’m more influenced by mindfulness teachers like Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn. However, I can get just as groovy with a Ram Dass lecture, or devour the poetry and writings of Wendell Berry as my “soul food.” And in my most indulgent moments, I bend my brain with the consciousness expanding, esoteric works of C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Jeffrey Kripal, Jacques Vallee, and John Keel.
When the mediated world fails me, I escape to the wilderness and mountaintops for conversation between me and everything. My hope is that through honesty, sincerity and generosity in everything I do, I can bring some change to the world, even if it’s just a drop of water in the great river of the human narrative. I am neither a bodhisattva nor a saint, but I can try.