Mark Baird is an American filmmaker and film festival director living in Texas. He is single and has three children.
Mark was born in Dallas, Texas and raised in the west Texas town of Coleman. Mark planned to pursue a carrer in electrical engineering but after graduating from Coleman High School and spending a short period of time at Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana, Mark retured to a small college near home and discovered his passion for film.
Post Graduate Work
After earning his batchlor's degree in film, and helping start a local access tv station in his hometown, Mark was offered a full scholorship to pursue a graduate degree in film from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. While at Baylor, Mark met, and was mentored by filmmaker Alan Stewart. Alongside classmate Frank Patterson, Mark collaborated on five feature films during his graduate school years.
Mark also spent a significant amount of time during graduate school with his major professor Michael Korpi, shooting footage of automobile races around the country. Baylor's graduate school had early access to some of Sony Corp.'s first high definition cameras years before they came to market. Automobile racing was an ideal test bed for evaluating a camera's ability to record high speed images with lots of movement. Even though his primary focus was producing and directing, Mark found his engineering studies served him well during these years as much of his work was very technical in nature.
While finishing his final project for graduate school. Mark was offered a faculty position at Howard Payne University teaching radio and television production. Mark imediately added film production to the curriculem. While at Howard Payne, Mark met student Donald Worley and they forged a life long friendship.
After two years at Howard Payne, Mark moved on to be head of videography for KJTV productions in Lubbock, Texas. At that time, KJTV, a Fox affiliate, had one of the highest ratings of any Fox affiliate in the country. Mark shot over 400 commercials during his year at the station and then launched a successful production business of his own using 16mm film to shoot TV spots.
During his freelance years, Mark did significant work for many client including large projects for Baylor Universities Development office and the office of the President. He also maintained his contacts in Lubbock, shooting commercials for every major add agency in the city and directly for Texas Tech University.
Mark also worked for Horseshoe Alley Creative in Waco Texas and DeWall, Pollei, and Cowley Advertising Agency.
The NASA Years
In late 1997, Mark recieved an offer to move to Houston and join the public affairs team at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Mark Begain as a producer and was soon team lead for the producers and for the VCL, a graphics production unit at JSC. Mark was recognized for his technical ingenuity and was soon undertaking special projects for the contract. He created a five year road map to upgrade the production facilitys at Johnson Space Center from Analogue to Digital and from Standard Definition to High Definition. This resulted in Mark being moved over to the engineering side of the house were he remained until 2011. Mark left NASA at the end of the Space Shuttle program to pursue his first passion, independent film.
Mark the Filmmaker
Over the first 7 years of his independent film career, Mark produced over 30 short films, often writing, directing, and editing them also. His work has won awards from film festivals across the nation. He has won several best film awards in various generes from the 168 film festival in Los Angeles. He is also three time champion of the 5 hour film race in Houston. He also won the prestigous Orson Welles award in screenwriting from the California Film Awards.
After his multiple successes at the 168 film festival he was offered the oppertunity to run the festival in it's 15th season. After this experience he has created two festivals of his own, one now in it's third season in Texas and one which will take place aboard a cruise ship in 2021.
Mark joined Don at Second Chance Pictures in 2017 where he continues to work as a producer and technical specialist.