The Ticker, founded in 1932, is the student newspaper for City College’s downtown campus and 2022 marks the newspaper’s 90th anniversary. To honor and celebrate the legacy of The Ticker and the members who made it work, the News section will post profiles of former Ticker members over the years.
Baruch College and Ticker alumnus Victor Chu uses the photography and journalism skills he developed as a photographer and photo editor for The Ticker at his drone photography, videography and 3D rendering company, Sky Tech One.
Chu worked as a full-time photojournalist for the New York Daily News covering the greater New York area, in addition to having Wall Street Journal photo credits. However, he didn’t always know that his passion for photography would be the basis of his career path.
Chu said his involvement with The Ticker provided the basis for the work he did after graduating.
“I was able to hone my skills and my artistic eye at The Ticker,” he said.
Creativity and proactivity are two of the skills Chu said he developed at The Ticker. “One thing that I started doing in The Ticker was to think outside the box, to shoot something that maybe my editor didn’t assign to me, to pitch those ideas, to find those stories.”
Along with giving her transferable skills, Chu described the effect of having a body of work to share with potential employers.
“Right out of college I was able to get a job as a photographer at a local Bronx newspaper, The Bronx Times,” he said. “Without The Ticker, I never would have gained the experience and portfolio I needed to work full-time as a photo editor for the Bronx Times, so it was very instrumental.”
Chu also mentioned that his wallet played a role in his ability to be hired by the New York Daily News as a full-time freelancer.
“Because of [The Ticker], and my background in the Bronx Times, I was able to land a full-time freelance position at the New York Daily News,” he said. “Those were all the steps I had to take, and without the initial steps I never would have ended up at the Daily News or where I am today.”
When Chu got involved in drones, he used the technology in his personal photography before founding the company he currently runs.
He said his interest in remote control technology, like the ones he uses in his drone business, could be traced to his childhood interest in remote control cars.
“As a kid, I was into remote control cars,” Chu said. “Remote control planes are actually not very easy to control because it’s kind of like flying a real plane, except with, you know, smaller, simpler controls, but you still have to care a lot about our aerodynamics and of our aerophysics.”
A viral YouTube video kicked off Chu’s foray into the drone industry. In 2014, he bought a drone and used it for a video of New York’s five boroughs.
“I spent six months filming and editing and it went viral all over the news, it’s currently over 700,000 views on YouTube,” Chu said. “After that, I was also interviewed by the media and used that media coverage to improve my Google rankings, which allowed me to build a second business out of that.”
Since the establishment of Sky Tech One, Chu has worked as a director and executive producer.
His 2014 aerial film New York has garnered over a million views on the internet, as well as official film festival selections. It has been featured in numerous international media such as The New York Times, TIME, BBC, The Verge, Gothamist, Business Insider and Gizmodo.
“The most fun part for me is directing now,” Chu said.