Center Snapshot: Hal Weaver
Image above: As a multimedia specialist, Hal Weaver enjoys "the variety of the work and getting to support the researchers." And also, the people he works with. Credit: NASA/Sean Smith
By: Denise Lineberry
At 22, Hal Weaver faced two options: travel alone on his first trip outside of the U.S. or don’t travel at all.
He decided to go alone.
"Originally three friends and myself planned a trip to Amsterdam and Paris," he said. "Ultimately I was the only one that made it."
That trip would be the start of a list of adventures for Weaver. He has since traveled to 14 other countries.
"I enjoy the sense of adventure and discovery that comes from traveling. I like to explore and wander -- not planning too much so there’s some opportunity for chance encounters or random experiences," he said. "It’s also good to hang out in a café and soak up some of the culture. I get burned out on sightseeing and museums pretty quickly."
Weaver considers Ireland the most interesting place he has been. He and wife Janet, a page designer for the Virginian-Pilot, lived there for two years while she was getting her Masters of fine arts.
"I loved hiking in Ireland and the landscape is amazing. The greenest green I have ever seen was the rolling pastures after a spring rain there," Weaver said. "I know it sounds corny, but it’s true."
In the 1990s he began hiking on a regular basis in preparation for his first hiking trip to Scotland.
"I enjoy the simplicity of hiking. It renews body, mind and spirit and all you need are some good shoes," he said. In some cases, a warm jacket makes the experience better.
Weaver hiked the West Highland Way, a 98-mile trek from Glasgow to Ft. William, Scotland, "in the dead of winter," he added. "It was a wet, cold week and I wouldn’t trade it for anything."
At NASA Langley, Weaver has put his adventurous tendencies on hold while he taps into his creative side. He is a multimedia specialist on the Media Services Team.
"I handle a variety of multimedia duties, including format conversions (transferring tape to digital), DVD authoring, some editing, preparing video footage for the internet, voice-over work and I even get to do some acting every once in awhile," Weaver said.
Aside from computer graphics and multimedia work, he also studied video and film in school. Weaver has been in two independent feature films. He was also hired as an extra for "The Box" while filming was at Langley.
"I got to work a scene with James Marsden and was also there for Frank Langella’s last shot," he said.
Weaver worked as a sculptor for a number of years and has sold more than 500 pieces. He has some of them on display at his home. He generally does more drawing now than sculpting.
His favorite piece is a small expressionist portrait that hangs in his home office. It is called, "The Perfect Stranger."
"And my favorite does change," Weaver said.
He keeps a mental list of accomplishments. "Hiking to the top of Mt. Fuji and watching the sunrise is on the top of my list right now," he said.
Consistently at the top of his list of things he appreciates are friends and family. "They make the trip worthwhile," he said.