Remembering Christopher Palmer

Christopher R. Palmer Memorial Excellence Fund

Christopher Palmer is remembered as inquisitive, independent, kind and witty. He sought to see the good in people and bring joy to others.

Those characteristics were significant to his pursuit of a degree from the Department of Radio-Television-Film, where his combined his childhood interests in both film and computers to specialize in film editing.

He graduated in 2004 with high honors and worked as an editor, primarily in New York and Austin.

Christopher passed away in late 2019, and his parents, Darlene and Doug, have established the Christopher R. Palmer Memorial Excellence Fund to support student projects, research and activities in the Department of Radio-Television-Film.

“He loved storytelling and the use of film to tell stories in creative, impactful ways,” Darlene and Doug said. “As a tribute to our talented and gentle son, we hope this endowment will help RTF students who share his passion for film and editing.”

Please visit the fund page to contribute to Christopher’s legacy.

Remembering Christopher Palmer

Parents Darlene and Doug Palmer share memories

What inspired Christopher to study Radio Television Film at UT Austin? Christopher was a very creative and artistic person. In elementary and middle school, he developed an interest in computers. He taught himself HTML when public access to the internet was just beginning. He created a website about the Marx Brothers when he was 14 years old and had 10,000 hits a month.  At 16, he developed a music streaming site, before it was illegal.

In high school he regularly had friends over to watch movies on Friday and Saturday nights. He loved how film could communicate stories in such a powerful manner that they would enable audiences to suspend reality.

Melding his interest in film and computers resulted in his interest in film editing. He was very excited to learn about the College of Communications, Radio Television Film program at UT Austin and he was so proud to be an RTF major.

As a film student, he loved learning how he could tell stories through editing visual media.  He was very proud that his first film as a Freshman in the program entitled SCARS was selected as one of the best projects in the Freshman Image and Sound class.

What type of creative work did he pursue after college? After graduating with high honors from the RTF program, he worked for the University of Texas Library project, UTOPIA. During this time, he filmed and interviewed faculty and staff on their research. Later, as a member of the UT - University Communications staff, he produced and edited public information announcements and documentaries. He was especially proud of the documentary he did on UT faculty and student engagement in Katrina Storm recovery in which he not only filmed and edited visual content but chose the accompanying music for the documentary.

He co- developed a film company which produced a documentary film called “Rewind This.” It premiered at SXSW in Austin in 2013. It won the Best Documentary at Fantasia and was the “Official Selection” at the Toronto Film Festival. It was shone at over 30 other festivals as well as having a theatrical run in Japan.

He relocated to New York for a few years. In New York, he worked for a variety of media firms and edited nationally syndicated TV programs for Spike TV and Time Warner.

Returning to Austin in 2016, he filmed and edited music videos and live events and worked as a video editor for national advertising campaigns and reality TV projects.  His focus, though, continued to be on storytelling and precision videography.

Did he have special memories from his college experience? Christopher loved the RTF program; it was a perfect match for his passion and talents. He greatly appreciated both the knowledge he gained from his college professors in RTF and their accessibility and support.

Natalie England
Marketing Communication