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Community Highlights: Meet Jeff Reyes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeff Reyes.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’m a former Union Prop Master and Armorer; where I got my start in the industry at a very young age. I worked alongside a 35-year film veteran and Godfather Bill Davis on films like SAW, Hot Shot, Scary Movie, and more. There I learned what it was like to be on film sets, from low-budget movies to big blockbuster movies. While this job was a part-time gig, I also worked as a photographer at a DVD distribution company where I designed DVD covers but also designed flyers for the local LA nightlife. Working both jobs, I worked my way up from a props assistant, to a weapons loader, to eventually Propping my own shows to training A-List actors how to properly and safely use weapons on set while still teaching myself the art of cinematography; observing the different production teams, on how they worked and operated especially the camera team.
After 9/11, I enlisted in the U.S. Army, where I deployed to Ramadi, Iraq with the 1/506 Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. Returning home, I enrolled in college to further my motion picture arts education while working as a freelance photographer, Armorer/Military Consultant, and Prop Master.
I gained my cinematography experience as I worked as a freelance Camera Operator and Director of Photography while continuing to pursue a career as a Content Producer by evolving my company from a photography & graphic design company to a one-stop shop digital production services business.
Since I’ve produced and shot an eclectic collection of Music Videos (artists like Nipsey Hussle, Snow Tha Product, The Game, Ty Dolla Sign, 2 Chainz, and Prodigy; to name a few), feature films & TV shows (CBS SWAT, Kevin Harts LOL); commercials and brands like Nike, X BOX & Porsche, Gold Peak, and Walmart.
Today, I continue to hone my skills and adapt to new filmmaking challenges by working closely with companies like Teradek, SmallHD & Block Battery to acclimate to the fast-growing technology supporting today’s digital productions.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I’d be lying if I said it’s been a smooth road. Being a Latino living in an industry of gatekeepers, getting my foot in the door and getting the opportunity to showcase my ability to be creative has been one of the biggest challenges. Not to mention the struggle of a freelancer in a city saturated with creatives has impacted not only me but the majority of filmmakers trying to make it in this industry. At the forefront of the perceived social media portrayal, the fun and glamourous life of the business is sometimes not all it’s cut out to be. It’s a lot of dedication, consistency, networking, and hard work.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Echosworld, LLC is a veteran-owned production company that provides strong creative production services for brands, artists, and producers seeking high-caliber visuals. Our years of valuable motion picture experience leverage an artistic and family angle to today’s industry practices. We set ourselves apart by allowing our clients to participate in the creative process but also showing our clients that we can produce more than just Music Videos. There are no limits to what we can achieve or do with a strong creative team we have established within the ranks of the business.
This year we were given the opportunity to produce a Nike Commercial that showcased Nike’s push for diversity that won us a coveted Telly Award. A proud moment for all of us and an overall production company of creative successors.
We are a company that works hard with other filmmakers to learn from each other to stay one step ahead to be able to lead in a fast-growing industry of creatives. Furthermore, Echosworld’s standard practice is to mentor young filmmakers and hire veterans as well as employ a diverse set of creatives in our production teams.
Since 2011 we have been assembling a large network of veterans called #WEGOTOUR6 to allow them to showcase the skills they learned in the military by putting them behind and in front of a camera. With the help of showrunners, casting directors, and producers I have had the privilege to help cast over 250 special ability roles, some of who have been working since the start of a show, to over hundreds of jobs in the industry’s workforce.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Luck always seems to be against anyone that depends on it and luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
I feel luck only plays with the people you work with. I have had the opportunity to work alongside many creatives/filmmakers and I have been lucky to call a few my friends & family. I think that’s where luck has played a role for me.

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Image Credits
Ciley Images Karen Alfaro

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