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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jeremy Miller

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Miller.

Hi Jeremy, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Burbank (the “Media City Capital of the World”), so it was no surprise that the entertainment industry was essentially my backyard. Growing up with friends’ parents who worked in the industry was the norm, so naturally, my first summer job out of high school was working for a family friends’ practical effects company. This particular family had deep, historical Hollywood roots and garnered big Blockbuster movies, so while the job itself wasn’t glamorous (think cleaning and storing old dusty movie props), it was the open door my younger self needed to pursue a career in the field.

At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to do, only that someday I hoped to play a bigger part in the industry. One of the most instrumental parts of my journey happened while I was attending a launch party for an animated show, where I met a woman who asked me a question that fully launched me onto my career path. Within a week, I started a new job for a new practical effects company and began working on my first major film, Interstellar (2015). From there, the game was changed.

Fast forward some time; I had been offered the opportunity to study the process of animation in China which I gladly accepted. Upon my return to the U.S., I took on the role of a college student at California State University Northridge and attempted to focus more on school than I did work, which was a foreign concept to me (spoiler alert: this didn’t last long). Upon leaving my Downtown LA loft one day, I ran into my old special effects supervisor who happened to be working on a project a few floors above me. This “project” just so happened to be a music video for a DJ duo known as “The Chainsmokers”, and without hesitation, I jumped on board.

Since that day, I have worked on over 25 music videos, over a dozen commercial ads, two feature films, and numerous digital content productions. Projects have taken me to three countries, five states and all over LA giving me the opportunity to work with talented performers and creatives, while forming lasting connections (and somehow, I still managed to get my degree). In 2019, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema Television Arts and went on to produce my first feature-length documentary (through a global pandemic, mind you), which just recently wrapped production.

After reflecting on my first feature as a producer, it’s important for me to remember where I came from: from cleaning and storing old movie props, to being a production assistant, a coordinator, and a now-producer, I’ve embraced every role I’ve had along the way – no matter how “big” or “small” it may have been. While no easy feat, this journey is a testament to my love for the industry, my appreciation and respect for the relationships I’ve built, & everything else in between.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not been a smooth road at all, but I wouldn’t want it to be. As cliché as this may be, “if you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” and it couldn’t be further from the truth. If it were a smooth road, I would never have been able to navigate and overcome obstacles that came my way. Something I love about production is that you have to be adaptable and have the ability to anticipate & react accordingly. For example, throwing a global pandemic into the mix is enough to throw anyone through a loop. But being able to overcome it? That’s what it’s all about.

One of the major struggles I faced was that I was very young and tenacious, and when stepping into a position of management, it proved to be challenging when working with seasoned industry people who may not be used to taking direction from someone who is younger. However, I’ve been fortunate enough to receive guidance from great mentors who helped me handle myself and others in the best way possible.

I don’t imagine my road will ever be “smooth” and I welcome it.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m very fortunate to be living in one of the most diverse and creative cities in the world. To be able to help take an individual’s ideas from their head, put it to paper, then manifest it onto a screen is simply unparalleled. It’s a dream come true to help make things happen for creatives as a producer/creative myself and I hope to be doing this for a long, long time.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Luck has played a massive part in both my personal and business life. When I started out, all I knew is that I wanted to be a part of the industry in the city that I call home; I just didn’t know how it looked back then.

Luck is what brought me to the opportunities that were presented to me, and with that, it also took a little hard work along the way. I was fortunate enough to never have to submit a resume for my first jobs, and those experiences gave me the contacts I needed to continue working and expanding my knowledge. I very quickly learned how important it was to get my foot in the door and continue talking to the right people, at the right time – lessons I learned while navigating an industry that I always aspired to be a part of.

But now, my vision is pretty clear.

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