Today we’d like to introduce you to Bia Jurema.
Bia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a Brazilian director, editor, and photographer striving to bring both female and queer issues to the forefront of cinema.
I studied film at Elon University, and as soon as I graduated I packed my car with everything I cared about and moved to Los Angeles. I didn’t have a job or a place to live, so I just started hustling. I sent out dozens of emails per day, saying yes to anything of substance. I’d even shoot weddings on the weekends to help pay my rent. Slowly but surely, I began to get larger scale, more fulfilling work. I began collaborating with brands and companies I had adored and admired for years – my hard work was being realized.
Since my move to Los Angeles four year ago, I’ve filmed and edited content for Google, Live Nation, Warner Music, Adidas, BET, Viacom, Hilton, Paramount, Citi, and Refinery29.
Female centric storytelling is my passion.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not smooth, but I expected it. Freelancing can be really draining. You have to work really hard to stay balanced – both creatively and financially. I consider myself equal parts filmmaker and entrepreneur. Essentially, I’m running my own business. I have an art degree, so there’s was a lot of things I didn’t know about business when I started. I’ve had to kind of learn along the way, and there certainly wasn’t a clear blueprint.
There were many things to consider – a solo freelance career in a male-dominated field can be pretty daunting. But, I learned that protecting my creativity, health, integrity, and time were the most important pillars to running a successful business. I’m still learning and growing everyday.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Although directing is my focus, I do a little bit of everything – shooting, editing, photos, etc. I think the ability to operate as a one-woman team, wearing several hats to produce a really high-quality product is what sets me apart from others.
I specialize in music and branded content. The quick turnaround of short-form content is really exciting for me – I like the challenge of quickly actualizing a concept into a living product. And I think this type of workflow uniquely compliments the raw and vibrant style found in my work.
I’m proud that artists and brands come to me because they find original quality in my work. That’s all I could ever hope for.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I think every piece of adversity and every sliver of victory has led me to where I am now – I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.
All photos by Bia Jurema.