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Meet Jared Freeman

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Freeman.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in South Carolina on a small cattle farm; the son of a middle school art teacher and a metal worker. In addition to being a metal worker, my dad was an audio technician with a propensity for cameras. Growing up, I invested most of my time into music and sports thinking that eventually one of those two things would take me somewhere.

Two years after I graduated from high school while I was working an industrial job, I got a few opportunities to travel for film, Colorado, Alaska, three months in Africa, etc. For someone who had never been further west than Missouri, those adventures were game-changing. I decided to go back to school at The School of the Arts at the age of 23. Even when I started school in North Carolina, I didn’t think that I would be moving to California after graduation. Today I work as a director of photography based in California.

Has it been a smooth road?
It definitely hasn’t been easy, but I have been really blessed. My parents always encouraged me to pursue my passions. Entering a market where I knew that I would be working as a freelancer was not an easy decision. It meant paying for school by myself, moving across the US away from all of my loved ones, and starting over in a new, highly competitive market.

Being a small-town kid, very removed from anyone that worked in film, I knew that moving away from the south would be an uphill battle; but I think that its all in how you approach it. Finding consistent work that I enjoy isn’t always easy, but I can’t image doing anything else. I learned how important relationship is while I was working in Charlotte, NC. The filmmaking community there is small and friendships and community are pursued just as passionately as business relationships.

Tell us about your business/company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
I am a director of photography, I shoot mostly narrative film and commercial. I have had opportunities to work with brands such as Wrangler Jeans, Carhartt, and Calvin Klein. My narrative work is what I am most proud of; but these rare treasures have not gotten the same publicity my commercial work has. My most notable narrative film is called She Follows Close Behind. It was a Student Academy Award Semi-Finalist and I was nominated for a Student Heritage ASC award for my role on the film.

Working in film consumes your life, I think that what sets me apart from others is that my career isn’t my life. I love what I do, but my job is not the most important thing to me. The images that I create are influenced by my upbringing and my travels, but I think so many people’s identities are based on what they create. I’d like to think my images are an extension of who I am; but being a filmmaker isn’t my identity and isn’t all that I am. Filmmaking is my career not my life and I try to pursue people as much as I pursue work.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Filmmaking has always been evolving at such a rapid pace so I don’t have any groundbreaking predictions. The film and music industry likes to think of its self as being forward-thinking but I think a lot of it is just capitalizing on what’s popular. We are starting to see more individuals realize the inequalities in the industry. I’d like to think this isn’t a fad that will fade and that there are going to be more opportunities for lesser heard voices over the coming years. Filmmaking is such a beautiful way to give those that came from a different background a bit of insight into something they wouldn’t otherwise get to see. After this year, I don’t see things just going back to the way they were.

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