Today we’d like to introduce you to Jared Swift.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jared. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Being born and raised in South Africa, theatre, art and movies were always huge parts of my life. Starting from when I was very young. I remember always doing little improv comedy skits with my dad for the rest of the family and friends. This then flooded into school, where (for pretty much my whole schooling career) I was involved with any and all drama productions. This passion for the stage and for storytelling then overlapped into my discovery of filmmaking. My Granny would take me every week in the summer breaks to the cinemas, to watch the latest blockbuster movie. Fast forward a few years, and through a lot of school productions, and I find myself with the opportunity to move to America with my family. So with a crazy idea in mind, I moved to America and started studying Filmmaking, chasing this wild dream that had started all those years before. I studied for a year in New York, met some incredible people and learnt a lot about the ins and outs of filmmaking, but decided it was time to move out to Los Angeles to fully commit to this career choice. Now I find myself a few months away from graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking, and a host of productions under my belt. It all feels like it’s been a dream getting to this point, as it has all gone by so fast, but I’m so thankful for all my friends and family that have supported me all the way to this point in my life.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think it would be impossible to say that moving halfway across the world was a smooth road. Although my whole family moved to America as well, they all lived in Virginia, which meant that my first year in America, and my first year of college, I was alone in the overwhelming city of New York. But I think it whipped me into shape very quickly. I was forced to grow up, in a sense, and found my maturity a lot sooner than other people my age. Although very difficult, it has been an educational journey, to say the very least. I’ve made a lot of difficult decisions along the way, and have grown a lot in myself, but I have no regrets and am proud of the person I’ve become.
Please tell us more about your work. What do you do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
I’ve had the privilege of working on many, many productions over the years, and I’ve discovered my strengths in Assistant Directing. It’s a difficult route in the filmmaking world, but I think that’s why I enjoy it so much. Every day is a challenge and an opportunity to improvise and adapt, just like my dad and I used to do when I was young with the improv skits. Having said that, being an Assitant Director (AD) is like me being at home. I feel comfortable and in control, which is definitely what you want from an AD. Being an AD means being someone that people can rely on, and someone people can trust, and my whole life I’ve tried to maintain those qualities. Being organised and being a leader are traits I learnt very quickly from my parents, and from my school, and I carry it into every production I’m apart of. Slacking off was never really an option for me, seeing how hard my parent’s work gives me constant motivation for success, and it has made me committed to making something special with each project I’m apart of. I think it’s these factors and traits that set me apart from others.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I can confidently say that not a lot of people get the opportunity to move from a third world country to America, to pursue their greatest passion. I am very lucky to have such hardworking and dedicated parents, that not only support me but who push me to do better. I’m lucky to have been given this opportunity for a life and a career in America, and I count my blessings as often as I can. Some days it will hit me out of nowhere that I’m actually here in Los Angeles, and I’m actually doing this. It can be a surreal feeling sometimes, and I’m so grateful for it.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @jaredswifty