Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesse M. Feldman.
Jesse M., please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I got really into photography in high school and followed that passion into cinematography when I turned 18 and moved to LA from Oklahoma City. I went to USC film school but found work outside of school as a camera assistant on “real” jobs at the same time. I worked my way up the ranks of the camera department on movies/tv/commercials/music videos, while still doing still photography just for myself. Now I work half the time as a Director of Photography, and half the time as a Camera Operator. I do still photography projects for myself, as that is my full artistic outlet because it is just me. When I’m working on films, it is a big collaborative effort to tell someone else’s story. When I’m doing still photography, it’s me telling my own stories.
Has it been a smooth road?
It’s never an easy road to try to make a living and be happy doing something you love. I worked countless hours for very little or no pay, learning on the job. Though that pales in comparison to the personal sacrifices and life choices I’ve made to allow me to do what I love and pursue a career in the cut-throat entertainment industry.
What is the most difficult part of what you do?
The hardest part of my work is scheduling. Balancing paid work and my own self-funded projects, while still trying to live a full life outside of both is hard to do. It’s also hard to know when to take the leap and go forward with a project of your own when there are no specific deadlines or need for any one project to be done before another or even done at all.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Ultimately, I think of myself as successful if I have managed to allow myself to do what I love for income and am living a happy life in and outside of work. It is hard to give yourself milestones or reach for specific levels of “success” in this industry. I’ve always felt those milestones inherently change as you grow, and you always want to get further and further, no matter where you are. Some of this drive is healthy, and some is counter-productive to realizing your own talent and voice. I’m sure I’ll be trying to find this balance until I’m old and senile!
So, what should we be on the lookout for, what’s next in store for you?
I hope I can follow through with more of my personal skills projects, while still progressing in my motion picture career. I’d love to also start showing my work in print and entering the gallery world a bit. I think that would help my personal drive to create my own work.
- Website: jessemfeldman.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: jessemfeldman
Jesse M. Feldman