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Meet Mike O’Brien

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike O’Brien.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My love for visual arts started early on in my childhood. Growing up around my grandmother, I was always exposed to creative expression, specifically painting. I was amazed how she was able to capture reality as she saw it and then re-create that image through the use of brushes and colors. Because of her, I began taking art classes and drawing frequently until my parents blessed me with a little digital camera for my birthday. Painting and drawing now transformed into photography. Just writing this, I can feel how cool it was to have the ability to click at will and hold an image in time. Once I found out that this digital camera had a 15-second video feature, it was over!

I started making stupid videos with friends just like every other kid does with this newly discovered power. High school video projects progressed into a film major at Rowan University where I focused most of my energy on DP’ing and editing. After college, I toured the world with a band called Timeflies for three years, which pushed me to become a more efficient creative and I’m very grateful for that. The more I became aware of my self imposed limitations, the more I witnessed my skills grow. I made the leap from New Jersey to Los Angeles in 2017 with my now-wife. I love the collaboration out here! With so many like-minded creatives, the opportunities and experiences are endless. The one-man-band approach still has its place, but definitely not as much as it used to. This journey into the unknown keeps me humble and excited about each moment. Creating for the sake of creating is why I do what I do!

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 had the privilege of my parents gifting me both my first photo and my first video camera, so that was smooth for sure. The obstacles and challenges along this freelance path however, were not smooth. It’s a bumpy ride when living out your dream!! Plain and simple. Jobs that seemed like sure-things didn’t work out, equipment failed to do its job, the list goes on and on. I couldn’t understand WHY certain issues were arising or HOW certain obstacles fell into my path. I quickly realized trial and error IS the path. The fierce freelance life will humble you and I love what it’s continuing to teach me. I’ve learned to just go with the natural flow and keep moving forward!

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I started Mike O’Brien Films back in 2013. We’re a small production company that creates unique visuals for musical artists, brands, streaming services and narratives. Since moving to LA, the business itself has grown thanks to the help of many other creatives. It’s been so much fun to collaborate and build a solid team. Each person brings their own superpower to the project and it’s awesome to witness!

I don’t compare myself to anybody else in this field or life in general. I live life with a mission to spread the light that I feel within. All I try to do is set an example for people and if that’s what sets me apart, then great! I do my best to view life as the gift it is and to not take anything for granted. In the end, we’re all just vessels for creative life force to flow and express itself through!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I see myself continuing on this journey upward! Learning, loving, growing, teaching and becoming a better human.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Marc Colcer

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