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Meet Visual Artist and Studio Manager: Justin Gum

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Gum.

Justin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Well, I’m originally from Miami, Florida. I went to an art and design high school where I had a chance to learn about film there. While I was there, my passion for film grew and from that point on, I knew what I wanted to do. So when I graduated, I moved to Brooklyn, New York and majored in Film in college. I ended up leaving a year into college and moved to LA to finish my degree in Philosophy. From that point on, I worked on a lot of film shoots, gathering as much as knowledge as I can from people and growing my network. I currently now work as a full-time studio manager at a Salvation Army-owned production house, where I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel the world and film powerful stories and also the flexibility to go on outside shoots and further develop my craft and connections.

Has it been a smooth road?
Never. When I moved to LA, I had little connections and big rent. And when you combine those two things, you find yourself in situations where you don’t know how to budget for next month. Jobs were few and far between. And I felt I was often fighting my own personal identity to have more opportunities for jobs, as I am a pretty introverted guy and I didn’t yet develop those interpersonal skills when I moved over here. I was just an artist who had his thoughts in his head and wanted to create things.

What is the most difficult part of what you do?
I’d say the hardest part of my job is just being able to keep up! A lot of work comes in waves and sometimes I’m caught off guard on just how quickly things come together. But when I’m on set or working with my client, that pressure sometimes gives me that laser sharp focus to get it done right and done expediently.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think the only way I measure any level of success is how I’m able to develop relationships, care, and empathize for others, and showing how I can continue to grow. Reputation and financial gain, I feel are highly dynamic based on other people’s perception of you. And I don’t ever want to live on someone else’s perception of who I am.

So I feel as long as I find myself serving others, loving and caring for others, and looking for areas in which I can grow, I know I’m on that path to success because I never believed for a second that my life is my own. It’s here to serve others and always looking up at things. Never looking down.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
So right now I’m in the process of starting my own small business that centers on boutique film production and visual media. My eventual goal is to be a full-time cinematographer on feature films. But having a background in all sorts of artistic mediums, I’m driven by being able to do what I love and to help others with the talents and skill set I’ve been blessed with. So those are my plans at the moment, but anything could change. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my pastor, it’s that tomorrow is never promised to you.

Contact Info:

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