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Rising Stars: Meet Jacques Philippe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jacques Philippe.

Jacques, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
For as long as I can remember, I was always infatuated with cameras. I remember being a kid playing with my parents’ disposal cameras and using up all the tape on their old VHS recorder. I found cameras to be very intriguing and another special form of art. As I got older, I further advanced my creativity by shooting music videos locally and doing promotional videos for Nightclubs in Boston & throughout the east coast.

I was fortunate enough to meet and work with some of my favorite artists growing up. Never getting complacent, I constantly was looking for more room to grow. I found myself writing treatments and scripts on the side. That’s when I realized I tapped into my true destiny being a Director and Screenwriter. Whether it is filming or writing, I loved every aspect of it. It has been non-stop ever since as I further grew a love for cinematography. I started working on Independent projects as a Director of Photographer and worked my way up to commercials, Television, and Featured film. I continued to stay motivated by constantly working to open up more opportunities for myself. The journey was not as smooth as it sounds being many obstacles I faced throughout the time. Life has a way of giving you reality checks, but my passion outweighs my circumstances which allows me to continue to push forward each and everyday. After working on several projects in Boston, I then decided to move to Los Angeles where there is a bigger market and more job opportunities working in film production.

From there, I launched my new film company called “EYEZ ON THE PRIZE PRODUCTIONS” and I have expanded my screenwriting ability to now also writing novels. I currently have a book out now that is doing great and I have received some major positive feedback from the people and media. The book is called “Shifting The Culture: Breaking Generational Curses which is available on Amazon. This book means a lot to me as this is also my way of bringing a social change in our society as we seen these last couple of years has been a wake-up call for us all! Whether screenwriting or writing novels, they both have an everlasting effect that can change one’s life for the better good of humanity.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
One thing for certain, Life is never a smooth sail, as there are always rough waters in the ocean. I grew up with immigrant parents coming from Haiti. I give my parents much credit for coming from poverty and making their way to the United States to then learn a new language and start a family. They worked extremely hard to provide for my siblings and I with all the necessary tools we needed to be successful in life. Being a black man in America, I faced many issues such a racial inequality as well. My father once said that due to the color of my skin, I would have to work twice as hard to get noticed for my talents. I carry that work ethic till this very day and anything I touch, I give it 120% of my effort. There are many obstacles I faced as a filmmaker such as funding my own projects. I dealt with issues of unsuccessful campaigns and scraping up dollars to make the dream come alive. I believe that whenever there is a will, there is always a way. If you love what you do you will not let anything stop you from reaching your goals. That is one of the main reasons why I named my company “EYEZ ON THE PRIZE PRODUCTIONS”. No matter the circumstances, I remain focused on a mission to accomplish all the goals I set forth in life.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a Director, Screenwriter, Author, CEO of “EYEZ ON THE PRIZE PRODUCTIONS” & clothing brand called CHOIXIZ. I enjoy living and working in Los Angeles, each & everyday advancing in my career as a Creative Entrepreneur. I love what I do and especially working with like-minded individuals who are passionate about their work. I am extremely committed and dedicated to the growth of my companies. Beyond being creative, I also work with Non-profit organizations as we provide food/ shelter and clothing for the less fortunate people throughout LA County and also in Boston. I truly feel that our natural born purpose must also consist of our contribution to society. Though I may be well known for my creativity, I am much known for being a humanitarian. I never get complacent in my circumstances knowing that in a blink of an eye, my life can change as well.

So I always remain humble and have sympathy for those who struggle financially and remain homeless. I am in no shape or form to judge anyone and know that by just feeding one person can help make an impact in their lives. It’s more than giving someone food, it is giving them greater hope. If there is one thing I’d like people to know about me is that I will always fight for good over evil and stand for justice. I believe my ability to have empathy for others is what separates me from the rest. I feel and understand people which brings an authenticity to my work as well. I come from the bottom myself, and I know what it feels like. So I can never turn my back on my people. Whether it’s my films, books, or clothing merchandise, everything is a tool to give people hope, inspiration, and the ability to change for the better good of humanity.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
In terms of networking, I would say just get out and make connections. Go to events within your craft or field of study. Learn to become outspoken and ready to make new friends or business partners. This world is made for us to explore and you will never truly grow by just sitting on your couch expecting your opportunities to just fall on your lap. Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard. So you must be willing to put in all the necessary work to put yourself out there and rub the right shoulders. Once you have their attention, your talents will then speak for itself. I never really been a shy person and I feel as if that’s also my advantage with networking.

In fact, I can talk your ears off if you let me! Networking is a major key in this world and I learned your talents are just as important as who you know as well. I believe that can apply to any field you are in. Though social media gives us a major advantage, chances are no one really wants to do business with someone who they can’t stand. So practicing good people skills and physically networking can be a major advantage in advancing your career. You may also want to make sure that you are also well prepared when you do get that chance. One of my favorite quotes is “Success is when preparation and opportunity finally meet.” In other words, if you stay ready, you never have to get ready, your choice!

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