I’ve been making moving pictures for about 18 years now and with each passing year, I realize more and more that filmmaking for me is not just a dream but my purpose in life. I really can’t imagine doing anything else as this is the one thing that truly makes me happy. It is my way of touching people’s lives. My fondest memories are always of shooting films and nothing else can bring me that kind of pure joy.
For this, my first blog post. I really want to talk about other people in the industry that have either helped me or worked with me. Filmmaking is a collaborative art form and a huge part of it is about networking and making friends. Brian Legrady helped connect me with Gabriel Beristain who got my my first role in the film industry as a Preview Technician. I have been blessed to work with such great directors as Clark Johnson and Antoine Fuqua.
Connections are not merely enough without friends and in this blog post I want to talk about one of my dearest and closest friends, Jumanah Shaheen. I first met Jumanah while looking for a producer for the Autolaser music video I was planning on directing and shooting, “Your Will.” I saw that she had a drive and passion similar to mine and that she really believed in my vision. Collaboration must contain some form of shared beliefs and when you meet someone that sees the same vision as you, it’s something that’s really special.
In working with Jumanah, I formed a lifelong friendship and also learned a lot about her unique history and talent. Jumanah was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was raised between the US and KSA. She studied Animation and VFX production at Academy of Art University in San Francisco and during her studies she had already worked in Visual Effects on Fruitvale Station and Theeb.
Since graduating she has worked as VFX Producer on TV shoes such as Modern Family, Black-ish, The Goldbergs, The Last Man on Earth, The Mick, and Sneaky Pete. She also produced the VFX for Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” which is one of the most viewed videos of all time on Youtube with over a billion views.
Jumanah has a bright future ahead of her and with her drive and passion for filmmaking, she is sure to succeed. I look forward to working on many more projects with her in the future and talking about my other friends in future blog posts.