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My name is Tommy Jackson, and I'm an Independent Filmmaker, Entrepreneur, and Freelancer who graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Directing/Editing Program (Class of 2018).
My interest in filmmaking sparked in 8th grade, where I started making small horror films on a cellphone with my friends. I had always loved movies as a visual storytelling medium, but I didn't truly fall in love with the process until I went hands on. Being able to experiment with different angles, locations, and camera moves to tell a story made shooting so much fun, and every time I made an amateur film it got progressively better through trial and error.
When I entered UNCSA in August of 2014, I was an amateur filmmaker with the drive of an entire film crew. I wasn't very skilled or proficient, but I had an unstoppable hunger to learn everything I could possibly know about the history of cinema, and how to become one of the great cinematic storytellers of my time. I attended weekly screenings; watching films ranging from Friz Langs "M" to David Lynch's "Eraser Head", and took every oppurtunity I could get to grab my DSLR and shoot something. Now, as a recent graduate from the UNCSA film school (as of May 2018), I look at myself and see a professional filmmaker with the skills, drive, and discipline necessary to creating successful and quality work, while also retaining that incredible single cell drive of an entire film crew. I will always have that fiery drive that fueled me into becoming the filmmaker in the first place, and if anything, it's only grown in velocity and resiliance as time goes on. I have learned through film school, as well as my own filmmaking ventures, how to be a Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Producer, Writer, and even Production Designer
Because of the lack of resources as an independent filmmaker, I have been forced to work towards mastering the art of Guerilla styled filmmaking completely on my own for the past 6 years. I made my first Feature Film, Music Video's, Short Films and Commercials using a crew consisting of only Myself, My Camera, and Editing Software. With that said, I have directed Short Films and Music Video's with a crew ranging anywhere from 12 - 70 people, but my growth as a filmmaker was truly sparked through circumstances that forced me to write, direct, shoot, light, produce, and edit projects completely on my own. This mindset of "being a one man army" in the film industry has actually allowed me to produce my best works, as well as push me to just DO IT and MAKE content, rather than sit on my ass and attempt to become an amazing filmmaker through watching movies and listening to lectures.
My philosophy is: You can't get better unless you just pick up a camera and DO IT yourself, because the truth of the matter is.... 95% of the people around you just WON'T DO IT. They won't spend days, months, or even years writing a script on their own time, investing in equipment with their own money, or going out to shoot footage by their own hands. They're too afraid to fail... And because of that, they FAIL to realize that the only way to become a great filmmaker, IS to fail. You need trial and error in order to progress and evolve, and this is exactly why the biggest lie I've even been told is that "You can't make quality movies unless you have a big budget, expensive equipment, and class A professional actors." Quality comes from technique, skill, passion... Which comes from trail and error practice... Which comes from a mindset that does not rely on other people/objects/money to make your movie happen. You yourself are the greatest tool in creating a quality film. Not the type of camera you use, or size of your crew/budget.
Because of my 6+ years of experiences, I have been trained to be an extremely skilled and capable Director, Camera Operator, Cinematographer, Editor, Color Corrector, Sound Designer, Producer, and Screenwriter. My passion and primal NEED to create films has sparked my own unique work ethic, and I will stop at nothing to reach my goals in the film industry.
It's been a long and rewarding journey, but I know that it's only the beginning. I look forward to working in the film industry for the rest of my life, and I'm always excited to collaborate and work with new artists along the way. If you also have an unstoppable NEED to create art, contact me, and let's work together to create some amazing work!