Here at Lightswitch we have videographers that we work with all across the country, and we think that it’s about time we introduce you to a few of them! In each installment of our “Meet the Videographer” series, we’ll be getting to know a new videographer -- from where they’re based, to how they got started, what their favorite films and TV shows are, and more!
For this first installment, we sat down with Jacob Dean, one of our videographers based in Knoxville, TN. Check out what he had to say below.
Q: What originally got you interested in your current field of work?
A: I've always had a ton of different interests. I've played around with carpentry, photography, writing, machine work, computing, etc., but I guess what's kept me behind a camera is that things just look so good through a lens, and I love being in the field. When you're a young shooter, getting a back-stage pass or getting full access to crazy huge events, big government projects, or incredible talent, is intoxicating. I could never shake how awesome it is, and to this day I'll reflect in work situations that it's incredible I get to be where I'm at, doing what I do. The travel is fun, the access is fun, and at the end of the day you've got some great stories and amazing footage to show for it.
Q: How long have you been a videographer?
A: I've been behind the lens in one form or another since middle school, and working professionally in the field since 2014.
Q: What's your favorite project you've ever worked on in your career so far?
A: I've never got a great answer for this question, but a few shoots stand out as exceptional. I did a kind of 'How it's Made" shoot at a factory that makes all our favorite snacks and cereals, like Oreos, and it was totally wild seeing all of it made at that scale. Plus we got to keep several cases of snacks that were coming off the line that day! I also did a really intimate shoot with Dolly Parton one time at a recording studio. She was recording some VO material and they wanted some video and photography of the session. She's an incredible talent, and genuinely an incredible person who was a total joy to work with.
Q: How did you first get connected with Lightswitch, and how long have you worked with us?
A: I can't remember exactly how it happened, but Lynette [Lightswitch’s CEO/CPO] reached out about some video content to be associated with a publication, which ended up being several shoots with that same client. It was a great foot in the door, and I think we made a great impression.
Q: What's your favorite thing about working with Lightswitch? How many projects have you worked on with us?
A: We've probably worked on about a dozen projects with Lightswitch and we always enjoy how easy it is to communicate with the team. So many producers give us the bare minimum, or sometimes no information, about what we're shooting. That makes for difficulty during preparation and complicates anticipating problems we might run into on a shoot. We've always enjoyed that Lynette and Alex [Lightswitch’s senior video producer and project manager] put a concerted effort together to keep us informed.
Q: What advice do you have for aspiring videographers/filmmakers, or those looking to enter the industry?
A: Be critical of your own work. In the beginning, everything you make is going to be rough, and the real challenge is getting your skill level to align with the taste that you develop through experience. Also, tough it out through the failures. Failures happen for everyone in every industry, but production has a knack of making any failure feel like the end of the world. It never is. Do your homework, show up prepared, and you'll be fine.
Q: What's your favorite movie and/or TV show of all time?
A: This is always such a tough question. I could speak all day of what I find critically interesting, but at the end of the day I'm a huge sci-fi / space movie fan and Serenity just scratches an itch that others can't. I'm also a huge Tarantino fan, so I'd pop some popcorn anytime for True Romance, Kill Bill, Django Unchained, or whichever flick happened to be at arms reach at the time.
Want to work with our talented videographers? Get in touch to plan your next project!