We had the good fortune of connecting with Jake L. Mitchell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jake L., what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
When it comes to artistic fields, it seems that there are as many unique paths as there are people. Wether it be through luck, happenstance, or devout dedication. For me, becoming a Cinematographer was never a question. I’ve known exactly what I wanted to be and done everything in my power to be strive for my artistic goals.
Whenever I sit down in a theater or in front of a screen to watch a film, I remember why I make films. I love the pure power of cinema to transport the imagination and its ability to steep it in new worlds both extravagant or simple. It helps us escape outward or on the flip, discover inward. My passion for film also comes from the enjoyment I get from showing others work I have made. Cinematography to me is emotion. Each of its attributes can be controlled and manipulated to stir a feeling within a viewer and is essential in translating the essence of a story. My passion in viewing and presenting work is what continues to drive me.
Separate of passion, I find that I have a personality that is satisfied by both emotional expression and hardcore technical execution. I have always loved math, science, and engineering, and in Cinematography I find the ultimate bridge: the embodiment of employing technical knowledge and prowess to create emotional images and motivating narratives.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My strongest force in my career has been my work ethic. It has brought me to places I could not imagine and steers me in the right direction always. I consider myself a bit of a machine when it comes to productivity, Over the years I’ve tried to check myself however, to make sure that I’m not just going through the motions in work and putting my heart into it as well. Pursuing the rabbit hole of “life-hacking” and maximizing productivity can be a deep one and its important to never lose some sense of “go with the flow”.
Progressing through the film industry is an arduous task, as it can feel that what you put in sometimes is not tangible to what comes out. Timelines are indefinite and connections may take years to pay off. I’ve learned its most important to put your best foot forward when working with new contacts and to know that a person with good character will always shine above the rest. Character is huge and something I always pay attention to in myself and others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is a multi-layered city. On one hand, it finds itself one of the most creative cities in the world and a center for innovation. On the other hand, it is surrounded by beautiful vistas both arid and cool. My favorite hidden piece of LA is exploring its hundreds of beautiful hikes in and around the city. Within just 15 minutes, I can find escape from the hustle and bustle in a green setting.
Afterwards, I like to try one of the many critically acclaimed breakfast sandwhich joints in LA. I have yet to find one that tops Go Get Em’, Tiger! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I can’t think of a more important recognition than to my parents. They have let me pursue my dreams my whole life and have supported me every step of the way. They allowed for me to explore my passion for art since I was young and never tried to stifle my interests. Their teachings and love have guided me to this day and will continue to be the main formation of my character.
Photos courtesy of Shawheen Keyani, Katya Alexander, Douglas Emerson, Nick Vigue