We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeffrey Carolan, SOC and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeffrey, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
There’s one quote that keeps me going in this insane industry which is, “Luck is when opportunity meets preparation”. This is from legendary Producer Robert Evans whose best known for Chinatown, The Godfather, Rosemary’s Baby and basically saving Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy in the 70’s. With how difficult it can be to get a job in this business and how badly you’ll beat yourself up over not getting a gig, this quote helps he stay positive and reminds me to always be learning and growing creatively advancing my craft especially when work is slow or I’m not getting the gigs that challenge me. I think everyone has missed an opportunity and this helps me understand why I may have missed said opportunity. It also gives me the confidence that if I work hard developing my craft I’ll be able to take full advantage of the next opportunity and might even be considered lucky.
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What sets me apart and makes me an individual is exactly that, I’m an individual. Just like everyone, if you choose to be the individual that you are instead of following the path of least resistance you inherently see the the world through your own unique lens. When it comes to art, in my case the image, I have my own way of seeing a story, frame, lighting, blocking, etc. and it’s all fueled by my experiences. Whether that be my up bringing or previous creative endeavors, my reaction to the subject matter or even my mood when reading a script. Its all very fluid and is ever evolving like art itself. If I shot the same script I shot five years ago, today I’d approach it much differently because I’m not the same person I was then and my craft has since evolved. With films you always have to stay true to the script so while my approach and day to day decisions would be different the film as a whole would have the same intention as the story would be the same. This takes us back to the individual as you could give the same script to ten different filmmakers and they’d all come back with a different film. That’s one of the beautiful things about art, no two people do it the same. One thing I learned a long time ago is that this business is a longevity game. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go because it is such a hard and fast business that a lot of people burn out or cant keep up. The industry ebbs and flows so you’re going to have tough years no matter who you are but you have to hang in there until the door opens again and hopefully you’re prepared for that opportunity when it knocks.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I really think that one of the best ways to see and experience a city is on a bicycle. In a car you go from A to B but on a bike its A to Z. You can really take in all the unique sights, sounds and smells of all the areas. So we would defiantly take a series of rides around different areas so they could get a good taste of all the local flavor. But if they had never been to LA before you have to take them to Venice and Hollywood to experience all the local color and realize that Elmo isn’t as nice on Hollywood Blvd as he is on Sesame Street. I’m a beach lover so I’d take them to some of the more cutty beaches to get away from the crowds. Check out a winery in Malibu and if it gets foggy go up the hill above the clouds and the view is magical! Would have to get tickets to the Magic Castle which never fails to deliver jaw dropping entertainment and a fantastic fun filled evening. The LA Museum scene isn’t to shabby so we would have to take a day to see a few of those. There’s so much good food all over LA for whatever mood you’re in but it’s always fun to take someone to a Hollywood landmark like Yamashiro’s with its breathtaking view from its peak over Hollywood or Musso and Frank’s because of it’s great history and classic décor. Of course if there’s a good show in town we’d have to hit up the Pantages as it’s the best theatre venue in LA and embodies all the classic charm and architecture of old Hollywood.
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?
My biggest shout out would be to my parents for always encouraging me to pursue whatever career path I wanted and always supported my decision to be a filmmaker. I would also like to say a big thank you to Jim Wrenn, a Director of Photography that I worked with as his operator for five or six years. He taught me more than just photography, he taught me how to be a better filmmaker, person and that there is much more to life than movies which was the guidance I needed at the time. I’d also like to thank Chuck Ozeas as well as Don Devine, SOC for both being gracious mentors and lending their wealth of knowledge and experience to me so freely! It’s a tough business and even though you often feel that you’re alone in your career, which in a lot of ways you are, you would have never gotten anywhere without all the people giving you a chance, so I want to thank anyone who ever gave me an opportunity, I’m where I am today because of all of you!
Facebook: Jeffrey Carolan
All the images of me are by Aristotle Dreher. Everything else was by me.