We had the good fortune of connecting with Jijo Reed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jijo, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
I often find it amusing how outsiders think the film industry is mostly glamorous with red carpet premiers, celebrities and champagn… I would say about 1% are those things and the other 99% is very hard work with a million moving parts. Raising money for films, coordinating producers, directors, investors, actors, editors, composers, distributors and all the details in between are the things that primarily take the time of a film maker. It’s simultaneously glorious and traumatic. So many things can go wrong just to have one thing go right…
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Owning and operating Sugar Studios LA has been such an incredible journey. At Sugar, we perform all the post production services necessary for feature films and series. There have been many struggles along the way…both technical and financial. I expanded incrementally job to job. With every project that came in, at least half went back into the business..investing in computers, edit systems, monitors, servers, etc. When an adjoining office space became available, I would take it over, even if the current work slate didn’t warrant the expansion. This is not good business advice! However, I really believe in the “build it and they will come” philosophy. And it worked for me…I firmly believe that if you put the energy out there that big things are coming.. they will. The universe REALLY does provide in this way. The key is to stay on track with your beliefs because when you waiver, opportunities remain at bay. I know, easier said than done, but it’s so much more liberating to live with hope than regret or self doubt. In the beginning, it was just me and a laptop showing up to an empty office space every day. Then one day I decided I was going to bring in 4 interns to help get ready for the “upcoming work in the fall”.. There was no confirmed business coming in but I decided to act as if there was. I trained the interns in assistant editing, post production management, and various other skills necessary to support this workflow. With the daily energy of a bustling office, it started to happen. A promo job came in..a trailer for a film…a pilot… before we knew it, we needed more people, equipment and space. The power of believing is indisputable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Most people that come to LA go to the Santa Monica Pier, Hollywood Blvd, Universal CityWalk, Rodeo Drive etc. Uggh..This is not LA. They leave thinking they’ve experienced this city. I find the heart of LA in driving through Malibu Canyon and Topanga Canyon. In getting a french dip at Phillipe’s, a pastrami at Langers, Korean BBQ or Boba in KTown, a show at The Wiltern, or a walk on Abbot Kinney in Venice. 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 wife Nicole deserves so much credit for my success..To have someone that unconditionally loves and believes in me every day, especially during the times when I don’t believe in myself, has undoubtedly kept me moving forward. She is a rock and stronger than I’ll ever be…