We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon Hechtkopf and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking is a huge part of my life mentally and psychically, and has always been since I was younger. I was super into sports like surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding at a very young age, so theres lots of psychical risk that comes with that. As I was finishing film school, I accepted an internship in Southern California and 2 weeks after graduating moved across country from Virginia without knowing anyone. I went into that job with a “make it or break it attitude”, 12 years later Im still here, but relying heavily on risk or throwing caution to the wind has always played a major role in my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Im a freelance Director, Producer, and Videographer who specializes in branded content creation. The things that most set me apart from other people are my in house backgrounds with multiple large companies specializing in content creation and content management. Im driven to succeed and please all my clients, and I bring the hard working east coast mentality to my everyday work life. Ive learned in my short 12 year career, nothing comes easy. I worked my ass off as an intern the surf brand Ripcurl, then created a position for myself in an industry that was getting hit hard by the economic crisis at the time. I was there 4 years before I got a job at Smith Optics, and eyewear and goggle company. I remained there for about 4 years until he company moved from Idaho to Portland, thats when I went all in on the freelance life. At both those companies there were always challenges, but you only get through those by asking for help and learning how to work with others to better the brand, its never about your individual creative outlook, its always about making the brand more successful and thats something you don’t learn from making Tik Tok videos or being an influencer. Working in house for a big brand is where you learn the entire process of how a company really works, its fascinating, fast pace, and a hell of a thing to be a part of! When I look back on my life thus far, its insane, Im so lucky but its been extremely complex and hard, most of my close friends have no idea where I’ve lived or what I’ve done to get the place Im at now. Its something that can’t be explained in a few short sentences haha, but Im happy to sit down with anyone and tell my story!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow, thats a tough one, these days Im focusing heavily on work when Im not on the road. When I do have friends out here, I take them so Malibu for a surf and some food. Theres too many good spots to name, malibu farms, little beach house, and sunlife to name a few. I think when any of my friends visit from the east coast, they are amazed with how large LA is, and with all the money haha. They usually just cant believe how many big homes there are and how vast this place really is.
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?
Where to start, the entire snowboarding film industry has probably always pushed me and given me an insane amount of courage and passion for what I do now. As far as individuals go, my 2 older brothers Matt and Dan, and my close friends Garrett Day, Pickle Cole, Greg Wells, Scott Wilson, Ryan Kelly, Mike Timms, Sasha Lopez, Dylan Slater, Angelo Sgambati, Mark Welsh, Cory Smith, Eric Carlson, Lorna Jane, Chase Wilson, Andy McCabe, Travis Kuhlman, and many many more. All these people have had a serious impact on my career the person in which Ive become.