We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaun Pugmire and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shaun, what’s your definition for success?
I used to try so hard to present myself as being someone who was doing great work. Scrolling through Instagram and trying to gain a following was swallowing the whole of my thoughts. I spent a good amount of time trying to emulate the “success” of others, and it hurt my family.
When you give of yourself to something, you have less of yourself to give to everything else. When I was focused on my appearance or my successes, my family became the “everything else”.
You might tell yourself that you’re hustling to help your family but you really aren’t. You’re doing it for yourself.
Once I understood that I asked myself what my motivations were for doing whatever it was that I was wanting to do. If it doesn’t line up with meeting an actual need for my family then it isn’t a real priority.
My success doesn’t lie in a brand collaboration or working with a certain client or talent. My success lies with my family and everything else should come after.
Sometimes this literally means turning down an opportunity that would move me up the invisible ladder, but if I would rather be a present parent & spouse, than have a flashy music video or a deal with A24.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It might sound surprising, but a good deal of commercially successful directors and DPs right now got their start making films at churches. I’m no different. My first full-time job was as a “one-man-band” filmmaker for a church.
I did that for 5 years and consider it a kind of film school in its own right.
The work was constant and demanded a near endless stream of creativity.
I’ll always be grateful for that experience. I still primarily work with faith-based organizations but have branched out into other areas as well, including the sometimes not mutually exclusive space of Extreme Metal. So…I suppose I’m attracted to work that is passionate and honest.

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?
LA is not just one place…it’s a microcosm of diversity. I would say try theming your visit around a certain thing…beach, food, etc. and then hit all the best of those things!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Too many people! Every person I’ve worked with deserves heaps of praise and recognition. But I would like to thank, specifically, my good friend Duncan O’Bryan. A talented DP and writer based out of Portland.

Website: shaunpfilm.com

Instagram: @shaunpug

Image Credits
John Paul Summers Duncan O’Bryan Robert Meeks

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