The life-long journey of a successful creative is far from easy, especially if the industry and pool of opportunities offered are small. Even so, there are many resilient creatives that have made a successful career in the Arts, one being executive producer (EP) Jacob Morris. Morris understands the importance of creating story-telling, visually appealing videos that leave a long-lasting impact on the audience. The starting point of a quality artistic video, begins with a skilled executive producer, to direct the creative process.
The involvement of an EP in a film or project can be a mystery to many, but their involvement is critical to the life, process, maintenance and completion of the product. In the production of a film the director has the final say; however, it’s the skilled guidance of the EP who will inform the director on what idea is feasible, in terms of finances, liability or resources to make that creative vision come to life. This responsibility had Jacob burst with pride when he talked about his career and company Good Fun.
“I ultimately tell the director what will and won’t work. As an EP my insights, brings balance to what is feasible and what can be created from the given budget,” says Jacob. His experiences working at a pop-culture news media outlet and producing music videos or documentaries have brought a steady stream of clients, the likes of Intel, Westin Hotels and Resorts, Gameloft, Yeah! Films, Roots Canada and HomeSense to his agency. When asked the ‘secret sauce’ of his success, Morris humbly states that confidence and hustle are the most important traits in the film & media industry.
“At times things will start to crumble during a shoot, your team will be looking at you to patch everything together. Everyone has to know that you are the right person for the job. You ultimately have to have confidence in yourself and your skills.” says Jacob. “Most importantly, stay humble. The creative industry is very small and you will more than likely ‘bump’ into a person that you met before.”
Morris also touched on a few key points that can be helpful for inspiring executive producers.
- Look forward to building long-term relationships with colleagues. Even though the industry is small and very competitive, the business relationships you have with colleagues can open doors to new job opportunities or work experiences.
- The advancement of technology has made the accessibility of video equipment and production quality easier to attain. With this in mind, the success of a video relies on an appealing storyline and less on picture quality, something that everyone can achieve.
- Effectively using and promoting content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook will help bring awareness to your brand as well as open the door to collaborations.
Even with the success of his creative agency, Good Fun, and his bubbling personality, no one would ever suspect that Jacob was dealing with personal depression and anxiety. Jacob clearly recalls going to work with a smile on his face, yet feeling emotionally depressed. After some research on Google about mental illness, Jacob began to run every day and blog about his experiences to clear his mind. His blog posts started to receive comments of support from people dealing with mental health or who felt touched by his story.
In May 2015 Jacob bravely decided to quit his full-time job at a news media company and founded ‘Run to Wellness’, a charity initiative supporting mental health. By sharing his battle with mental illness to others, Jacob got the attention of The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), CBC news, The Waterloo Chronicle and other news media outlets who supported ‘Run to Wellness’ and Jacob’s 10 half-marathon campaign in 10 Canadian cities. “Mental health,” said Jacob, “is something that affects everyone, directly or indirectly, it is something that should be discussed and not avoided.” Jacob’s inspirational documentary got people talking about mental health. Most importantly, his journey allowed him to manage his depression and focus on his passion, being an executive producer. Recently Jacob executively produced for rock band Seaway’s music video ‘Slam’ as well as DreamChaser’s video ‘Pacanom’, and Worship’s music video ‘Exalt’, which all have been recorded at Spacefy locations.
Jacob learned about Spacefy from a close colleague and the platform instantly became his ‘go-to’ tool for scouting locations. Smiling Jacob says, “Spacefy makes scouting locations an easy process. Since the platform is built for booking spaces for film or creative projects, the space owners are prepared to expect bookings. In other words, they know that items within the space may be moved to accommodate the creative project so, we don’t feel like we are stepping on anyone’s toes. Plus most of the space owners have experience dealing with production companies or professional creatives, this makes the booking process less stressful.” Jacob continues to use Spacefy to find locations for upcoming creative projects with Good Fun. We are glad that we had the opportunity to interview Jacob, he is an example of the resilience that lies within every passionate creative. More importantly, we are honored that we are a part of his creative journey.