Meet Jamile Johnson, an instructor in the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Jamile began his love for the digital media industry with his passion for fine arts and later fostered his talents in the world of filmmaking. From graphic design, to motion graphics, television, and freelancing, Jamile has done it all. His career has led him to pursue teaching and he’s never been happier. Check out what Jamile has accomplished in the industry and how he offers advice to those interested in film and video!
An Artist, And a Fine One at That
Jamile began his creative journey studying fine arts in hopes of making a career out of it; however, life took him a different direction. Jamile discovered an interest in motion graphics and later graduated from Valencia college with a degree in Graphic Design and Motion Graphics. While in school, Jamile completed an internship with the University of Central Florida (UCF) filming classes for their online platform. Art never escaped Jamile, however, as he is still an active artist today with his work being showcased in galleries across Orlando, Florida.
From Intern to Paid Employee
Jamile was lucky to secure a full-time position at his place of internship, working nine years at this university creating promotional and educational motion graphic videos. Jamile recalls using industry-standard software on a daily basis such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere, Apple’s Final Cut, and other long-form animation editors. Jamile’s work was awarded five different medals over the years including three UCF TELLY education awards and two for Best Motion Graphics Educational Video.
Freelancing Can Be Done Anywhere
Jamile Johnson enjoys the flexibility of this creative industry and takes advantage of freelancing opportunities in his free time. In the early days of his career, Jamile found himself creating freelance documentaries for different artists – keeping him connected to his art background. The beauty of freelance is its ability to be done anywhere! So Jamile decided to pack up and move to South Carolina where he could continue freelancing, but more importantly accept the position of Creative Producer for ABC Network Television. Here he had the pleasure of working on their Creative Services team producing videos, editing footage, and creating hundreds of commercials for local companies.
Inspiration Can Take You Far
Jamile details the different inspirations in the world that keep him excited about the digital media industry. From watching ESPN and television shows to creating paintings, drawings, and animations, Jamile definitely aligns with the idea that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Jamile has found role models throughout his career that have helped mold him into the person he is today. He credits Tim Reed as someone he has looked up to for quite some time. Jamile explains that Mr. Reed is a technical-savvy filmmaker that really focuses on analyzing the craft. He is a detail-oriented filmmaker that taught him to always re-watch films because you will always see something you didn’t see before.
A New Kind of Career Path
Jamile Johnson found himself wanting to move back to Orlando, and the opportunity to teach and mentor students came as a new career option. Jamile recalls, “I always wanted to be a teacher, but I had never taught before.” Jamile jumped in with both feet and became an instructor at F.I.R.S.T. Institute in the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production program, bringing with him 10 years of experience in this competitive industry.
“An Environment that Only Creatives Dream About”
Jamile Johnson talks about his favorite parts of F.I.R.S.T. Institute. He explains that the environment of the school is quite simply “magical” because it is an environment that only creatives dream about. He takes pride in being a small part of the F.I.R.S.T. family that comprises of like-minded individuals that stick together. Jamile even mentioned the fun part of being able to “nerd out” with all of his peers and students because they all share the same passions.
Teaching Is an Art of Its Own
There are so many different kinds of people in this world, so many different types of people, and different types of thinkers. Jamile details his excitement to work with these different groups of people and teach everyone a little bit differently. He describes the joy he feels in coming up with creative ways to teach and relay messages so that he can relate to everyone and get across to all of his students.
Born for the Job
Jamile tells of his time in high school and how he was destined to be an educator from the beginning. He explains that he always felt bad for any peers that didn’t have friends or hung out by themselves. He would always go up to them, talk to them, and relate to them. Jamile often found that these outcasts were a lot like him and he enjoyed analyzing the minds of different kinds of people. This patience and adaptability has molded him into the instructor he is today.
Storytelling, A Forgotten Element in Filmmaking
Filmmaking is not all about moving the camera and editing footage, it is often forgotten that storytelling and scriptwriting can make or break a film. This is why Jamile Johnson tells that his favorite project of the F.I.R.S.T. Institute film program is the Storytelling Project. He loves reading student scripts to help them improve and create captivating stories. Students are able to write their own scripts for the Short Film Project as well, which Jamile details is another favorite of his. The project where “students’ eyes light up” as they see their hard work pay off from start to finish.
Advice for Future Film & Video Students
For anyone interested in the field of film and video production, Jamile Johnson offers some advice. “Having a creative job is rare because of the lack of education… you must get an education before you can enter this field. Have the confidence in yourself and your education to jump into different jobs, but also to leave a job if other opportunities lie ahead.”