Jason C. Wilson was born and resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He is married with 2 children. He stays busy with various documentaries, client videos, and film projects. He was the winner of Best Georgia Video by the Sprockets Music Video Festival 2014 for his direction on "Jean Shorts" by Athens, Georgia punk band, Burns Like Fire. He has also won numerous Tellys, a Gold Screen Award, 2 Southeastern Regional Emmy Nominations, and 1 Southeastern Regional Emmy Award. He is currently promoting his award-winning film, "Stopper: The Rise and Fall of the Bastard Squad", which premiered at the beginning of 2016.
1) What was the defining moment in your life where you realized film production is where you wanted to be?
I began working with video back in high school through Broadcasting classes, but it was more of just aimless goofing off. It was for a grade, but we weren't really doing things the proper way. The teacher would send us out with a camera and we would make some barely watchable music video or movie. It was fun, but I didn't really take it that serious.
The first time I remember doing things in an organized fashion wasn't until a project at the University of West Georgia, where we were required to storyboard the project and actually have somewhat of a game-plan. So shooting actually went pretty smoothly and it was fun in a "we're actually doing something" kinda way. The 'eureka' moment that you are asking about wasn't until I got in the editing room for that project. Seeing what we had done and how closely it resembled our vision AND how easily it all came together during post (which was editing from tape, back then) was that defining moment for me! I loved seeing something I had dreamed up fall together and play out almost exactly as I had seen it in my mind.
That was the point I knew I wanted to do this for a living!
2) What would you say was your most difficult impediment you had to overcome to get to the position you’re in now?
Honestly, it was probably money. There were points that I was working 60 hour weeks and still barely keeping my head above water financially. I hung in there and was eventually able to eek out a living, but in those beginning years it is really tough. That's probably the case in most careers, but video and film seem to be especially rough on young people. Just finding that first job is really hard! It's almost a matter of who you know as much as what you are capable of. That's why it is so important for college students to take it serious and try to make contacts and volunteer on productions while they are young and don't have a family to support. Meet people and learn your craft, that way you can hit the ground running once you graduate!
3) What are your views on finding happiness and success in your chosen career?
I've found that taking on pet projects outside of my full time work has kept me happy. More often than not, there's no money in them (sometimes I even lose money!), but that has kept me sane and enjoying what I do. It's good to have full autonomy over a production and being able to own whatever happens to it.
In terms of success, I have a different definition of success than most people. As long as I have the respect of my peers and can pay my bills without having to borrow from anyone, I consider myself successful. I don't need a BMW to have made my mark on the world. I just want to create pretty films and videos that people enjoy and be able to have a good life with my family.