I am so excited to share with you another Creative Interview! I have been loving learning about my fellow creatives. How about you? It’s amazing what we can learn if we take a moment to get to know someone else or listen to what they have to say.
I decided to start this series on my blog, sharing interviews with some of my friends and fellow creatives/small business owners/entertainers/their projects etc., to support them and share with you their faith, inspiration, and just how amazing they are! I hope you enjoy them, and if you fall into one of the afore mentioned categories, continue reading to find out how you can be featured with an interview, here on my blog.
Today’s interview is with Román Jáquez! Let's jump right in:
Currently, Román Jáquez resides between Niskayuna, NY, and New York City, spending his time as an independent producer/director of films, commercials and music videos. It is his hope and vision to spread stories of compassion, curiosity and hope through his many projects to come.
His career began in 2004 when he graduated from the Arts Institute of NYC, earning a degree in Interactive Multimedia and Web Design. A former Apple Inc. employee, certified non-linear editing master trainer, and award-winning filmmaker, his background in technology, film, and design communication, have provided him a unique technical viewpoint for which he has been inducted to the Art Institute Alumni Wall of Fame.
To date, he has worked in roles as producer, director, editor and/or cinematographer on films which include Happy End (2003), Erica (2006), Away in a Manger (2007), It’s a Girl (2010), Blood Money (2010), and Spirit Ship (2011). His most prominent film to date is the award winning feature length film The Way Forward (2017) which he wrote, produced, and directed. The film depicts the intricacies of forgiveness and the father son/daughter relationship. However, one project, in particular, stands out above them all, Life Gift, a gospel presentation that was in 9 languages and distributed by Global Media Outreach. Life Gift was seen by over 90million viewers, of which 14% reported to have prayed to receive Jesus for the first time or renewed their faith.
In 2013, he founded Compass Pictures, a hope and faith-driven boutique production company. As founder and CEO, he negotiated high stakes development deals and managed a diverse team, including Academy Award-winning artists. In 2017 he worked as COO at Stagewood Inc.—A tech-startup specializing in Blockchain Technology, Hyper-Ledger Fabric, and cryptocurrency for the entertainment industry. After his contribution to structuring and launching the company, he decided to remain as an Advisor at Stagewood, primarily to focus on Compass Pictures’ movies in development.
In addition to his career, Jáquez’s marked philanthropic efforts have been a major part of his life. Since 2003 he has been an active and prominent abolitionist with LOVE146.org, an international human rights organization committed to aftercare and raising awareness to end child sex trafficking. Many of his past projects are in advocacy for women’s rights, domestically and internationally. In pursuit of spreading humanitarian aid, Jáquez has traveled around the world, often with faith-based organizations. These experiences have afforded him the opportunity to immerse in cultural diversity of religion, politics, art, film, poetry, literature, and music in over two- hundred cities, across six continents. In Pyongyang, North Korea, he has participated alongside a delegation of diplomats to help establish a positive, cross-cultural relationship between the DPRK and the USA through art.
Today, Román is a Board Member of beresolute.org an organization that seeks to build better men by providing tools, resources, and mentorship. Member of the leadership team of the https://newcanaansociety.org aka NCS, which is about men helping men be better men through: FRIENDSHIP, FORGIVENESS, FAITH, FREEDOM, and FUN.
What role has your faith had in your creative enterprises? My faith has influenced my creative process significantly. But that has not always been the case. Early on, I took on projects that didn't reflect my faith values. As I have matured in the faith, Father convicted my heart to be more selective in who I collaborated with, and what stories to produce.
Ultimately, I asked myself two questions to help me decide if the particular production was something for me to be part of. 1) Will this glorify God? (2) Will this encourage the viewers?
Describe your creative process. From the get go, I love to take on each creative project as is own unique journey. I discard all my past experience and knowledge of "how to" as to not get in the way of letting the new task at hand reveal itself. Also, I journal the first ideas that come to mind, and then put them away not to be looked at again. This forces me to think different and beyond the obvious and or initial ideas.
What is your main goal as a creative? My main goal is to tell stories that encourage people. Stories to inspire love, compassion, hope, and curiosity.
What is a passion project you have been dreaming about but hasn’t come to fruition yet?
Great questions. There are many passion projects. It's funny to think of it because I am constantly dreaming of the possibilities... it seems every week a new passion project rushes my heart. I can easily get excited about ideas people pitch to me or my very own. In reality, I only pursue projects that are reasonable in cost, readily executable based on technology and Human Resources available. As of right now, I am working on my passion projects :)
What is your favorite or most inspirational Bible verse? James 1:2-4
What is something that makes you smile on a daily basis? Many things makes me smile on a daily basis. For instance, the Sunrise. I love waking up at 4am to enjoy quiet time and seeing the Sunrise over the tree line and river view reflection. We are blessed to have a stunning view in a private setting. Also, at the end of day, doing bedtime with our two sons. They are a blast. They love to dance, they are loud and funny. Their children noise and laugher fill my heart with joy.
What do you find to be the easiest part of creativity?
The easiest part of creativity, to me, is creativity itself. It's a state of being.
I suppose that I do not know how not to be creative as my brain is wired to see the world paradoxically with particular curiosity for the things that I don't understand.
What do you find to be the hardest part of creativity? Perhaps the hardest thing is not executing on all the ideas that come to mind :)
Who, living, is your biggest influence and/or supporter? My biggest influence and supporter is hands down, my wife Stephanie. She is a huge blessing to me in that, while we are wired totally different, she creates a consistently safe space for me to explore and create.