If You Only Knew [The Untold] Truth Of Jordan Oram

Jan 15, 2024

If You Only Knew [The Untold] Truth Of Jordan Oram

Jan 15, 2024


I was always curious, even as a kid.

I wanted to learn about everything.

The place I grew up, just east of Toronto, is now known for being really special, but to me, it was just where I learned a lot. My trips on the train to the city were long, but I learned so much during them.

I met different kinds of people on those trips.

Some were unhappy with their jobs, some were new to the country and worked very hard, and others seemed really happy and had everything planned out.

I was trying to figure out my own life, fixing old dreams and getting better at things I wasn't good at yet.

I met a woman who changed her whole career when she was 40. Her story made me think about how we can always change and grow.

This made me love coming up with new ideas for careers, new decisions. I used to write about other people's stories and didn't talk much about my own.

But now I wonder, should I tell my story too? Maybe my story is just as important as theirs.

I've learned that everyone's story is important. It's not just what the story is about, but how you tell it and what you learn from it.

My story is about learning from everything, everywhere - all at once.

Early Inspirations and Realizations

Growing up, my definition of success was different. It wasn't about money, but rather a deep sense of responsibility.

Being raised in a Jamaican household, where hand-me-downs were treasures and sleepovers a luxury, I learned life's value differently.

I remember looking out of my window, seeing others seemingly having it all, while I cherished the small joys of a good week leading to a peaceful sleep.

In those moments, I found my drive.

The world around me, noisy with talks of Rogers customer service taking too long and a society longing for change, became my classroom. I was the kid who had big dreams - not just any dreams, but of becoming a 'leader by example, not by definition'. But with big dreams come big fears. The thought of not knowing everything, of having to say 'I don't know', haunted me.

This fear became my fuel. It led me down a path of relentless pursuit of knowledge, growth, and understanding that success isn't just an end goal, but a journey.

Sitting in front of my computer, day in and day out, I realized something crucial - real answers don't just appear, they're sought after. This was my turning point, my step towards a future where I could be the person I dreamed of, armed not just with answers, but with the wisdom of experience.

Realizing My Potential & How Decisive Actions Transformed My Journey

In a world where distractions were constant, my sanctuary was the basement.

There, sitting in the dark, I dove deep into research, studying figures who sparked inspiration within me.

While others chased the latest gear, I became quite good at improvisation. I started building camera rigs from PVC pipes, and household items like napkins and toilet paper became my tools to diffuse lights. Resourcefulness was my mantra, born out of necessity.

While my peers around me leaned on big lights and large crews, I found magic in simplicity: battery-operated lights and the help of roommates. In an era dominated by the pressures of social media, where acceptance and the fear of failure spread like Covid, I charted a different course. Books on self-help and the tons of TED Talks kept my curiosity peaked about the future ahead.

My commitment to learning had no limits. Nights were spent awake, maximizing every moment, often at the expense of sleep. I became consumed by this thirst for knowledge. Most nights I fell asleep on my computer, determined not to waste a second.

This is how I discovered the Da Vinci Sleep Schedule. I transformed my rest into a series of strategic power naps, grabbing a 20-minute snooze whenever I could. This unconventional rest pattern fueled my creativity and sustained me through intense REM sleep states.

Rejecting the path of a conventional job, I focused on a singular goal: understanding how to turn ideas into revenue. For me, the journey wasn't just about choosing the best career; it was about transforming creativity into something tangible and financially rewarding.

Self-Education Taught Me The Importance Of Embracing Failure.

My journey through life has been a masterclass in the unexpected.

Each twist and turn brought lessons that textbooks couldn't teach – lessons in trust, the art of networking, and the craft of building relationships. These experiences were the building blocks of my understanding of human connections.

In my hunger for knowledge, sitting down and watching action movies with my family became more than entertainment; they were my syllabus. I was so curious all the scenes and the overarching story. So I started engineering how they were made, what made them so good and why did they make me feel some typa way. It was like attending my own private film school at a fraction of the cost, each movie taught a unique lesson in storytelling.

My approach to learning filmmaking was unconventional yet practical.

I started creating shot lists, not through traditional methods, but by capturing screenshots from films. These still images were my visual notes. I would organized them into Microsoft Word documents, annotating each with detailed descriptions of the scenes. Keep in mind, I’m like 15 - 16yo at this time. This process wasn't just about cataloging shots just yet; it was a hands-on exploration of what was yet to come.

What didn't fit neatly into my shot lists evolved into what I now recognize as B-Roll. These were the unscripted moments, the candid shots that added depth and authenticity to my understanding of cinema.

They were the unplanned, yet invaluable, pieces of the puzzle in my self-taught filmmaking journey.

Being Afraid To Fail Taught Me How To Prepare

Growing up, the walls of my mother's employment agency were like a second home to me.

It was a place focused on a mission - to empower individuals, enhance their employability, and connect them with life-changing opportunities.

This wasn't just an agency; it was a beacon of hope, shaping brighter futures for everyone who walked through its doors.

From my mother, a maestro in the art of employment, I learned lessons more valuable than gold:

  • The art of a confident handshake, not just as a greeting, but as a symbol of respect and assurance.

  • The importance of maintaining eye contact, a window to sincerity in every conversation.

  • The wisdom in hiring practices, where the decision wasn't about skills alone but about mutual respect and potential.

Her advice was unconventional yet profound: 'Choose not the most skilled candidate, but someone who would hire you if the roles were reversed.'

This wisdom was accepted, particularly as the shortest in my group.

More than a physical trait, my height was a challenge that compelled me to distinguish myself in other ways. It motivated me to run faster, strive harder, and be the first one chosen in any situation.

In this way, my environment became a crucible, demanding discipline within me. It was a powerful lesson in embracing competition, not as a threat, but as a driving force to overcome my fears and achieve success.

My affinity for Photoshop and a knack for digital skills anchored me in the world of technology. These experiences became the bedrock of my most important principle:

Fear of failure isn't a setback; it's a powerful motivator for thorough preparation.

It taught me to arm myself with the necessary skills and mindset to tackle challenges head-on. In this transformation, fear didn't remain an obstacle; it guided me through turbulent waters towards greener pastures.

College Life and Early Challenges

My college years were not just about textbooks and lectures; they were a part of the journey into the unknown, a period rich with exploration and experimentation. It was a chapter in my life where the conventional paths were less appealing, and the curiosity of the uncharted was irresistible.

The decision to leave marketing school was a significant turning point that redirected the course of my life. I found myself stepping into the real world of a travel and lifestyle company. This place was a vibe but it lacked one key element – a real marketing department. It was like finding a hidden gem that just needed some polishing.

As this new opportunity found me, my ability to connect with people came naturally. Conversations flowed like rivers, and rapport built like bridges. But the real challenge was deeper. It was about earning not just their attention, but their financial trust. It was about turning small talk into long-term partnerships.

This was the first real challenge that pushed me to not only use my interpersonal skills but to evolve them into a tool for trust-building in a world where trust is the hardest currency to earn.

The Person I Did Not Become - I Always Was

While sitting on a dolly or having my name on the clapper board wasn’t a reality yet, the sidelines offered a world of opportunity.

I spent a lot of time offering my hands to a lot of small projects, not for profit, but for the invaluable currency of building film friends.

My goal was to make connections with people that valued hard work and a good attitude over production value.

Every person I met had a story in them, waiting to be told. My role? I was the spark plug, I was the one who inspired them to share their ideas in front of the lens, capturing their passion as the camera rolled.

It was in these moments that a new aspiration took root in me – a desire to shape what the audience sees. This wasn't just about being behind the camera; it was about crafting the visual narrative.

This began my journey into the art of cinematography.

Eager to sharpen my craft, I grabbed every chance to experiment with whatever equipment I could get my hands on. It was a period of time when relentless practice and creative exploration took priority over anything else.

This journey of discovery led to the birth of something unique - my signature offering: the 24-hour turnaround $500 video package.

It was a concise masterpiece featuring five meticulously chosen shots, each lasting a brief 2 to 5 seconds, captured in emotive slow motion. This wasn't just a series of images; it was a narrative brought to life with a compelling mix of titles, credits, and carefully selected soundtracks.

The final touch was a streamlined edit, adding polish to the raw emotions captured. In every frame, every second of footage, my vision came to life, telling stories that resonated with depth and feeling.

My ambition reached new heights with a dream: to earn a Vimeo Staff Pick. Influenced by filmmakers like Warren Credo, Anthony Mandler, Shane Stirling, Steve Annis and many others, I was mesmerized by their storytelling mastery on Vimeo. This wasn't just about watching films; it was about absorbing the art of narrative.

Inspired, I was determined to join their ranks, to craft stories that unfold compellingly before the lens.

This was the start of my deep passion for cinematography.

More than capturing images, my goal was to shape how these moments are remembered and experienced, weaving them into an unforgettable narrative.

I Never Owned A Camera But I Always Had The Vision

Facing financial constraints, I chose not to focus on what I didn't have. Instead, I concentrated on building relationships with key individuals who could provide the tools I needed.

My journey started with connections like Jakob, Tien and Jerome, who provided access to essential equipment like the 5DM2, Blackmagic Cinema Camera and a rentable RED camera without insurance. My network grew to include mentors like Bob Gundo and Martin Wojtunik, and the support from Ontario Camera was invaluable in my early stages.

Every weekend was dedicated to renting and maximizing equipment use, often at the cost of sleep, to complete projects, generate income, and afford rentals. During this period, the type of equipment was secondary; my focus was on bringing my vision to life with whatever resources were available.

This approach became a defining aspect of my journey.

Truthfully, I Hoped for a More Dynamic Title Here, But Here's My Take on Societal Change and Turning Points

On this aim to mature from videographer to cinematographer, a lot of pivotal moments uncovered observations that have shaped my journey and outlook.

The Struggle for Help and Guidance

Initially, I was charting my path without a network or a clear guide. With limited resources, I stretched what little I had to its limits. This period taught me the value of being resourceful and the critical importance of seeking help.

Gradually, I built better connections, learning that a filmmaker's true strength is in the community they forge around them

Love, Loss, Lessons… Life

Before the legal age of drinking in America, I had to stomach the loss of my greatest love.

The loss of my mother marked a profoundly difficult and transformative time in my life.

It was a moment that brought unimaginable heartache yet also instilled in me a deep sense of resilience. This experience, as harrowing as it was, anchored me in a newfound strength. It taught me to endure and find stability even in the most turbulent emotional waters.

In this period of grief and reflection, I gained a unique perspective on life and art – one that was rooted in the understanding of loss and the beauty of impermanence.

It reshaped not only how I viewed the world but also how I expressed myself through my work, infusing my art with a depth and empathy that only such profound personal experience could bring.

What's A Win Without A Gold Trophy?

As a freelancer, the typical path didn't appeal to me.

I wasn't drawn to the popularity of YouTubers; I aspired for recognition at film festivals and theatrical releases, valuing artistic appreciation over mainstream success.

I always preferred collaboration to employment, striving for ownership of my work.

Though costly, these pursuits were investments in my future, not just financially, but in crafting my identity as a filmmaker.

Change To Grow, Don't Take The Change To-Go

Letting go of what's comfortable and diving into creativity and innovation was a game-changer for me.

This shift didn't just change my path – it deeply shaped who I am as a filmmaker.

It refined my voice and vision, turning me into the artist I am today.

It's been a direct journey of realizing that true growth in art comes from embracing change.

My Journey To Saying “I Do” To Filmmaking

I've tried my hand many things before feeling, failing and finding my footing as a filmmaker.

1) High School Hustler

High school was where my entrepreneurial journey took root.

Beyond just selling items, I delved into the intricacies of the marketplace, mastering the art of persuasion and understanding the significance of product presentation.

Each transaction was more than a sale; it was a lesson in reading people, understanding their needs, and mastering the art of value and persuasion.

2) Grocery Store Stockist

My stint in a grocery store was a lesson in organization and foresight.

It wasn't just about keeping shelves stocked; it was a deeper exercise in managing timelines and planning ahead.

This role taught me precision and attention to detail, qualities that became integral to my future entrepreneurial endeavours.

3) Credit Collection Customer Service

In the realm of credit collection, I honed my communication skills to an art form.

Here, I learned the nuances of scripting conversations to steer them towards desired outcomes.

The principle of 'Always Be Closing' ingrained in me the importance of seeing every interaction as a stepping stone towards achieving a goal.

4) Street Photography

Photography was where my entrepreneurial spirit and creative energy found harmony.

Capturing moments that told stories, I delved into the art of connecting with audiences visually.

It was a journey in understanding the subtleties of social proof and the importance of audience engagement in the narrative of photography.

5) Videography

My foray into videography was a deep dive into the art of storytelling.

Through projects like weddings and music festivals, I learned to anticipate and capture moments, understanding how to evoke specific emotions.

This experience was not just about filming; it was about syncing the rhythm of stories in the editing process to create a cohesive narrative.

6) Entrepreneurial Venture 01

At 19, I embarked on an entrepreneurial venture, C.E.O.M.O, combining all my learned skills to educate and inspire others.

This initiative, rooted in my accumulated experiences, was a testament to the effectiveness of self-taught skills and the power of knowledge sharing, though it faced challenges due to my divided focus.

7) Real Estate Administrative Assistant

In real estate, I delved into the world of professional conduct and market analysis.

This experience was a rich lesson in understanding consumer needs and how to tailor services to specific market segments, differentiating the impact of full-time dedication from part-time involvement.

8) Boutique Brand Director & Strategist

In my role as a Brand Director and Strategist, I navigated the complex and evolving world of digital presence.

I managed the social media accounts of a high-profile tattoo studio, a boutique burger restaurant, and a thriving boxing enterprise in Downtown,Toronto.

Each post became a study in audience engagement, where I honed the timing and nuances of content strategy. Under the mentorship of Lee Baxter, I learned not just about trust and calculated risk-taking in business, but also how to make bold moves that made these brands stand out in the crowded digital landscape.

My venture into web design further refined my skills focusing on creating digital experiences that were both aesthetically engaging and functionally intuitive, similar to my current website.

This period was more than about posting content; it was about weaving stories that connected with viewers on deeper levels, using captions and music to enhance the narrative.

9) Clothing Designer

My time at the tattoo studio exposed me to a vibrant, creative environment that spurred my interest in fashion design.

Without the financial means to buy high-end fashion, I immersed myself in learning to sew and create patterns, turning weekends into a blend of creativity and craftsmanship.

This journey in cut-and-sew fashion was intricate and enjoyable, combining elements of design and functionality.

However, I eventually decided against launching my own line, recognizing this as a crucial lesson in identifying my true passions and when to refocus energies on more aligned pursuits.

10) Author

Following my stint in Los Angeles, I embarked on a transformative journey into literary writing.

Settling back in Toronto, I sifted through the myriad of notes

I had accumulated on my phone over the years, drawing inspiration from the landscapes around me. This effort culminated in the creation of 'The Journeyman', a work that transcended mere word assembly. It was the realization of a concept I had long envisioned—a plantable book that grows into a tree, symbolizing continuous growth and renewal. Writing 'The Journeyman' was not just about storytelling; it was about structuring my experiences and giving voice to a plethora of ideas that had been brewing within me.

The book, set for a re-launch in 2024, stands as a testament to my evolution as a writer and a visionary, marrying literary art with ecological consciousness and embodying my journey and the shared memories of my life.

11) Day Trading: The Intersection of Analysis and Creativity

During the pandemic, I ventured into the realm of day trading, exploring the complexities of currencies and crypto assets.

This period was rich in learning and understanding the art of the market's creative confluence.

I developed a skill for identifying key trends and patterns, understanding the critical importance of investing time and effort to acquire deep market knowledge.

Day trading evolved into a lesson in strategic decision-making, emphasizing the delicate balance between risk and reward.

My obsession with learning in this field led me to develop a trading algorithm that achieved significant gains, turning a mere $0.12 into $60,000 in 60 days.

However, this success was short-lived, as a swift lesson in risk management came when I lost it all due to over-leveraging. This experience was pivotal, bringing into sharp focus the importance of balancing risk and reward in every decision.

12) Cinematography: Synthesizing Skills into a Visual Art Form

Finally, my diverse life experiences have all converged, leading me to cinematography.

This field has became the synthesis of all my skills and lessons learned, blending the narrative art of writing and videography with the technical proficiency I’ve developed over time.

Cinematography has allowed me to use my understanding of audience engagement and visual aesthetics in an extraordinary new medium. It has became a way for me to communicate complex ideas and emotions, not just through words but through the silent yet expressive language of visuals.

Each shot is a dialogue with the audience, with every frame, every scene, I could tell a story, evoke feelings, and convey messages, making cinematography not just a career but a canvas for my life's experiences.

Honing Skills That Open Doors

My journey in filmmaking was full of challenges.

I unexpectedly went viral with a kissing experiment video at the same time as working my way up from a production assistant to a grip. Monetizing my passion was complex, especially when it came to securing budgets. Convincing others to believe in my vision was my main focus, but clarity came once the budgets were secured.

My success didn't rely on financial resources, but rather on strong relationships, access to key information, and my adaptability. These experiences taught me the crucial lesson of making a strong first impression, as second chances are rare.

From Ah-Ha to Aha Moments

The real secret to mastering storytelling is knowing where you are in your timeline.

I've always been adept at empathizing with others and ensuring our collective goals are met.

My resilience and positive attitude helped me turn challenges into rewarding experiences. Imagine being a young filmmaker with only $0.83 in the bank – that was me, 16 years ago.

In the light of God's Plan, my true mission becomes clear.

I've found my true mission behind the camera, capturing record-breaking moments. This journey has been more than a career leap; it's a quantum jump in both personal and professional growth, aligning with a greater vision.

From a young filmmaker to collaborating with mentors and being invited by Lionsgate to join the camera union, my path has been about breaking barriers. I've worked on major franchise films, with artists who were once just posters on my wall, and traveled to places I once pinned on Pinterest.

Unexpected inspirations came from conversations with strangers and in transit. Winning the CSA awards was a turning point, not just a recognition but a herald of a new chapter, transforming the 'Nos' I used to heard into 'Yes Please' and 'Amen'.

However, my greatest triumph was my baptism at 33, a profound moment of self-realization and spiritual awakening. It redefined my journey, not just about creating visual stories but living a story of faith and growth.

These experiences remind me that the journey is more exhilarating than the destination, inspiring me to return to my roots and commit to another decade of meaningful work.

Every Accolade Mirrors A Moment Of Reflection

I started with little financial means but always believed in sharing success. From a curious 17-year-old to a reflective 33-year-old, my love for reading as a child laid the groundwork for my achievements as an author. My transformation from a filmmaker to a visionary was driven by a passion for helping others achieve their dreams.

Turning Creativity Into Capital.

I often joke about being an overnight success, but it was a 16-year-long night.

This journey taught me the importance of management. Wealth is managed, not earned.

By respecting others' time and valuing information, I learned to serve implementation, not just sell information.

  • Reflect on who you were.

  • Embrace who you are.

  • Expect who you'll become.

Everyone aims to be a saviour, but few are willing to be disciples.

The Story Of My Life in :41 Seconds

Evolving requires patience, practice, and precision.

Like seeds needing care to grow, our ideas and relationships need nurturing. Luck often comes unexpectedly, teaching us to embrace opportunities that arise.

In the film industry, challenges serve as catalysts for growth.

Obstacles become stepping stones to success, shaping your legacy in the industry. Each project contributes to your growth as an artist and individual.

If unsure of your next step, start by writing down your 21 of your biggest ideas, then take the next 14 days to decide on which one you will focus on accomplishing over the next 7 days.

For the past 10 months, I've been developing an accelerator program based on my 16-year journey to help others unlock their full potential and realize their visions.

It's not ready just yet, but I'm very super excited by the testing results and thought it would be good to share with you here. 

This is my story of evolution and discovery, a narrative shared in its entirety.

I pray wherever you go, you grow.

Sincerely Jordan


I was always curious, even as a kid.

I wanted to learn about everything.

The place I grew up, just east of Toronto, is now known for being really special, but to me, it was just where I learned a lot. My trips on the train to the city were long, but I learned so much during them.

I met different kinds of people on those trips.

Some were unhappy with their jobs, some were new to the country and worked very hard, and others seemed really happy and had everything planned out.

I was trying to figure out my own life, fixing old dreams and getting better at things I wasn't good at yet.

I met a woman who changed her whole career when she was 40. Her story made me think about how we can always change and grow.

This made me love coming up with new ideas for careers, new decisions. I used to write about other people's stories and didn't talk much about my own.

But now I wonder, should I tell my story too? Maybe my story is just as important as theirs.

I've learned that everyone's story is important. It's not just what the story is about, but how you tell it and what you learn from it.

My story is about learning from everything, everywhere - all at once.

Early Inspirations and Realizations

Growing up, my definition of success was different. It wasn't about money, but rather a deep sense of responsibility.

Being raised in a Jamaican household, where hand-me-downs were treasures and sleepovers a luxury, I learned life's value differently.

I remember looking out of my window, seeing others seemingly having it all, while I cherished the small joys of a good week leading to a peaceful sleep.

In those moments, I found my drive.

The world around me, noisy with talks of Rogers customer service taking too long and a society longing for change, became my classroom. I was the kid who had big dreams - not just any dreams, but of becoming a 'leader by example, not by definition'. But with big dreams come big fears. The thought of not knowing everything, of having to say 'I don't know', haunted me.

This fear became my fuel. It led me down a path of relentless pursuit of knowledge, growth, and understanding that success isn't just an end goal, but a journey.

Sitting in front of my computer, day in and day out, I realized something crucial - real answers don't just appear, they're sought after. This was my turning point, my step towards a future where I could be the person I dreamed of, armed not just with answers, but with the wisdom of experience.

Realizing My Potential & How Decisive Actions Transformed My Journey

In a world where distractions were constant, my sanctuary was the basement.

There, sitting in the dark, I dove deep into research, studying figures who sparked inspiration within me.

While others chased the latest gear, I became quite good at improvisation. I started building camera rigs from PVC pipes, and household items like napkins and toilet paper became my tools to diffuse lights. Resourcefulness was my mantra, born out of necessity.

While my peers around me leaned on big lights and large crews, I found magic in simplicity: battery-operated lights and the help of roommates. In an era dominated by the pressures of social media, where acceptance and the fear of failure spread like Covid, I charted a different course. Books on self-help and the tons of TED Talks kept my curiosity peaked about the future ahead.

My commitment to learning had no limits. Nights were spent awake, maximizing every moment, often at the expense of sleep. I became consumed by this thirst for knowledge. Most nights I fell asleep on my computer, determined not to waste a second.

This is how I discovered the Da Vinci Sleep Schedule. I transformed my rest into a series of strategic power naps, grabbing a 20-minute snooze whenever I could. This unconventional rest pattern fueled my creativity and sustained me through intense REM sleep states.

Rejecting the path of a conventional job, I focused on a singular goal: understanding how to turn ideas into revenue. For me, the journey wasn't just about choosing the best career; it was about transforming creativity into something tangible and financially rewarding.

Self-Education Taught Me The Importance Of Embracing Failure.

My journey through life has been a masterclass in the unexpected.

Each twist and turn brought lessons that textbooks couldn't teach – lessons in trust, the art of networking, and the craft of building relationships. These experiences were the building blocks of my understanding of human connections.

In my hunger for knowledge, sitting down and watching action movies with my family became more than entertainment; they were my syllabus. I was so curious all the scenes and the overarching story. So I started engineering how they were made, what made them so good and why did they make me feel some typa way. It was like attending my own private film school at a fraction of the cost, each movie taught a unique lesson in storytelling.

My approach to learning filmmaking was unconventional yet practical.

I started creating shot lists, not through traditional methods, but by capturing screenshots from films. These still images were my visual notes. I would organized them into Microsoft Word documents, annotating each with detailed descriptions of the scenes. Keep in mind, I’m like 15 - 16yo at this time. This process wasn't just about cataloging shots just yet; it was a hands-on exploration of what was yet to come.

What didn't fit neatly into my shot lists evolved into what I now recognize as B-Roll. These were the unscripted moments, the candid shots that added depth and authenticity to my understanding of cinema.

They were the unplanned, yet invaluable, pieces of the puzzle in my self-taught filmmaking journey.

Being Afraid To Fail Taught Me How To Prepare

Growing up, the walls of my mother's employment agency were like a second home to me.

It was a place focused on a mission - to empower individuals, enhance their employability, and connect them with life-changing opportunities.

This wasn't just an agency; it was a beacon of hope, shaping brighter futures for everyone who walked through its doors.

From my mother, a maestro in the art of employment, I learned lessons more valuable than gold:

  • The art of a confident handshake, not just as a greeting, but as a symbol of respect and assurance.

  • The importance of maintaining eye contact, a window to sincerity in every conversation.

  • The wisdom in hiring practices, where the decision wasn't about skills alone but about mutual respect and potential.

Her advice was unconventional yet profound: 'Choose not the most skilled candidate, but someone who would hire you if the roles were reversed.'

This wisdom was accepted, particularly as the shortest in my group.

More than a physical trait, my height was a challenge that compelled me to distinguish myself in other ways. It motivated me to run faster, strive harder, and be the first one chosen in any situation.

In this way, my environment became a crucible, demanding discipline within me. It was a powerful lesson in embracing competition, not as a threat, but as a driving force to overcome my fears and achieve success.

My affinity for Photoshop and a knack for digital skills anchored me in the world of technology. These experiences became the bedrock of my most important principle:

Fear of failure isn't a setback; it's a powerful motivator for thorough preparation.

It taught me to arm myself with the necessary skills and mindset to tackle challenges head-on. In this transformation, fear didn't remain an obstacle; it guided me through turbulent waters towards greener pastures.

College Life and Early Challenges

My college years were not just about textbooks and lectures; they were a part of the journey into the unknown, a period rich with exploration and experimentation. It was a chapter in my life where the conventional paths were less appealing, and the curiosity of the uncharted was irresistible.

The decision to leave marketing school was a significant turning point that redirected the course of my life. I found myself stepping into the real world of a travel and lifestyle company. This place was a vibe but it lacked one key element – a real marketing department. It was like finding a hidden gem that just needed some polishing.

As this new opportunity found me, my ability to connect with people came naturally. Conversations flowed like rivers, and rapport built like bridges. But the real challenge was deeper. It was about earning not just their attention, but their financial trust. It was about turning small talk into long-term partnerships.

This was the first real challenge that pushed me to not only use my interpersonal skills but to evolve them into a tool for trust-building in a world where trust is the hardest currency to earn.

The Person I Did Not Become - I Always Was

While sitting on a dolly or having my name on the clapper board wasn’t a reality yet, the sidelines offered a world of opportunity.

I spent a lot of time offering my hands to a lot of small projects, not for profit, but for the invaluable currency of building film friends.

My goal was to make connections with people that valued hard work and a good attitude over production value.

Every person I met had a story in them, waiting to be told. My role? I was the spark plug, I was the one who inspired them to share their ideas in front of the lens, capturing their passion as the camera rolled.

It was in these moments that a new aspiration took root in me – a desire to shape what the audience sees. This wasn't just about being behind the camera; it was about crafting the visual narrative.

This began my journey into the art of cinematography.

Eager to sharpen my craft, I grabbed every chance to experiment with whatever equipment I could get my hands on. It was a period of time when relentless practice and creative exploration took priority over anything else.

This journey of discovery led to the birth of something unique - my signature offering: the 24-hour turnaround $500 video package.

It was a concise masterpiece featuring five meticulously chosen shots, each lasting a brief 2 to 5 seconds, captured in emotive slow motion. This wasn't just a series of images; it was a narrative brought to life with a compelling mix of titles, credits, and carefully selected soundtracks.

The final touch was a streamlined edit, adding polish to the raw emotions captured. In every frame, every second of footage, my vision came to life, telling stories that resonated with depth and feeling.

My ambition reached new heights with a dream: to earn a Vimeo Staff Pick. Influenced by filmmakers like Warren Credo, Anthony Mandler, Shane Stirling, Steve Annis and many others, I was mesmerized by their storytelling mastery on Vimeo. This wasn't just about watching films; it was about absorbing the art of narrative.

Inspired, I was determined to join their ranks, to craft stories that unfold compellingly before the lens.

This was the start of my deep passion for cinematography.

More than capturing images, my goal was to shape how these moments are remembered and experienced, weaving them into an unforgettable narrative.

I Never Owned A Camera But I Always Had The Vision

Facing financial constraints, I chose not to focus on what I didn't have. Instead, I concentrated on building relationships with key individuals who could provide the tools I needed.

My journey started with connections like Jakob, Tien and Jerome, who provided access to essential equipment like the 5DM2, Blackmagic Cinema Camera and a rentable RED camera without insurance. My network grew to include mentors like Bob Gundo and Martin Wojtunik, and the support from Ontario Camera was invaluable in my early stages.

Every weekend was dedicated to renting and maximizing equipment use, often at the cost of sleep, to complete projects, generate income, and afford rentals. During this period, the type of equipment was secondary; my focus was on bringing my vision to life with whatever resources were available.

This approach became a defining aspect of my journey.

Truthfully, I Hoped for a More Dynamic Title Here, But Here's My Take on Societal Change and Turning Points

On this aim to mature from videographer to cinematographer, a lot of pivotal moments uncovered observations that have shaped my journey and outlook.

The Struggle for Help and Guidance

Initially, I was charting my path without a network or a clear guide. With limited resources, I stretched what little I had to its limits. This period taught me the value of being resourceful and the critical importance of seeking help.

Gradually, I built better connections, learning that a filmmaker's true strength is in the community they forge around them

Love, Loss, Lessons… Life

Before the legal age of drinking in America, I had to stomach the loss of my greatest love.

The loss of my mother marked a profoundly difficult and transformative time in my life.

It was a moment that brought unimaginable heartache yet also instilled in me a deep sense of resilience. This experience, as harrowing as it was, anchored me in a newfound strength. It taught me to endure and find stability even in the most turbulent emotional waters.

In this period of grief and reflection, I gained a unique perspective on life and art – one that was rooted in the understanding of loss and the beauty of impermanence.

It reshaped not only how I viewed the world but also how I expressed myself through my work, infusing my art with a depth and empathy that only such profound personal experience could bring.

What's A Win Without A Gold Trophy?

As a freelancer, the typical path didn't appeal to me.

I wasn't drawn to the popularity of YouTubers; I aspired for recognition at film festivals and theatrical releases, valuing artistic appreciation over mainstream success.

I always preferred collaboration to employment, striving for ownership of my work.

Though costly, these pursuits were investments in my future, not just financially, but in crafting my identity as a filmmaker.

Change To Grow, Don't Take The Change To-Go

Letting go of what's comfortable and diving into creativity and innovation was a game-changer for me.

This shift didn't just change my path – it deeply shaped who I am as a filmmaker.

It refined my voice and vision, turning me into the artist I am today.

It's been a direct journey of realizing that true growth in art comes from embracing change.

My Journey To Saying “I Do” To Filmmaking

I've tried my hand many things before feeling, failing and finding my footing as a filmmaker.

1) High School Hustler

High school was where my entrepreneurial journey took root.

Beyond just selling items, I delved into the intricacies of the marketplace, mastering the art of persuasion and understanding the significance of product presentation.

Each transaction was more than a sale; it was a lesson in reading people, understanding their needs, and mastering the art of value and persuasion.

2) Grocery Store Stockist

My stint in a grocery store was a lesson in organization and foresight.

It wasn't just about keeping shelves stocked; it was a deeper exercise in managing timelines and planning ahead.

This role taught me precision and attention to detail, qualities that became integral to my future entrepreneurial endeavours.

3) Credit Collection Customer Service

In the realm of credit collection, I honed my communication skills to an art form.

Here, I learned the nuances of scripting conversations to steer them towards desired outcomes.

The principle of 'Always Be Closing' ingrained in me the importance of seeing every interaction as a stepping stone towards achieving a goal.

4) Street Photography

Photography was where my entrepreneurial spirit and creative energy found harmony.

Capturing moments that told stories, I delved into the art of connecting with audiences visually.

It was a journey in understanding the subtleties of social proof and the importance of audience engagement in the narrative of photography.

5) Videography

My foray into videography was a deep dive into the art of storytelling.

Through projects like weddings and music festivals, I learned to anticipate and capture moments, understanding how to evoke specific emotions.

This experience was not just about filming; it was about syncing the rhythm of stories in the editing process to create a cohesive narrative.

6) Entrepreneurial Venture 01

At 19, I embarked on an entrepreneurial venture, C.E.O.M.O, combining all my learned skills to educate and inspire others.

This initiative, rooted in my accumulated experiences, was a testament to the effectiveness of self-taught skills and the power of knowledge sharing, though it faced challenges due to my divided focus.

7) Real Estate Administrative Assistant

In real estate, I delved into the world of professional conduct and market analysis.

This experience was a rich lesson in understanding consumer needs and how to tailor services to specific market segments, differentiating the impact of full-time dedication from part-time involvement.

8) Boutique Brand Director & Strategist

In my role as a Brand Director and Strategist, I navigated the complex and evolving world of digital presence.

I managed the social media accounts of a high-profile tattoo studio, a boutique burger restaurant, and a thriving boxing enterprise in Downtown,Toronto.

Each post became a study in audience engagement, where I honed the timing and nuances of content strategy. Under the mentorship of Lee Baxter, I learned not just about trust and calculated risk-taking in business, but also how to make bold moves that made these brands stand out in the crowded digital landscape.

My venture into web design further refined my skills focusing on creating digital experiences that were both aesthetically engaging and functionally intuitive, similar to my current website.

This period was more than about posting content; it was about weaving stories that connected with viewers on deeper levels, using captions and music to enhance the narrative.

9) Clothing Designer

My time at the tattoo studio exposed me to a vibrant, creative environment that spurred my interest in fashion design.

Without the financial means to buy high-end fashion, I immersed myself in learning to sew and create patterns, turning weekends into a blend of creativity and craftsmanship.

This journey in cut-and-sew fashion was intricate and enjoyable, combining elements of design and functionality.

However, I eventually decided against launching my own line, recognizing this as a crucial lesson in identifying my true passions and when to refocus energies on more aligned pursuits.

10) Author

Following my stint in Los Angeles, I embarked on a transformative journey into literary writing.

Settling back in Toronto, I sifted through the myriad of notes

I had accumulated on my phone over the years, drawing inspiration from the landscapes around me. This effort culminated in the creation of 'The Journeyman', a work that transcended mere word assembly. It was the realization of a concept I had long envisioned—a plantable book that grows into a tree, symbolizing continuous growth and renewal. Writing 'The Journeyman' was not just about storytelling; it was about structuring my experiences and giving voice to a plethora of ideas that had been brewing within me.

The book, set for a re-launch in 2024, stands as a testament to my evolution as a writer and a visionary, marrying literary art with ecological consciousness and embodying my journey and the shared memories of my life.

11) Day Trading: The Intersection of Analysis and Creativity

During the pandemic, I ventured into the realm of day trading, exploring the complexities of currencies and crypto assets.

This period was rich in learning and understanding the art of the market's creative confluence.

I developed a skill for identifying key trends and patterns, understanding the critical importance of investing time and effort to acquire deep market knowledge.

Day trading evolved into a lesson in strategic decision-making, emphasizing the delicate balance between risk and reward.

My obsession with learning in this field led me to develop a trading algorithm that achieved significant gains, turning a mere $0.12 into $60,000 in 60 days.

However, this success was short-lived, as a swift lesson in risk management came when I lost it all due to over-leveraging. This experience was pivotal, bringing into sharp focus the importance of balancing risk and reward in every decision.

12) Cinematography: Synthesizing Skills into a Visual Art Form

Finally, my diverse life experiences have all converged, leading me to cinematography.

This field has became the synthesis of all my skills and lessons learned, blending the narrative art of writing and videography with the technical proficiency I’ve developed over time.

Cinematography has allowed me to use my understanding of audience engagement and visual aesthetics in an extraordinary new medium. It has became a way for me to communicate complex ideas and emotions, not just through words but through the silent yet expressive language of visuals.

Each shot is a dialogue with the audience, with every frame, every scene, I could tell a story, evoke feelings, and convey messages, making cinematography not just a career but a canvas for my life's experiences.

Honing Skills That Open Doors

My journey in filmmaking was full of challenges.

I unexpectedly went viral with a kissing experiment video at the same time as working my way up from a production assistant to a grip. Monetizing my passion was complex, especially when it came to securing budgets. Convincing others to believe in my vision was my main focus, but clarity came once the budgets were secured.

My success didn't rely on financial resources, but rather on strong relationships, access to key information, and my adaptability. These experiences taught me the crucial lesson of making a strong first impression, as second chances are rare.

From Ah-Ha to Aha Moments

The real secret to mastering storytelling is knowing where you are in your timeline.

I've always been adept at empathizing with others and ensuring our collective goals are met.

My resilience and positive attitude helped me turn challenges into rewarding experiences. Imagine being a young filmmaker with only $0.83 in the bank – that was me, 16 years ago.

In the light of God's Plan, my true mission becomes clear.

I've found my true mission behind the camera, capturing record-breaking moments. This journey has been more than a career leap; it's a quantum jump in both personal and professional growth, aligning with a greater vision.

From a young filmmaker to collaborating with mentors and being invited by Lionsgate to join the camera union, my path has been about breaking barriers. I've worked on major franchise films, with artists who were once just posters on my wall, and traveled to places I once pinned on Pinterest.

Unexpected inspirations came from conversations with strangers and in transit. Winning the CSA awards was a turning point, not just a recognition but a herald of a new chapter, transforming the 'Nos' I used to heard into 'Yes Please' and 'Amen'.

However, my greatest triumph was my baptism at 33, a profound moment of self-realization and spiritual awakening. It redefined my journey, not just about creating visual stories but living a story of faith and growth.

These experiences remind me that the journey is more exhilarating than the destination, inspiring me to return to my roots and commit to another decade of meaningful work.

Every Accolade Mirrors A Moment Of Reflection

I started with little financial means but always believed in sharing success. From a curious 17-year-old to a reflective 33-year-old, my love for reading as a child laid the groundwork for my achievements as an author. My transformation from a filmmaker to a visionary was driven by a passion for helping others achieve their dreams.

Turning Creativity Into Capital.

I often joke about being an overnight success, but it was a 16-year-long night.

This journey taught me the importance of management. Wealth is managed, not earned.

By respecting others' time and valuing information, I learned to serve implementation, not just sell information.

  • Reflect on who you were.

  • Embrace who you are.

  • Expect who you'll become.

Everyone aims to be a saviour, but few are willing to be disciples.

The Story Of My Life in :41 Seconds

Evolving requires patience, practice, and precision.

Like seeds needing care to grow, our ideas and relationships need nurturing. Luck often comes unexpectedly, teaching us to embrace opportunities that arise.

In the film industry, challenges serve as catalysts for growth.

Obstacles become stepping stones to success, shaping your legacy in the industry. Each project contributes to your growth as an artist and individual.

If unsure of your next step, start by writing down your 21 of your biggest ideas, then take the next 14 days to decide on which one you will focus on accomplishing over the next 7 days.

For the past 10 months, I've been developing an accelerator program based on my 16-year journey to help others unlock their full potential and realize their visions.

It's not ready just yet, but I'm very super excited by the testing results and thought it would be good to share with you here. 

This is my story of evolution and discovery, a narrative shared in its entirety.

I pray wherever you go, you grow.

Sincerely Jordan

Re-calibrate Your Vison with J's Journal - a growing community of filmmakers committed to revolutionizing filmmaking.

Vision, Impact, Empower

Re-calibrate Your Vison with J's Journal - a growing community of filmmakers committed to revolutionizing filmmaking.

Vision, Impact, Empower

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Last updated Jan 20, 2024 at 9:44 AM.
© 2023 Jordan Oram.