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  • Writer's pictureDadley Productions

Filmmaker Spotlight | Jacob Hopkins

In an effort to bring more cinematic stories to life, Dadley Productions is proud to highlight filmmakers across the country producing cinematic stories in their local communities. This week we are featuring Central Pennyslvanian filmmaker, Jacob Hopkins.

Check out our exclusive interview with Jacob here:

Tell us how you like to tell cinematic stories.

In all of my work I strive to tell stories authentically. A lot of work goes into producing a film and it’s easy to get caught up in all of the tech and gadgets. At the end of the day, the story is the most important thing. Regardless of what gear I have on set or new technique I want to try, I never want to sacrifice the integrity of the narrative.

How did you get started as a filmmaker?

I was honestly a little late to the game compared to a lot of other filmmakers. I first picked up a camera when I was going to school for music. I was a vocalist and suffered a vocal injury that left me unable to speak for 8 weeks. Searching for ways to communicate without using my voice, I found that my camera was the greatest tool I had.

What inspired you to pursue filmmaking in your local community?

After going through the very transformative experience of being silent for two months, I felt compelled to have a shift in my career. While in school I applied to countless jobs in the film industry but nothing clicked, so I decided to freelance. Using connections I had made in Lancaster I moved downtown and took the plunge into working for myself.

What do you love most about your local film community?

The Lancaster film community has been great. There’s so much more work in film happening here than people realize (especially for the size). The thing that sticks out most to me is how incredibly supportive the community is here. Whether it’s borrowing gear last minute or providing feedback on projects, I’ve always found support from this community as I’ve grown and developed my skills.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to tell their own story?

Just start telling it. So many of the same stories have been told over and over again. People need to hear from new voices and fresh perspectives. I think when people start to tell their story, they’ll be blown away at the impact it can have on other people.

What is one *practical* way people outside of the filmmaking community can get involved in cinematic storytelling in their hometown?

Pick up your phone or camera and start filming. The only way to learn and get involved is to do it. Making a film is so accessible now, and there are so many platform to share your story. Call up some friends and collaborate; I’ve found collaboration to be key to a successful project. It’s good to play to your advantages and not be afraid to ask for help.

Tell us about a recent film or TV series that inspired you in some way.

The most inspiring thing I watched recently was the miniseries Maniac on Netflix. Each episode varies in length from 27 minutes to over 45 minutes. It’s evident that with streaming services, there is a new freedom with runtimes on shows. The filmmakers were truly able to let the story be what it needed to be and weren’t required to fit it into a tight-fitting box. This paid off so well for the way the story unfolds, it’s like nothing else I’ve seen in a long time.

How can people best keep in touch with you?

Connect with me here:

instagram: @iamjhopkins

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