Alumni Spotlight Jonathan Childs ’11

Childs, Jonathan

Jonathan is a filmmaker and photographer from central Arkansas. He has his MFA in filmmaking from the University of Central Arkansas. When he’s not slaving away over a hot computer, he’s out climbing rocks with his amazing wife, Katie.

What are you doing now professionally?

I’m currently a full time Photo/Video Specialist at the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office in the Department of Communication and Education, Editor of the Oxford American Magazine’s award winning video series “SoLost”, Editor of the Oxford American Magazine/NPR video series “Southword”, editing video for Heifer international with Photographer/Videographer/Director, Dave Anderson and working on multiple freelance projects.
What books, artwork or other movies have inspired you, overall or recently?
Even though it may not be super apparent in my work, Wes Anderson is a HUGE influence for me both overall and recently. Films don’t have to be  “technically good” for me to like them either… Home Alone is one of my favorite movies of all time.As far as artwork goes, I’m really digging anything that Bo Bartlett’s paints. He gets pegged as a realist painter (which was out of fashion for a while), but he  really is much more than that. He’s able to capture a sense of nostalgia on canvas that would be hard to capture with words.
Who are some early mentors or teachers that have inspired you?

All of the UCA film faculty were definitely an inspiration for me. Even now, I feel like I can call any of them for advice, and they would gladly help me out  in any way that they could.  Dave Anderson has been one of the biggest inspirations that I’ve ever had, plus he somehow always has cookies around. When you are all bleary eyed from  the “hardest edit of your life” cookies always seem to make things seem a little brighter.  Anybody I’ve ever had a meaningful conversation with has inspired me in one way or another. Last but certainly not least, my wife, Katie. She’s the rock that keeps me anchored.

What is the most helpful professional advice you have received?

To let a project just be finished. Quit going back to it and adjusting things… otherwise you’ll never stop!

How did your experience at UCA help shape your professional career?

I think UCA prepared me to be any kind of filmmaker that I needed to be. Which is pretty awesome. I feel like I could have moved to L.A. or N.Y.C., and  after a time been successful. I feel like I could work at a local production company, or ad agency and feel comfortable. I don’t feel like I’m just an audio guy,  or just and editor. UCA taught me the fundamentals of filmmaking, and how to apply them to a wide variety of creative opportunities.

What is your dream project?

To make rock climbing videos for a living… Ha! Like that will ever happen. : )

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