Platt Student Spotlight!
Platt College Video Production student Justin Edelman recently took the time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about the launch of his Kickstarter project SILT and his love of photography. Having been recognized by the likes of Carrie Underwood and Bad Robot, we know many more will soon discover Justin’s talents.
Interviewer: You have recently launched a Kickstarter project titled SILT tell us a little bit about this project.
Justin: A couple years ago my friend showed me a documentary about the Salton Sea and after
watching the documentary I literally had visions of a photo shoot flicker in my head. The photo shoot had a ballet dancer with a gas mask on in this dystopian setting. At the time I was just getting into analog black and white film photography but as time has progressed I have acquired some unique and rare films that have inspired me to keep the vision of this shoot alive. So for my birthday my girlfriend suggested I do a video and a party which ended up turning into doing a Kickstarter!
Interviewer: SILT is a huge photography project. When did your love of photography first begin? And what is your favorite piece?
Justin: I don’t know if I can mark a point where my love affair with photography began, but I can say that the love for film and analog photography came a couple years ago. Through my life I have taken thousands of photos but it wasn’t until a few years ago I saw the camera as a tool, which eventually led to manual photography (it wasn’t about the green auto feature anymore). SILT is a project of passion and vision for me. I am doing it because I love photography and the process. I really won’t make any money off of it and I am totally fine with that, I just want to make it happen and share it with the world.
My favorite piece and this is going to sound a little narcissistic is a selfie I shot with my favorite vintage camera (a rolleiflex) on some very rare color infrared film. The shot is not only composed well, but the colors are magnificent and I feel that it says a lot about me. As a photographer you probably only get 10 shots your whole life time that will make you money, are amazing and unique; this is one of them.
Interviewer: Having just launched the project about a week ago you have almost reached your goal! What have you found most effective in promoting your Kickstarter project?
Justin: Facebook has been the biggest tool for me. I am fortunate that I have a lot of friends and family who really believe in me and want to see me succeed.
Interviewer: Do you have any advice to other aspiring artists who may want to use Kickstarter to fund a project?
Justin: First of all make sure you lay the groundwork really well. I rushed mine a little bit but had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. A couple weeks out I started spreading the word that I was going to be doing a kickstarter project.
Second, make a damn good video! I can’t stress this enough. If you spend the most time doing anything, this should be it.
Third, make really good rewards for all levels of people. I wanted someone to go on there and think man that is really cool to have for that price.
Last, you need to live and breath the kickstarter after it is launched. Every day you need to reach out to someone new, think of audiences you can reach. You have to obsess over it.
Interviewer: On top of still attending school here at Platt you’ve been juggling family and various significant side projects. How do you find a balance?
Justin: The balance comes naturally when you are doing something you love. My family and daughter come first, of course, but finding time to do what I am passionate about is just about making time where it may not have existed before. It is a lot of work but in the end its all worth it.
Interviewer: Many of the projects you have worked on during your time here at Platt have already received a large amount of support. You have even reached over a million views on your military homecoming video that was also used in a Carrie Underwood music video. What would you say has been your favorite project and why?
Justin: I am not sure I have a favorite really, I love them all. Each one is a little bit of me and a whole lot of learning I did. It feels good to know that some of my work has had a large audience. Honestly if money was not an issue I would be doing documentaries and telling real life stories all the time.
Interviewer: I understand you are also working on a set of videos for the Platt College website showcasing what it’s like to experience the overall environment of the college. Tell us more about this project and what it’s like to interview employers and Platt alumni.
Justin: First of all its been an honor to be considered for such a project. I have had a couple mentors along the way, Kimberly Harbert, being one of them. College teaches you a lot, but experience teaches you more and one thing I have learned is to listen to those who have succeeded themselves. Platt is a very unique learning atmosphere and I like that I have the ability to share my perspective a little. I am not the best student, I beat to my own drum but Platt has given me an atmosphere where my creative side has thrived and grown into what it is today. From day one when a teacher had some final project that was due, whether it was an essay on a graphic designer or presentation on some era of art, I have always asked if I can make a video for the project.
Most schools wouldn’t have allowed me to do that, they would have made me fit into the cookie cutter routine but Platt afforded me that which really allowed me to push forward into video at my own pace and from an early start in school. While what I was learning was theory I was applying and learning my skill. I think that overall that is the general message I have gotten from other alumni, they were able to thrive in this environment. If you ever ask me to see any of those videos, they will never see the light of day again!! HAHA!
Interviewer: What are your plans once you graduate from Platt?
Justin: I have started Footprint Film, a photography and video studio. Currently I am doing corporate videos, weddings and web. Footprint Film has also been one of the first in San Diego to provide Slow Motion Video Booths for event entertainment.
Currently I am building a skilled team to produce high quality videos for all ranges of work. On the side I do some photography here and there because I love it and it does generate some income.
In the future I will film and produce documentaries that I will submit to various film festivals. Footprint Film was created to make a footprint on the world. I have a daughter and a skill and I have to do everything I can to change the world with my skill to make it a better place for my daughter and our future.
All Photos © Justin Edelman