Behind The Scenes With Nicholas Jandora: From Being Homeless to Touring the World
There are thousands of people with cameras who claim to be videographers, yet lack the true talent to leave a creative mark. Nick Jandora is one of the very few talented videographers that took a risk and saw it pay off. After graduating college as a Journalism major, he decided a normal job was not for him and began to pursue videography. From being homeless on his birthday, to touring with Lil Skies and Lil Uzi, and shooting for Rolling Loud, Jandora is an inspiring success story. We got a chance to hear this story, peer into the development of some of his work, and talk about what is next for him.
What inspired you to become a videographer and what are some of the biggest obstacles you have had to overcome since you began?
Ever since I was a little kid I remember making videos, back when I was in like 2nd or 3rd grade I would make these really corny scary movies with this big ass VHS camera. Then in high school I got into the whole Youtube sketch comedy thing and got a partnership with Youtube. Once I got to college people started asking me if I could make them music videos and it kinda just grew from there, my early videos were straight garbage though. I feel like every videographer has kind of the same obstacles when first starting out, finding good artist, finding artist that are actually willing to pay you what you want (that’s was a struggle for me until this year) trying to make videos on little to no budget, but I think the biggest thing I had to overcome was saying fuck a normal job. I graduated college with a degree in Journalism and all my professors, parents, and girlfriend at the time were pressuring me to get a normal ass boring job. They all told me to get a job in the meantime while I wait for my videographer career to take off, I knew that if I got a normal job I would be stuck and hate my life so I just really focused on my video work. I was broke as fuck and decided to move out to LA for a few months. I was actually homeless on my birthday with like $100 to my name so it was definitely a struggle but it was also invigorating. I had lived my whole life taking the safe route so it was good to take a risk and step out of my comfort zone and in-turn it happened to be the best decision of my life.
Who are three videographers whose work you admire?
There’s honestly so many young directors that I fuck with super heavy. Cole is the boy obviously, Lonewolf kills shit, I remember getting inspired from Jimmy Regular early on but there are so many that I can’t just name 3. Hidjifilms, Aplus, Rex Arrow, JMP, Nasser Boulaich etc. I could keep going for days honestly. I love the time I live in right now because there are endless creative people doing the same shit I am and they don’t treat it like a competition, everyone just does their own shit and they all prosper.
How much time a week do you spend editing?
It honestly all depends on what my week looks like. Sometimes i could spend up to 40 hours a week editing and some weeks I could edit for only like an hour or two. I normally don’t try and edit a full video in one sitting though, I like to come back to a video with fresh eyes so I don’t have one single mindset while editing a video.
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not shooting videos?
I try and travel as much as possible but I’m from a small town in West Virginia so there really isn’t shit to do but smoke weed. Since I’ve been on the road and working non stop this year my favorite thing to do is honestly nothing haha. Just sitting outside or in the woods without my phone or anything distracting is fun as fuck to me, or maybe I’m just turning into a boring old person.
I was looking back at your director’s reel from 2010-2011, and it is crazy to see the progression from that reel to your 2016-2017 one. How do you think your 2010 self would feel looking at your reel now?
My 2010 self would be hyped as fuck honestly. I’m finally doing exactly what I wanted to do with my life to an extent, it’s still the early stages but still. When I first started video I never really expected to be at the point where I am, but now that I’m at this point I only want to progress, I’m trying to buy my parents a house so I won’t be satisfied in life till I can do that.
What has been key in developing your film and videography work over time?
Practice and failure. Basically people telling me my videos are trash was 10X better than people telling me my videos were dope. I honestly love when people have bad shit to say about my videos because it helps me realize I’m not shit and someone could easily take my spot. There are so many videographers and creatives nowadays that if you aren’t steadily progressing you are gonna get left behind, helps keep everyone on their toes.
From touring with Lil Skies to filming for Rolling Loud, 2017 has been a pretty big year for you. What would you say was your favorite project you worked on this year and why?
My favorite project was probably the “Signs of Jealousy” video I did for Skies. All the other videos I shot for him were on the east coast and this is the first one that we got to shoot in Cali, so the vibe was just super nice. Skies is my brother so whenever we shoot anything it’s super organic and a good time and I think that shows in the videos we put out together.
I noticed in a Tweet you mentioned that you wished more videographers and other creatives got interviewed more by No Jumper. Can you expand more on why you felt this way, and what you believe what a videographer’s role in the industry is today?
Hahaha oh shit. Alright let me start off my saying that wasn’t meant to come off like I was salty or taking shots at No Jumper in anyway. I fuck with Adam and the whole No Jumper movement super heavy, he helped Skies out early in his career and always shows support to the Cufboys and a bunch of up and coming artist. I was actually listening to one of Adam’s podcast just a few days ago where he was talking about the direction he wants to go with No Jumper by keeping the podcast pretty much soley artist and I completely get that. I think being a videographer I always am interested in how the creatives I look up to got their start and what the struggles they had to go through to get where they are. A lot of creative don’t really put their personal life out their and most of them kind of stay in the background without getting the recognition they really deserve so it would be nice to see them get the limelight for a little bit. I think a videographer has a huge role in shaping the image of an artist. You can have some of the best music in the world but if you have trash videos and photos people aren’t going to fuck with you as much.
What is the mindset you take into each video shoot, and what is a typical shoot like for you?
Most of my videos are run and gun style videos, and a lot of the times we have no idea what were are going to shoot till we start shooting, which is honestly a horrible way to go about it. But I always try and keep an open mind and try and make each video that I make different than the last. I try and stay away from the typical music video shit but sometimes it’s hard, that’s why I love working with artist that aren’t afraid to try weird or different shit in their videos. Most of my shoots are super laid back though, I feel like I’m a pretty easy director to work with.
If there was a piece of advice you could give to an aspiring videographer, what would it be?
Don’t quit. Being a videographer sucks dick like 95% of the time but it is 100X better than working at some boring ass job in a cubicle sitting next to your 300lb coworker showing you pictures of her cats and inviting you to the office ugly sweater party.
What are you looking forward to most in 2018 and do you have any goals for the year?
I’m just excited to keep working honestly. It’s amazing to see Skies progress and I think 2018 is really gonna be his year. My main goal is to become a better cinematographer, get some of my work in a magazine, buy my own place, and go on a date with Rihanna, just some simple stuff.
Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
QUIT YOUR JOB AND DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Big shout out to Nick for doing this interview with us! Make sure to follow him on Twitter here and be on the lookout for more work coming from him in 2018.