🐈 Community
» Community » Community Blog » Jonathan Newman, Filmmaker & Editor
Page options
May 01, 2023
Jonathan Newman, Filmmaker & Editor

Jonathan Newman | Filmmaker & Editor


Thinking of your career journey, how would you describe your professional path?: Freelance

Which industry most closely relates to your career story?: Design & Creative

How many years of experience do you have in this industry?: Expert (15+ Years)


Meet the person behind the role.


Hi my name is Jonathan. I've been working in the film industry for over 20 years! I love making films and telling stories. I've made feature films, commercials and hundreds of short and corporate films for global companies around the world including Ford, Virgin, BT, J & J, and Hilton Hotels to name a few. I started my career directing, but over the years that has transitioned much more to creatively producing films for corporate clients. During Covid this especially increased due to the time spent at home. Companies still wanted films made, and I had to find a way to produce them without physically going to set. That's when my freelance business grew most. And I'm proud to say that journey, although hard to begin with, has been a fantastic one and Upwork has heen instrumental in that.


What makes you want to get up in the morning? 


For me the variety of each job is what I love. It's like changing jobs every day but without changing jobs. Every project I work on is different and challenges my creative skillset in a different way. One day it might be a commercial I am making, another day a logo, or a corporate internal film for Nestle. It's that variety that ensures things don't go stale and keeps my stimulated.


What does an average week look like?


Because my studio is in my garden, it doesn't take long to get to work! That's good but also means there's little differentiation between home and office hours! That being sald, I tend to start work around 8am and work until I feel I've completed a draft of whatever project I'm on. As it's creative, it can be draining, so I try not to overload myself in a single day. I'll send the work off to a client for notes and then work on revisions. At any one time I may have 3-4 projects on the go which I'm juggling. Almost all are from Upwork and a lot are repeat clients that I've established a long term relationship with. I try to remember my work life balance so I make sure I'm inside to say hi when my kids get home. And to destress I go kickboxing 3 times a week!


Your career journey. 


Think about your career path from high school to your current role-what positions did you hold, was there additional education that helped you get to your current role, did you have a mentor, or seek out specific companies? Did you ever apply for a job you weren't quallfled to try and get Into the field? 


I knew in high school I wanted to be in film and so pursued that through hundreds of rejection letters and barriers and people saying no. I was so determined. I went to film school but I can't say that helped progress my career. Going back to the above quote, it was more about just getting on and doing it. I raised £10k from British Telecom back in 1998 when they were testing

out broadband and I went and made a film with that! That was my start really.


Your a-ha moment!


What was the a-ha moment that made you confident you wanted to do this work?


The moment my first film got financed I quite my job working in the family business. That was real validation (I think for my parents as well who probably thought I was living in cuckoo land).


Digging into the role.


Here we want you to step back and think about your role and how you got there. Are there any expectations you had about your career that you have found differed from reallty, in both a good or bad way? What was It that made you choose this career? 


I chose this career because I realised from an early age that I didn't want to be a spoke on anyone else's wheel. Why spend your life trying to fulfil someone else's dream. As I get older and have a family and mortgage, my outlook has changed somewhat - now it's more about ensuring I can support the family. I see it more as a means to and end - but albeit I love what I do. However the burning desire and dream to only make feature films has diminished somewhat. I love what I do and thankfully I'm able to support my family doing it.


What is one plece of advice you'd give your younger self about your career path?


It will take time, but you'll get there. Enjoy the journey.


Advice for the future?


Okay, as the expert: What advice do you have for someone who might be interested in taking a similar path? What can you share with them? 


It's not going to be an easy road. Freelancing never is. You can be the best at what you do but if you're not proactive in your search for work, the odds are reduced that it will come to you.


Do you have a quote you can share that Inspires or motivates you? 


"Don't wait for the cow to back into your hands to milk it... go into the fleld and milk the cow." I love that. Because I feel it's so important to take action rather then to wait for things to happen TO you.