A lifelong devotee of the arts, Maria Jorjezian graduated in 2020 from Woodbury with a BBA in Marketing and a Minor in Film and Animation. Since that time, she has gone on to produce two feature films, including the horror thriller 6:45 — which has been described as “Groundhog Day meets The Sixth Sense” and debuted on Digital, Blu-ray™ and DVD in March 2022!
She has also directed music videos (one of which earned the Best Love Song Music Video in the 2nd Annual California Music Video Awards), short films, and a commercial. In addition to her role as founder and executive producer of the Jorjezian Film Festival, she has recently been working as production manager, production coordinator and is producing a variety of projects in development bicoastally. She recently got into the union in New York!
We recently sat down with Maria to find out what advice this prolific creator has for aspiring filmmakers.
“Observe people, observe animals, nature. All work is based on human nature and the need to fulfill human nature. Try to find the ’why’ in everything.
“Take time to do research on target demographics and spend time with anyone and everyone you can (as long as it’s safe, of course). Even if that person has nothing visibly great to offer you, you just learned something new. It might not be apparent now or tomorrow, but it will show up one day, and you’ll be very happy you took that time.
“Don’t be afraid of failure. There are projects that are going to suck. There are situations in life that are going to suck. There are moments in life when you’ll have success and failure at the very same time. Don’t let it scare you. You can do better, and you will. Your first time writing or creating or researching is not going to be great. It would be weird if it was. But you HAVE to go through it. It’s not how you fall, but how you get back up.”
“Study biographies, psychology, philosophy. These individuals spent decades and generations figuring things out, and you get to benefit from the fruits of their labor. If you have a chance, read ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius. It will help you have a truly objective perspective toward yourself and life. Also read ‘It’s Not About How Good You Are, It’s About How Good You Want to Be’ by Paul Arden. It’s a short read that helps you process how to better things in your career and yourself.”
“Things will take time. It will take a lot of time. There will be setbacks, and things might be dead in the water after months/years of effort. Keep pushing, and find new avenues and approaches. Maybe you’re not seeing something right in front of you, and the setback might bring you to something so much better. Persevere. No matter how hard it gets, keep pushing through. It’s not going to come easy, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to get to your dream. Welcome hard work — it’s the one true way.”
“Help your colleagues, your friends, people you care about — and even people you don’t care about — get better. Share ideas and advice. Put them in situations where they’ll grow and develop. Make allies and friends everywhere you go. Not only will you help your community become a better place, but you’ll also start realizing you’re creating a community/network for yourself, and together you can achieve greater things than you ever would have on your own. The more you bring into the community pile, the better the community becomes.”
“If a job feels like it’s not as exciting as it once was, chances are you’re not seeing the big picture like you used to. Once you start climbing the mountain, it stops looking as majestic as it was when you looked at it from far away. Take the time every once in a while to look back and see your progress from a couple of months back. Chances are you have made huge progress.”
“When success starts to come — and it will — remember you’re a part of something much bigger, which is the world. A small speck in the grand scheme of things. Take time to go to a huge element in nature, look at the sky, climb a mountain, and look at the ocean to remind yourself you’re not an individual giant entity. So many successful people forget this and become a menace to society. It’s good practice.
“People will talk ill of you. You’ll realize it’s either constructive criticism or absolutely useless. Accept constructive criticism and throw away the rest.”
“Learn to love and accept yourself. It’s hard. I struggle with this every day. Forgive yourself because you’re only a human being. Just being alive is an amazing fact. Drink a lot of water — I bet you’re not drinking enough.”
Last Updated on December 16, 2022.