Jordan Taylor Wright doesn’t photograph the world, he creates his own. In this interview, he speaks to us with depth and generosity about his experiences, his vision of life, and what his job has brought him.
Hi Jordan, can you introduce yourself for those who don’t already know you?
My name is Jordan Taylor Wright, Founder of Taylor Cut Films. I’m a creative director and filmmaker based out of Los Angeles, California. Taylor Cut Films is a production company/creative agency specializing in music videos, commercials, and films. Over a 10-year span, Taylor Cut Films has created original content for artists such as Usher, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, and The Chainsmokers.
“Understanding myself allowed me to understand how to look at things with an outside perspective […]”
In fact, the “Closer” lyric video that I created and starred in for The Chainsmokers has over 2 billion views. My team and I are currently creating ad campaigns with renowned brands such as Bose, L’Oréal, American Express, and Marvel. Taylor Cut Films is soon to announce our lineup of original TV and film content for 2018. I also published my first book, Forever in the Infinite Now, and my first feature film, Discovery of the Divine Consciousness, is due out this Fall. All of this content lives on my new content platform IntentOn.
How did your passion for film directing and photography start?
I majored in film in college and took a great interest in psychology as well. I loved understanding how our minds functioned and why we think the way we do. Understanding myself allowed me to understand how to look at things with an outside perspective when creating stories visually.
“You can find inspiration everywhere as long as you remove your ego and live in the present.”
After graduating college, I moved back home to New Jersey where I got an internship working at a production company shooting for reality shows that aired on different stations such as the Food Network. On paper, this was a great opportunity but most importantly, it wasn’t fulfilling my soul’s expression.
I would film music videos and concerts for free on weekends, approaching managers saying “I’m going to make a recap edit of the live performance. I don’t want any money but if you enjoy the video and would like to share it, please say Taylor Cut Films made it.” I ended up catching the attention of a musical artist who at the time was signed to Pharrell, and from there I quit my job and went on a tour across America.
A few months later after returning home, I received a call saying Usher was coming to NYC to star in an off-Broadway show and asked if I was interested in creating video content for it. I said, “Absolutely,” and that led to a three-year adventure of traveling and making visuals for Usher, all across the world.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration everywhere. It can be from the beautiful countries I’ve visited and the amazing local people. You can find inspiration everywhere as long as you remove your ego and live in the present.
Everyone in life plays a unique role in helping me to find inspiration. My mother was fundamental in gently showing me life is so vast and beautiful outside of what may feel comfortable to you. All the best experiences have come when I have least expected it. Planning, within itself, isolates and eliminates the infinite possibilities that could occur.
Learning to tune into our silence and allow the universe to guide us in the right direction is pivotal in reaching our maximum potential. I’m thankful for all the guides I’ve had along this journey.
“By just bouncing around ideas, I’m able to come up with some pretty original and creative content. “
With all the images and videos surrounding you, how do you manage to come up with original ideas?
I come up with original ideas by merely living in the present. I could be sitting in traffic and look up to see a beautiful building or design. From there I think, “How cool would it be if…” and start bouncing ideas around. What if my car lifted off into the sky and flew around the bright lights? What if I abandoned traffic and my car altogether and was magically transported to this beautiful location free of traffic altogether? By just bouncing around ideas, I’m able to come up with some pretty original and creative content.
You take a lot of landscape photography. Is there one place that inspired you more than the others?
Not at all. Every place is beautiful in its special way. You can find inspiration everywhere, from the bright lights of Tokyo and New York City to the vast luscious landscapes of New Zealand and Hawaii.
What is your favorite part about your job?
Every part is my favorite, to be honest, and I love the opportunities that come with it.
Here’s one example: One time in Dubai we were scheduled to go on a helicopter tour (me, Usher, a prince of Dubai who invited Usher to perform at this music festival) and on the drive over Usher kept teasing me saying we were going skydiving (he knew I was afraid of heights at the time). I kept saying I would stay in the car if so until he finally said he was joking with me. When we arrived at the helicopter facility, the Prince hadn’t arrived yet, and the pilot said in broken English, “This is where we also do skydive Dubai,” a famous skydiving event. Usher didn’t fully understand and replied with, “I’ve always wanted to go skydiving” to which the pilot replied, “Okay, you’ll go skydiving!”
“Being “commercial” helps to sell and reach a broad audience, but there is a way to balance both.”
They began to harness Usher into a parachute, and he looked over at me and said with his eyes, “I’m not doing this alone.” I smiled and said, “Okay, let’s do it!” We ended up jumping out of a helicopter at close to 12,000 feet, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Fear is just the unknown waiting to be turned into love. I’m so happy to have stepped out of my comfort zone that day. The Universe works in a beautiful way.
How do you balance creativity and commerciality?
Being “commercial” helps to sell and reach a broad audience, but there is a way to balance both. I’ve worked with brands such as Audi, Bose, Tiffany & Co., Ferragamo and more who cater to a certain clientele and have a reputation to protect. However, they wouldn’t have hired me if they didn’t like my creative style and wanted that incorporated. When working with brands it’s important to keep with their respective brand aesthetic and “voice,” but you can incorporate your creativity into a project if it makes sense. You just have to understand the brand.
“When we operate without ego, we can find what is truly fulfilling.”
You recently released a book about meditation, “Forever in the Infinite Now.” Can you tell us about this journey?
I double majored in film and psychology because I wanted to understand my thoughts. I started researching meditation and Eastern spirituality which is how I discovered meditation, you don’t need anything special to meditate, you just need to focus on the present. Once we, as humans, realize that we are all nothing we are free to realize that we are also all everything. When we operate without ego, we can find what is truly fulfilling.
“All humans are the same. Famous or not, followers or not, we are all the same.”
Does meditation feed your creativity?
Mediation provides a physical and mental escape that allows you to free yourself from your ego and live in the here and now. When meditating, your mind is completely free of stress which helps you to channel your creativity. On the contrary, meditation also lets you clear your mind entirely so when you’re done, your brain is fresh, and you’re ready to begin the creative process.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
If money is your goal, you will never find happiness.
All humans are the same. Famous or not, followers or not, we are all the same. We all feel, and we all deal with the same emotions.
Judging or comparing in any capacity will only bring sadness. We are not other; we are one.
It’s okay to be sad; sadness is waiting to be turned into love. We are all love, and it is beautiful to accept and love yourself fully. This is important in all facets of life, especially with creating art.
You are not your ego. The sun will still rise tomorrow whether you remember to set your alarm or not. We are all nothing, and because we are nothing, we hold the capacity to be everything.
Are there any future projects you can tell us about?
I just launched Taylor Cut University which starts with six video tutorials where I teach photography and filmmaking techniques. I will be expanding on these classes ongoing based on viewer feedback and requests. I also offer custom photo filters for Adobe Lightroom, as well as video editing filters.
The teaching courses, video and photo filters, and my original content (book, upcoming TV show, and film) will all live on my content platform, IntentOn.
I have a feature-length film, Discovery of the Divine Consciousness, due out in Q4 this year. We filmed it in Alaska, Tokyo, New Zealand and Los Angeles. It also uses the same technology as The Life of Pi. I’m also working on music videos with SYML and Trevor Hall which will be released soon.
Also, I’m about to launch a TV show called, “Self-Expression,” this Summer which features me as the host. In each episode, I spend time with different content creators and interview them. Episode 1 highlights the Instagram couple and travel bloggers DoYouTravel & Gypsea_Lust.
You can read this interview in french