Media Inc.’s interview series, in which we discuss the latest and greatest with a different Northwest company each issue, continues with Seattle’s red jet films.
Operated by husband-and-wife team Jeff Erwin and Sue Feil-Erwin, red jet provides start-to-finish high-definition video production services.
“Whether it’s a project for the boardroom, a documentary or a feature film bound for festivals,” says Jeff, owner and head DP, “red jet has the experience, the tools and the passion to write, produce, edit and post projects from concept to completion.”
Here is Jeff Erwin, on the record:
How has your business changed throughout the years?
It’s like a fine wine that has aged very well. After 17 years we have worked for hundreds of great clients, many who return time and time again. We have had the opportunity to shoot all over the world and not only have told many stories, but have many yet to tell.
Since this is our Equipment List issue, let’s talk equipment.
Thank god I love buying new tools because staying current in this business means always buying something. Over time we have brought on some cool tools—dollies and jibs, lights, wireless mics and cameras… lots of cameras!
What is one recent project that you are particularly proud of?
We do so many projects we are proud of. I think what I like best is producing stories that either help organizations raise money for great causes or send help directly to individuals. Just recently, we produced two videos for World Vision in Tanzania. Following Big Daddy Weave—a Christian band—we shot and produced a music video as well as an appeal movie the band will use during concerts to raise awareness of child sponsorship.
Who or what inspires you, either personally or professionally?
Sue and I have been to IDFA—the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam—numerous times. I always leave inspired—sometimes because a film is so well done with a message I think everyone should see, and sometimes because I think a film is so bad I should have made something in its place. Either way, it keeps me excited about telling stories.
How important is it for your company to connect and engage with your surrounding community?
Time and time again we have purchased equipment locally at a higher cost than what we could have acquired it from a dealer in, say, New York, but we do that to support our peeps. Beyond that, Seattle has so many great companies and foundations—and in this business you find out very quickly just how small the world we live in really is.
What are some of your most gratifying professional accomplishments?
For me, it is really the clients who have selected me to work on their projects. I have been to many incredible places in the world to make a movie for some very special people. I have truly been blessed in all of the places a camera has taken me. At the end of the day, the fact that we are still here after 17 years says we are doing something right.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
Sue and I are fortunate to travel a lot. We will come up with something!
What would you do for a living if you were not in the production business?
That’s tough. I love what I do. Maybe design cool lighting.