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Jan 3, 2024 by Marc Peruzzi
Photograph Garrett Grove

Trade Secrets: Jordan Manley | Learn from Yourself

Featuring the filmmaker Jordan Manley

Home Base / Vancouver, British Columbia.

Activities / Skiing, cycling, adventure travel.

Insider Knowledge

We asked the filmmaker Jordan Manley if he looks at his past work with a critical eye. Here’s what he had to say:

“I certainly identify things that I would’ve liked to have done better. But I don’t have the desire to go back and change things. Sometimes those items you don’t like are just statements about the way you saw the world at that time, for better or worse. I also try to focus on the positive elements; to see the things that I did well. That’s important because it can be easy to forget what you’ve learned as years and projects go by and situations change. I’m always switching roles from running cameras, location scouting, interviewing, and the rest, so it can be a year or more between editing projects. I find myself asking myself how I did something in the past. I’d like to think these techniques are ingrained in me, but sometimes I need to relearn them. Particularly with editing, looking back can give you reminders of what worked well or what you could have done better.”

Quick Tip

“Film is in a challenging place right now,” says Jordan. “There’s a lot of wonderful work that doesn’t see the light of day. I think we went through a golden age of documentaries. Now, maybe, we’re in a transition phase? The upside is that we have the ability to self publish. But that also involves a tremendous amount of work. I watched a film online the other day. It was an hour and a half long. Only a few thousand people saw it. I respect that. I try to tell up-and-coming filmmakers to follow passion and curiosity. It can’t be just about the money.”