Q&A with Jordan Kahn, director/editor/president of Presslaunch Pictures
Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 3:10PM

Q&A with Jordan Kahn, director/editor/president of Presslaunch Pictures

Tell us a little about yourself and your company. 


Presslaunch Pictures' work represents clients in Louisiana, the Bronx, Puerto Rico and throughout Florida from St. Augustine to Coconut Grove. Universities, advertising agencies, museums, non-profits and every size and kind of business from nationally renown manufacturers to start-up entrepreneurs have called on us for our services. Award-winning filmmaker, photographer and reporter Jordan Kahn founded this company after spending almost two decades as an artist, editor, columnist, and multi-media journalist at major media outlets, including the Daytona Beach News-Journal and "Inside Triathlon" magazine.


Favorite project or most memorable moment?


I've filmed from helicopters over Everglades National Park with permits from the park service and filmed University of Florida scientists capturing a horrendously pissed off 14-foot sawfish with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration endangered species film-crew permit. And that stuff was really cool. But I think the most memorable moment was flying my photography drone to get the sunset money shot on the beaches of Puerto Rico for a national ad campaign for Banco Oriental.


There was a huge crew of directors, client executives, advertising agency personal, modeling agency staff, grips and additional cameramen and camera assistants crawling all over the beach behind the shot scene. The pressure was on.


The ad executive whose account it was and the director were running next to me down the beach as I followed the drone into the scene. When we got back to our beach-side production camp and reviewed the footage, everyone was so amped and started giving each other high-fives and coming over to tell me how great the shot looked. There were so many big smiles that day. The shoot wrapped after that and I swam out over the reefs and just floated in the Caribbean. 


What does the next 10 years of advertising look like to you?


I think social media has evolved so rapidly, it's like a rabbit hole that a lot of advertising resources have been pitched down, some for good and some wasted. In my opinion that effort is, by and large, like chasing a mirage. Quality stuff gets seen. Social media is a very effective channel and an exciting development, but it is not the message, nor is it the content, nor is it a strategy.


The message, content and strategy still all completely rely on the thing I love about advertising the most -- creativity and artistic vision. I don't think that will ever change. Whether it's an elegantly simple and original turn of phrase or a stunning image and graphics, that's still the whole world when it comes to advertising. In fact, I think this part of advertising, the real spark that connects with people, is being celebrated as an art in its own right more and more.


Andy Warhol once said, "all department stores will become museums, and all museums will become department stores." Gallery retail space, fine art quality of design in advertising photography and website design, it's not just for Gucci anymore. Today, an online store for axes or a sneaker store can be elevated to that level of design and it's not pretentious, it's new, fresh, enticing. Warhol's observation really was a prescient statement.


If you weren't working in advertising what would you be doing?


For me, the most important thing is who I'm surrounded by and whether or not the place I am living is providing me with a sense of purpose.


I'll give you an example of what I mean. I've always thought that being a Volusia County Beach Services lifeguard was about the coolest thing in the world. And when I see the kids I surf with have suddenly grown up and are sitting in one of our red towers, I always feel so genuinely thrilled for them!


It's because I love surfing and the ocean is so peaceful and rejuvenating and beautiful. Being a park ranger in Yosemite or just a store clerk on Orcas Island, Washington would make every day wonderful. 


Where can people connect with you or learn more about your company?


Online! Please visit my site at www.presslaunchpictures.com and drop me an email! I love to make new friends!



What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?


After winning Florida Press Club awards, Society of Professional Journalists awards, a Vimeo Staff Pick and film festival selections and awards, I kind of got jaded about awards. They weren't advancing my business and chasing them wasn't helping me grow as an artist. Growing as an artist in efficiency and expertise of practice, technique and style is always the most rewarding thing. But, just recently, a documentary I filmed, wrote and edited won a first place and runner-up Telly Award. Those trophies look like Grammys! I was over the moon!


What's your favorite part of your job?


I love exploration, adventure and the creative process. There's nothing more rewarding than crafting something that truly lives at the intersection of art and the specific need of a client.


Before you go, is there one last piece of wisdom you can drop on us?


There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy, and he wandered very far, very far, over land and sea. A little shy, and sad of eyes, but very wise was he. And then one day... one magic day he passed my way. And we spoke of many things, fools and kings, and this he said to me; The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

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