YOUNG JEFE  

noun || yəNG ˈhefā

donSMITH is a freelance cinematographer and editor. 

donSMITH

YJ: What’s your current hustle?

DS: Cinematographer and Editor. 

YJ: Has what you’re doing now been a life-long interest?

DS: I’ve been around the arts in general since I was 9 or 10 years-old to the point where, I found myself obsessing with art more than school. I’ve always known this was what I needed to be doing with my life and brain.

YJ: How do you approach ideas/concepts? 

DS: So far most have come from my own direction or writing. I produce music videos for clients and in preperation, I listen to the song a lot, I see what comes to me creatively, and then I execute it via my own direction. I encourage communication between the artist and myself. I’m always open to talk. 

YJ: Where do you find inspiration, when needing it?

DS: I truly try not to have anything forced come out of me or my work. I travel and often go somewhere new. In the midst of travel, I can see something simple like a sequence of colors in the ATL airport or hear specific jazz chords and feel inspired or motivated. Changing my environment helps me create something new. 

YJ: If you could tell your younger self one thing about life, what would it be?

DS: Younger me could of been more disciplined. Listen more and speak less. 

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YJ: What are you still looking to achieve?

DS: There's a lot of work to be done. I want to be happy with what I create.

YJ: What do you think is different about your creative process? 

DS: I don’t know enough about the creative process of anyone other than myself. I do know everyone is their biggest critic. 

YJ: What would you say to someone who may think that their talent is not an ideal career path?

DS: I would tell them that there is no ideal career path. There are no rules. There’s just space we occupy! I would challenge whoever to think about where they want to be in 7 years and compare that to their present situation. Whatever is consistent, that’s what they should be doing. 

YJ: If you could make a bumper sticker what would it say? 

DS: “Do not follow me.” 

YJ: What’s been your favorite project so far?

DS: My first short film 'Young People.' *above*

YJ: What are you looking to cross off your bucket list?

DS: Before I die — I’d like to act in a short film. I’d like to go to Japan. I’d like to play basketball with Obama. And I’d like to make sure my Mom doesn’t have to work anymore.

For more of dir. Don Smith, follow him here