Point of View: Director, Jordan Rossi

by Joe Brooks
Jordan Rossi
Director RANKIN

POV: Director

How would you describe what you do?
I don’t quite know to be honest! It really varies on job to job and project to project. My background is in production, so even when I’m directing I pick up on production bits as well. But I’m also hugely creative and love brainstorming ideas. In general I take the role that the project needs me to take, it’s not about claiming a title, it’s more about making and contributing to great work.
How did you get into this job?
I came straight out of University, began at Rankin Photography and never left! I’ve had an invaluable crash course in everything from photographic and film production to editorial content and publishing. I’ve basically tried to gain as much experience as possible and clawed my way up in the process. That’s what you’ve got to do in this industry, take every chance you get and work hard.
What is most challenging about what you do?
You could say the rapid turnaround of projects is one of the most challenging aspects. Trying to make work that is both creative and interesting within tight timeframes can be really difficult, but that’s also what I love about it. I’ve always said that you make the most interesting and creative work when you have to overcome obstacles.
What is most rewarding?
When people engage with the work you create. I initially just started making films for myself as a creative outlet. It wasn't until recently, when my work started gaining momentum, that I had friends and colleagues tell me they saw my work and then talk to me about it, give me an interesting opinion or perspective. It’s also really rewarding - and surreal - when complete strangers engage with your work because it means you’re sending a message out beyond your echo chamber. That’s a really exciting feeling.
What’s a typical work week like?
In this industry there is nothing that’s typical. The common denominator is that it’s non-stop; there’s always something around the corner, some new project that sounds exciting, or something to take a step further. But it’s always different and always keeps you on your toes.
What needs to happen the most in order for a shoot to run smoothly?
This is such a difficult question to answer as there are so many variables within each production. Normally, I would say prep would be the one thing that needs to happen in order for a shoot to run smoothly, but there are some shoots where the most meticulous plans fall apart because of some unpredictable factor. It’s frustrating but it happens, so you just have to be flexible when it does.
Then beyond the prep time, I would say that working with people who want the best for the shoot and who are happy to collaborate with you is really important.
When egos or preciousness get in the way, it can really damage the nature of the shoot and the end result.
Whats your best job/worst job?
Oh dear, I’ve had a few. My worst job was freelance as a fine dining waiter for a really awful company who treated their employees like rubbish. It was soul destroying.
Apart from the job I have now, my other best job was probably working at my Dad’s mechanical garage. Taught me a lot about graft, hard work and how to get a job done.
What advice would you offer someone considering a career as a Director?
Don’t just be a director, have your finger in lots of pies. Don’t back yourself into a corner and just be one thing. With the current rapidity of consumption and variety of content, you really need to start thinking outside the box and turn your hand to more than just being a director. You also need to be a creative, a producer, an editor, a graphic designer etc. The more fields you know your stuff in, the more you can bring to the table as a director.
If you had one project that you could post on AdForum to represent your work, what would it be?
The current one, Blonde feat. Bryn Christopher ‘Me, Myself & I’. It’s the one I’m most proud of and the one that has resonated the most also.
Finally tell us something that most people don’t know about being a Director?
People tend to think that the Director is the sole creative force behind a project. It’s not true. Each project is built on collaboration and trust. If a director couldn't lean on his team each and every step of the way then there would be a lot more shit content in the world today.

Jordan Rossi
Director RANKIN