Exclusive Q+A with Heights Magazine

I see that you're a well-rounded artist. What inspired you to start creating?
My entire life I've always enjoyed storytelling. Rather itbe playing roles, writing, snapping photos... I loved it all. I was always moved by certain films and television shows that I got caught up in. I always knew I was going to be a creative since the beginning of my inception.

Tell me about your experience as a producer and screenwriter. What was your biggest challenge? 
I love writing. It's exhilarating  to see your words on page be brought to life. Producing is great because you can take more of a backseat approach to things and just worry about helping put pieces of a puzzle together without the stress of being a director. The two biggest challenges that come from writing or producing are... waiting and finally getting your project off the ground. Being in the entertainment industry is a true lesson in patience for sure! I've had plenty of projects that I poured my heart and soul into, got paid for, got big named stars attached to it, that never saw the light of day. But you just have to understand the insane reality of the entertainment business that most projects don't get made. It shouldn't deter you in anyway but it is a tough reality. 

Read the rest of this exclusive interview on Heights Magazine

Day in the Life - Vitamin Water #ProjectHustle

‪#‎ProjectHustle‬ is a crowdfunding-inspired program created by Vitamin Water to bring “hydrate the hustle” to life and help people chase their dreams. They invited aspiring entrepreneurs, artists-in-training, dreamers and film directors to develop an elevator pitch and submit it at www.projecthustle.com, for the chance to become a finalist and secure funding to help bring their projects to life. They opened it up to the public and asking you to help decide which of these 10 finalists deserve to have their projects funded (up to $50,000 each). 

In order to spread the word about this program, I was asked to share my "Day In The Life" ‪#‎MyHustle‬ story with all of you! They asked that I moreso focus on me so this is one of the few times you get to see me in front of the camera and show what those moments look like when I'm not surrounded by people. So, you'll see a lot of quiet moments below and discover what a typical day is like for me. I'm a Creative and Brand Consultant that deals with so many brands, productions, agencies, entrepreneurs, and creative professionals that everyday can be something different. One day I’m on set shooting a project. The next day I could be in a three hour meeting about a large brand partnership or sharing tips and doing interviews all afternoon. Who knows? In any capacity this is the general flow of my day:

6:15 am - I love starting my day early. It makes me feel like I have an edge over everyone else. I hit the beach for my morning jog. My music playlist is a wild mix of movie soundtrack music, hip hop, indie music, etc. All of these tracks get my blood flowing and the playlist is labeled... “Victory”. Jogging at the beach isn’t so much about the workout itself (I’ll do that later). It’s about starting my day with the calming sound of the ocean waves and the natural beauty that the beach has to offer.

7:00 am - By this time, I’m locked in and ready to go. I’m reading the trades. Trending news, entertainment, tech, business, gossip, and politics are my main focus. To save me time I already have a bookmark labeled “news” with specific sites that provide me breaking news before other outlets do. I do the same on Twitter. Then I start rummaging through e-mails. I feel like I spend too much time on e-mails. So, I try to answer as many as a I can with short and straight to the point responses. 

8:00 am - The hustle gets real. I go into my office at CTRL Collective, an awesome workspace in Playa Del Rey and I dig in. I’m on my computer. I’m on my cell phone. I’m on my iPad. It’s a wild mix of activity: PR, Social Media, Conference Calls, Consultations, Editing Photos/Videos, Coordinating Shoots, Networking, Creating Strategies, Speaking With Clients. Just putting words into action. At the beginning of my week it's typically all business. Towards the end of the week is when I'm usually gone for video/photo shoots or speaking engagements. 

1:00 pm - Lunch. Very rarely are they lunch meetings. I’ve consciously made it a point to make sure I have lunch with a different friend each day at a different cafe or restaurant. I've found that this keeps me fresh and motivated. I’m always learning new things from the awesome people in my life.

2:00 pm - I’m checking the trades again while I do social media outreach. It’s important for me to stay connected to my following and see how my clients are doing with theirs. Around this time, I’m also usually doing afternoon check in’s with clients.

 

3:00 pm - I hit the gym near my place. I do a power-centric “do as much as you can with a little amount of time” work out. It’s an elective mix of cardio and weightlifting. I try to do as much as I can in 45 minutes. On lighter days I’ll stay a little longer and swim laps and hit up the sauna. This a great way for me to blow off steam, re-focus, and stay fit. I’ve also found that 3pm is my low energy time which I’ve been able to combat with exercise. I consider this my time so, I disconnect from the outside world. No texts. No calls. No e-mails. 

4:00 pm - I’m checking e-mails again to make sure I don't miss anything. . Making sure I didn’t miss anything. This will most likely be the last time I check e-mails for the day. If I do check my e-mails again it will be very late at night but I am trying to move away from constantly checking my inbox.

4:30pm - I really dig into more creative work. Usually it’s editing videos and photos. Sometimes it’s various scripts or brand campaign strategies. 

6:30 pm - I’m spending time with my loved ones. This is a part of the hustle too. An underrated part. Family and Friends come first before my career. At the end of the day they matter the most. 

10pm - Social Media. I’m checking in and seeing what’s trending. I’m also watching TV (for all of you out there who notice I manage to watch almost every damn show out there) or movies.

1:00 am - Sleep. Guy’s gotta sleep sometime. 

So, that is what a typical day is like for me. As you can see it's pretty busy but it's all worth it. I love what I do and every new experience leads to a brand new opportunity. If you're a little bit more curious about my clients, more details about what I do, outlets I visit, feel free to leave a comment below or contact me on Twitter.

Now, it’s your turn... What is a typical daily hustle like for you? Leave your comments below.

This post was sponsored by Vitamin Water. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. 

Double Brunch with JBUS!

Hello everyone, I have a fun post to share with you this morning. I have been a bit incognito lately. No, I did not fall off the face of the planet. I've been busy working on new projects and with new clients. Which is awesome because I will have some fun content to share with you VERY soon. 

In the meantime, I shot this hilarious sketch video with my pals, Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin. This slapstick duo has grown quite a bit since the last time I posted about them. So, it was fun shooting with them at YouTube Studios (I love that fucking studio). I was joined by my assistant Victoria who was nice enough to grab some behind the scenes photos. 

Same brunch, different date. Just Between Us is a love advice show and channel by best friends and comedians Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn. They post new videos Mondays and Thursdays.

JBUS MERCH: http://bit.ly/1d0klzE

Cast: 
Alex Lewis https://www.youtube.com/i8athumbtack
Miles Cooper https://twitter.com/mileslcooper
Rob Michael Hugel - https://twitter.com/robmichaelhugel
Sierra Santana - https://twitter.com/VivaLaSantana
Igor Hiller - https://twitter.com/igorhiller
CJ Johnson - https://twitter.com/cjjohnsonjr
Nate Williams - https://twitter.com/natewilliams99
Dan DeLorenzo - https://twitter.com/dandelo
Rachel Retha Middleton - https://twitter.com/rachelretha
Garrett Werner - https://twitter.com/gr8whitehoprah

Shot by: Miles Cooper and Jarrett Sullivan https://twitter.com/jarrettsullivan
Edited by: Alex Lewis


20 Modern-Day Mad Men & Women On The Legacy Of 'Mad Men'

Mad Men is one of my all-time favorite shows. Now that it's coming to an end, many people are talking about its cultural impact. Especially within the world of creatives, entrepreneurs, and advertising/marketing professionals. Because of this, Momentology interviewed "20 Modern-Day Mad Men & Women On The Legacy of 'Mad Men'". I was fortunate enough to make the cut. See my thoughts on the show's impact here (I'm #20, they saved the best for last, lol).


Interview: Snapwire

No Weekly Roundup this week! I just got back from my Austin, Texas trip. Which was incredibly awesome by the way. But, I'm too fried to post a blog. The good news is, my interview with the good folks at Snapwire is now live. In my interview, I talk about my creative process from shooting and working with talent to how I edit. I also offer tips and insight into how you can become a better creative. Okay, see you next week!

Snapwire Interview

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Weekly Roundup // 2.15-2.20.15

Welcome to my weekly roundup of all that is awesome from this week (2.15-2.20.15)! This was a fun week full of images, trailers, and new developments to share. Check it out:


PR Daily found that 68% of HR managers in the U.S. think it’s OK for your desk to be messy. Some said it’s a sign of a creative person. However, 32% indicated they wondered whether a worker with a messy desk is organized and effective. Well, I got quoted and let them know that I keep a neat desk. Although... it never starts that way and the beginning of a new day. Read more here to see my full quote.


Fact. James Cameron's Aliens is one of my all-time favorite movies. For all of you writers and filmmakers out there, if you want a prime example about pacing... look no further. It's the perfect blueprint for stacking the odds against your hero with each obstacle they overcome. Another fact. I fucking loved District 9. I have been a fan of Neil Blomkamp's since the early days of his short films (some of which directly influenced his feature films). So. NEW fact... Neil Blomkamp is officially going to direct the next installment in the Aliens franchise. I'm so thrilled to see what he's going to do with the series. I advice you to look up how this all came together because Blomkamp pretty much pitched his concept for a new film through Instagram. It went viral. Then picked up by media outlets. Now, he's got a new movie. Smart.


Director, Zack Snyder busted a move in the middle of the night and released the first official image of Jason Momoa as Aquaman on Twitter and... he looks dope as hell. BUT, DC wasn't the only one to provide an inside scoop into an upcoming franchise film. Bryan Singer (who by the way is really mastering social media) showed off some concept artwork for the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse film. 

                                                                  Jason Momoa is Aquaman. #UniteTheSeven

                                                                 Jason Momoa is Aquaman. #UniteTheSeven


House of Cards may not have made my Top TV Shows of 2014 list but, that doesn't mean I don't love it. I can't wait to see what it looks like for the Underwoods to be in charge. From the teaser trailers and leaked footage, this 3rd season looks like it's shaping up to be a knock out. 


Madeline Stone wrote a fantastic piece on the Silicon Beach movement. I highly recommend you check it out: See why more startups than ever are setting up shop on the beach in Los Angeles. I think it offers some real insight into what's happening out here with tech startups. Besides the awesome weather, it's pretty cool being a part of the growing tech movement in L.A.


Mad Men was highly influential in my desire to be more of a presence in marketing/advertising. Mad Men really highlighted that marketing is simply a different form of storytelling. Now Mad Men is heading into its final run of episodes and if this new trailer is any indication it's going to be... groovy. BTW, I laughed my ass off when I saw Pete. Jesus. That's one miserable bastard. 


I live tweeted #SNL40 last Sunday and it was so much fun to watch. Nostaligic really. I saw literally everyone I wanted to see. Including Eddie Murphy (even though it was lame as shit that he didn't do anything). SNL is interesting from a pop culture stand point. For it to be on the air for 40 years... WOW. That means I've never known what it was like to not have SNL around. Amazing. 


I caught wind of a Hollywood Reporter piece about the Chinese money well that's been funding film studios may be finally drying up. If that happens... what does that mean? This is something to definitely pay more attention too with the evolution of transmedia and the tightening of purse strings. The film business is again changing. Side Note: I remember a time when Deadline: Hollywood use to get these types of scoops before anyone else. Now, it's catering more towards casting scoops and interviews than actual insider information. Very interesting.   


Thanks for checking out my weekly blog and the awesome messages you've been sending my way. It's great to hear from you. Feel free to leave me comments below and follow me on Twitter. This Sunday night is the Oscars so, I will obviously be live tweeting the show. Even though this year's event has an undercurrent of controversy, it's still the goddamn Oscars. Must watch TV in my house. Catch you next week?

Be My Buddytruk Valentine

Check out my Valentine's Day campaign for Buddytruk. We created our funniest video yet, entitled, “Be My Buddytruk Valentine”. In it, our "Awesome Buddytruk Driver" goes on adventure to deliver a teddy bear on Valentine’s Day but things get really awkward on his delivery. It was a great time shooting this campaign. We had one of our team members, Billy Bradley make a cameo in this one and it's funny as hell. He played off of the hilarious Andre Boyer so well without uttering a single word of dialogue. 

We shot everything on Wednesday and needed everything ready to go by Valentine's Day weekend. It was a mad dash to finish everything. I generally don't like fast turn arounds like this but it had to be done. One of the main reasons why it was such a short turn around was that we were not 100% sure about the type of promotion we wanted to have. But, the production was planned in advance so either way we would always have images to showcase. In the end, everything was ready to go and we're receiving a fun response. I think it's important for brands to take advantage of special holidays, occasions, and trending news. It's the perfect opportunity to humanize and showcase your brand to everyone.

You can read more about the campaign on the Buddytruk Blog. For the full photo scrapbook visit Buddytruk's Facebook. "Be My Buddytruk Valentine" features: Andre Boyer as our “Awesome Buddytruk Driver” – Follow him on Twitter. Raylene Pereyra and Billy Bradley as our “Buddytruk Users” – Follow Raylene on Instagram and Billy on Instagram.


DeAndre Bennett // D.C.

While I was back at home on the east coast, my sister coordinated some photoshoots for me. DeAndre Bennett was one of the models we selected from a casting call I posted on Model Mayhem. I loved his entire style. Our photoshoot was in downtown D.C. at Meridian Hill Park. It was a really cool spot with so much fantastic scenery. DeAndre was so much fun to shoot and had this amazing artistic style to the way he modeled. While we were shooting I had to tell him he reminded me of Corbin Bleu. He laughed, already hearing that for the millionth time. Then he added that he also hears... Jaden Smith and Jimi Hendrix. At the time I was like "Yeah, I can see that." But, after editing these pics all I can see now is the hybrid mix of Smith/Hendrix...LOL. 

Want to see more from DeAndre? Take a look at his site on the link above and you can also follow him on Instagram.

Photography Assistant: Ashley Johnson + @queenashash

Wardrobe: Sweater + Pants (Urban Outfitters) and Necklace (Clutchesherpearls). 

Buddytruk User Photo Campaign

I have been developing a photo campaign for Buddytruk. One of the cool things about this campaign is that when I began strategizing for it, I knew we would be showcasing these images primarily online. So, instead of holding casting calls for creative talent, I tried something different. Instead, I reached out to creative talent I personally knew that had strong engagement from their social media following. So, you might recognize some of these names and some of these images from previous shoots. This is why I was capturing those images.

My goal was to capture subjects that already have a built in following so, we could showcase Buddytruk to their fan base while continuing to build our own. In return, the creative talent I captured can use any of these images for self-marketing purposes, get free promotion, and in the future we can go back to them for much larger campaigns. I honestly think this is the way marketing/advertising will move forward into the future. This sort of strategy can empower creative talent who can use their social media following to their advantage and brands/companies being able to reach audiences in a more cost effective way. 

Featured below:

buddytruk gq

Last year, I was fortunate enough to become friends with CEO/Founder of Buddytruk, Brian Foley. Buddytruk is a mobile app that's changing the way we deliver/move items. Think "Uber meets U-Haul". It's free and easy to use. When Brian first told me about it, I responded with "Damn, that sounds like a good idea". My response would be one that has been uttered from 99% of the people that I've talked to since coming aboard the Buddytruk train. 

I began working with Buddytruk to focus on building their brand. It was a wonderful opportunity that the entire team had to sign off on. I'm glad they did! Now, I headline their creative marketing/advertising department and get to utilize my "outside of the box" strategies. I even brought along my gal pal, Summer Brighton to help headline the publicity/events for Buddytruk. Since then, we have been able to use my tactics, and implement my strategies to expand the Buddytruk brand message. Everything has been moving forward at an uncanny speed. It's pretty insane to be a part of. 

As, I stated before, I love the tech movement in Los Angeles. To be able to fuse my background with this world has been exhilarating. So, there is plenty more to share with you. Right now, I just wanted to share some fun "GQ" style team photos I took of the team. I'll be posting more about Buddytruk in the future because we're doing so much together. But, if you would like to learn more about Buddytruk now, visit our official website at www.buddytruk.com and hit us up on social media:

Buddytruk on:

Just Between Us

Have you met the hilarious female comedic duo of Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin? When they're not tearing up the web with their Buzzfeed videos their starring in their YouTube web series, "Just Between Us". I caught up with the talented ladies in Silverlake and took some fun portraits. They came out rad! 

The Amazing Whitney Milam

In December, I was collaborating on a photo shoot with the amazing Whitney Milam (writer, producer) in Marina Del Rey. Whitney showed off her fashionable side with her green Fevrie outfit. She has a fantastic sleek look and I love how her gorgeous eyes pop through our images. If you haven't seen Whitney's work, check out the links below:

The Great Willie Sparks

As 2014 comes to a close, I wanted to share some more shots of frequent collaborator, Willie Sparks. We did some fantastic work together this year for his fashion blog, Sparks N Style. These shots were taken in Venice, California earlier this year, and we never got a chance to share them. I really loved the style Willie put together for this shoot. It's got a fun beachy look to it.

Utah Landscapes //

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams."

My first VSCO Journal featuring new iPhone shots from my flyover Utah. Check out the rest of the photos by clicking the link below.

http://cjjohnson.vsco.co/journal/utah

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The Wonderful Ambar Januel

A while back I was shooting one of my favorite people around... thy lady, Ambar Januel. She is a woman of many talents... an artist, actress, world traveler, critical thinker... she's a tough one to keep up with. Check out her artwork on her website and be on the look out for more of her work showcased in Los Angeles.

For this shoot we had two looks with different styles. I really dig the pastel colors of Ambar's pink dress and the background. Gave it a little bit of a tropical, retro feel. With the second look, I was going for more of a "Vogue" style.

Writer’s Note: I would eventually fall in love with this special woman. We created a successful digital agency and home together. If you’re ever lucky enough to fall in love and find your soulmate. Cherish them with every piece of you.

Trunk Club + Movember

I'm a big supporter of Movember and men's health. When my buddy (and stylist) Judson Hill from Trunk Club invited me to a joint event they were having I had to go. So, me, and some of the Buddytruk peeps attended the event in Culver City. It was an all-around fun event and gave us a chance to show our support for Movember... with style. 

My photo is a Best Igers Nominee

One of the best things I love about Instagram is how awesome the community is. A few weeks ago, I was chosen as a nominee for one of the Best Igers. It's so wonderful to see my photo as a part of this mural: http://instagram.com/p/keBnEUy9Kv/

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