Member of the Week: Meet Justin Koleszar!

Hailing from the land of VooDoo Doughnuts and the city who proudly sports the motto, “Keep Portland Weird”, Justin’s panache and film style have caught the attention of Zooppa judges, time and time again.

Over the last 11 years, he’s directed three feature films as well as music videos, shorts, and commercial work. His experience and keen eye have literally paid off. Justin has won awards for our Celebrate Ellen and AYI: Dating Through Friends Has Its Benefits. Currently, he is a finalist for the Novatel Wireless: Connect contest!

Tell us about yourself.

My parents let me watch Day of the Dead when I was 4 and it was traumatizing. That doesn’t have anything to do with me becoming a director but it was the first thing that popped into my head. I studied history at ASU, I live in Portland, OR and I used to enjoy craft beers but heartburn made me switch to wine.

Who is your favorite director and what is one of your all time favorite movies?

Scorsese is probably my favorite director and as far as favorite movies go I’d say that The Thin Red Line is up there.

Describe your film-making background. What got you started?

Over the last 11 years I’ve directed three feature films, a bunch of music videos, shorts and commercial work. I think I got started when my stepdad bought a videocamera in 1988

Share with us your creative process. What have you found inspiring?

I’m usually inspired by other films but that can be problematic so typically I look at other creative fields or philosophy for inspiration.

Which was your favorite contest to participate in? Why?

My first contest was for Pemco Insurance and I really enjoyed it because I live in the Northwest and creating a video based on the personalities I see here was really fun.

How did you come up with the idea for (your winning contest) and what was the process in producing the video?

For the Ellen contest I just figured that filming my puppy was a good idea because everybody likes a puppy. I struggled for several hours trying to get Edgar to do the most simple tasks, that was the process.

What are you hoping to achieve in the future?

To be happy with what I’m working on while making a living. I’d also like to direct a feature that has a budget.

As artists, I think the last answer is one we ALL can resonate with!

Be sure to look for Justin’s work on Zooppa and check out his Vimeo portfolio.

Hope you all are having a great week.




Interested in becoming a featured Zooppa member, too? You’ll get exposure to the entire community as well as companies and agencies. Check out the contests you can enter and impress us with your savvy filmmaking abilities and you may get an email from us asking to feature you as Member of the Week!

Meme E

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