Reel Talk: Jesse Carmody – The Magic Bus

Meet Jesse Carmody, a hands down hard working good dude with more stoke than he knows what to do with. Actually, he does know what to do with it.. He manages to channel that stoke into rad side projects as an escape from his commercial work. Most recently he made a rad piece on Sean Carter called ‘The Magic Bus’, Enjoy.

Carter Surfboards- The Magic Bus from Jesse Carmody on Vimeo.


Most of your freelance work is primarily focused in and around the commercial filmmaking world, What inspired you to work with Sean Carter and make this film?

I so greatly admire people that are able to craft things of practical value and use. I think the art of making things by hand is a tremendously respectable practice and being able to study Sean and make this film was a neat opportunity to get some insight on his process and to see how much passion he has for what he does.



Where do you find the balance in commercial work and passion projects?

I feel that passion projects feed your soul, creatively speaking. They restore the little circuits that burn out when you’ve been grinding on commercial projects and they’re an important part of building yourself back up so you can roll into the next job with your creative juices flowing; It almost becomes mandatory after a while.

Generally the more excited you are about working on something for free the more likely that it’s a good investment of your time. The reward is the process as much as it is the finished product!

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What sort of education have you gone through? What did you gain from that do you think? Is that the path you’d recommend for everyone?

I went through the four year college track. I graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography, up in Santa Barbara, in 2009. I gained a ton of technical knowledge from that place and develops a network I still call on even now. I don’t think formal education is the path I’d recommend for everyone, especially with regard to creative fields. I in no way regret going the collegiate route, in fact I’m glad I did it, but practical experience through interning, assisting and just trial and error count for so much; if not more than classroom education. Private art schools can be very expensive and debt can be a limiting factor in ones life so if you want to maintain financial freedom and enter this profession go work for free!

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What equipment did you use on this project? Editing? Did you have any help in the production?

I shot this all on my beat 8 year old Canon 5D m-kII, worked with mostly natural light and used a tripod occasionally. I edited on Adobe Premiere and had some help with additional shaping footage by my good pal Samson K Hatae.

Whats next for you?

Commercially, I’ve got a few cycling shoots coming up in the next couple of weeks and creatively, Sean and I are already talking about the next project! As a primarily still-centric photographer, video is a new world and I’m kind of hooked on it right now!

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See more of Jesse’s work at:

And follow him on insta: @jessecarmody

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