My name is Jaxon Schriever, and I'm a DP, Director and Editor.
Since being accepted into the Film & TV Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts in 2013, I have created/worked on 35 film/video projects, screened at 8 film festivals, and won 9 awards.
I'm currently living in Pasadena with my mom and two dogs, and attending ArtCenter College of Design, where I'm studying film with an emphasis on cinematography.
My love for filmmaking started at 9 years old when I was in the beginning of my young acting career. One of my auditions was for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. The audition for the movie was not in person, but rather an online video audition. So my dad helped film it using our now ancient Flip Video Camera, and then I watched as he uploaded the footage to his laptop and edited in Windows Movie Maker. As I stared at the moving images on the screen, I developed a connection to them. I soon became a self taught camera operator and video editor by watching my dad do it himself and then experimenting with it myself.
That was the start of my interest in video production, but I was never interested in artistic short films until I attended a horror film class at 12 years old. My dad found the class online, which advertised that it was taught by somewhat-well-known horror director Lewis Teague. The idea of learning from a Hollywood director, no matter how famous they were, was thrilling for me; so I decided to take the class. Over the course of four weeks, with one meeting every week, my dad and I along with other high school and college students learned about the basics of horror filmmaking and produced our own horror shorts to share at the end of the class. While everyone else was using high-end video equipment, my film titled "Phone Alone" was shot on an iPhone 4 and edited in iMovie. I had no idea if the film was going to be scary at all, but to my surprise, it won first place and beat out the other high school and college students in that class. Even though the film's camera quality was poor, it was still proof that I had something. Proof that a Hollywood director saw talent in me. Proof that my future was not acting in front of the camera, but working behind the camera.
The two filmmakers that have influenced me most are cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema and writer/director Spike Jonze. Van Hoytema has been greatly important to me as a DP because he creates images that are not only beautiful, rich and breathtaking, but also serve the film’s story. His realistic, but slightly dream-like style has influenced my personal style to shift towards that direction.
On the writing and directing side, Spike Jonze is most important to me because of the type of stories he directs: the plot has a fantasy element, but the core of the characters’ conflicts is grounded in reality. For example, Her is about a man named Theo who falls in love with an operating system, which is something that we can’t possibly imagine happening today. So the plot is based in the future, but the core conflict--which is Theo dealing with love, intimacy and heartbreak--is real, and something that anyone can relate to. I aim to carry the style of Jonze and Van Hoytema--that style being one that has is based in both fantasy and reality--in my work.