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This is Bottle Rocket Media | Meet Project Manager, Stephanie Jaslowski

When project manager, Stephanie Jaslowski grabs the ball, it’s game on. As the “quarterback” of every single Bottle Rocket Media production, it is her responsibility to know all the plays beforehand and ensure a winning video production –from beginning to edit.

What does it mean to be a project manager?

Being a project manager is like being a quarterback. The coach, or producer, relays all the information that you need to set your team up—but, it’s your responsibility to know the plays, the expectations, and what’s going at all times. You pass everything along to your teammates, who look to you to keep the project moving efficiently. 

Why do you love what you do?

I love being the person who knows what’s up, and I love being the main point of contact between Bottle Rocket Media’s clients and the team. It’s definitely a challenge to juggle many projects at different stages, but that’s what I live for. Also, being involved in the entire video production process, from start to finish, is very fulfilling. Watching a simple idea morph into a successful creation for the client makes even the toughest projects worthwhile.

How did you get your start?

After graduating from Loyola University Chicago, I worked as a production assistant for McDonald’s Corporation. Spending time in the creative services department, helping out on large internal conferences, I realized how much extra work and dedication is required behind the scenes that so many don’t see.

How did you end up connecting with Bottle Rocket Media? 

I saw the post on LinkedIn and applied right away! Ready for the next chapter, I wanted to move on to a video production company with an engaging and inspiring vision. I was ready to meet a new group of people who love and thrive at what they do. It was the perfect fit.

How does your working style fit with the team?

I like to get things done, and so does everyone else. We all take our roles and responsibilities seriously and know what’s expected of us. We also collaborate together because we know we are better as a team. It’s pretty great to be surrounded by such creative individuals. Everyone on our team is crucial to our success.

What types of projects are you looking forward to in 2019? 

I’m looking forward to seeing our top secret Aragon Ballroom piece come together next month.  It’s exciting for us to be a part of a historic music venue that means so much to Chicago.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the field/why? 

I’m proud to say that I have never given an incorrect call time or address. It’s easier said than done (I probably just jinxed myself) but I take pride in getting people to show up when and where they’re supposed to. It’s all on me.

Favorite movie/video of all time and why…

There are so many films that have inspired me in so many different ways. I’ve always loved “You’ve Got Mail,” because of Nora Ephron’s writing style and directing. But, “Remember the Titans” will always be the first film that I watched over and over until I knew every line, every music track, and every actor. The well-drawn characters really changed my perspective for the better. In the end, I love movies that make the audience laugh, cry, think, and come together.

The Bullhorn | Meet Director Joel Kapity

Meet Bottle Rocket Media Director Joel Kapity

There is no shortage of creative talent at Bottle Rocket Media these days – emphasized by the onboarding of longtime Chicago-based director, Joel Kapity, who has been telling stories through the lens since childhood. A love for the human experience guides his creative sensibilities, while his fearless outlook helps him accomplish what others deem “impossible.” 

Here’s what Joel had to say about his rise as a successful storyteller:

What got you into directing? 

As a kid, I was always the guy with a camera. While others were hanging out, doing what kids do, I would be shooting little shorts with whomever I could wrangle on any given night.  

What about the craft moves you?

I think I’m terrible at a lot of things—directing is not one of them. There is no other job that comes more naturally or brings me more joy. One of my favorite aspects is working with professional actors to bring a story to life. As a director, I have a very specific task of pulling emotions out of others, and I love playing with framing, lighting and camera moves to help draw the audience further into the worlds of the characters.

How did you hook up with Bottle Rocket Media? What drew you to the company?

At my last studio, I was given the opportunity to direct a commercial with Bottle Rocket Media staff as my crew. It was a great experience. During the shoot, I had some solid conversations with Dan and Brett, and felt very in tune with their passion to produce great video content. It was a genuine connection. Bottle Rocket Media and I shared the same creative thoughts and direction—very refreshing. My gut feeling was that I could produce some truly incredible content with this studio.

What unique elements do you bring to the portfolio?

My most unique slash powerful element as a director is my love for people, and how that translates to my commercial work – whether it’s a tv spot, a feature film or social media content. The material I am most proud of almost always involves storylines driven by human relationships.

Also, big ideas with small budgets don’t scare me. I honestly believe I can accomplish what others deem “impossible.” 

How does your style lend itself to brand videos?

Shock and awe. I am obsessed with creating cinematic visuals to support brand awareness in new and exciting ways. For every project, I try to think about that one extra visual effect, shot or action that creates a video people will remember—one that stands out in a flooded market.

What can we look forward to from you in 2019?

So far, 2019 has been jam-packed with creating content for different brands every week and there are no signs of slowing down. I’m currently finishing my third film, I AM YOUR KEEPER, while working on several big client videos for Bottle Rocket Media.  

What industry techniques/technology/methods are you most excited about right now?

I am really excited about all the cameras and lighting tools we didn’t have 20 years ago – when I was still cutting my teeth as a director. A couple of months ago, I directed a Phantom high-speed camera commercial shoot with two of the best hockey players in the world—I was blown away by what we were able to capture. High-speed cameras can bring such an incredible value to a project that no other piece of equipment can. I’m also obsessed with the use of robotic arms in production, which is becoming extremely popular for capturing food and sports commercial imagery.   

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? Why? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

Directing and producing my second film, Dreams. It consumed my life for three years, three to six days a week, and roughly 15-20 hours a day. The movie involved a huge cast, with thousands of extras, and a limited budget. It’s a film I’d wanted to make for about 10 years and it ultimately involved flying in actors from all over the country. Considering the huge job at hand every day on set, it was definitely the most complex thing I have directed to date. 

Any words of wisdom?

Don’t listen to others who tell you what to be or what to do.

The best decisions I have made in my life were the ones that didn’t make sense to others. When you feel like being a part of something, just do it. Don’t think about the money or what you think you deserve. When you are a part of a project you love, you will perfect your craft. And that always leads to something bigger and better. Don’t wait to have what you think you need. If you are truly meant to do something, take a leap of faith and people will follow you.

Favorite movie and why:

One of my favorite movies is Crash. As far as films that tell multiple stories go, this was one of the best.