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Daily Inspiration: Meet John Mangiapane Jr.

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Mangiapane Jr..

Hi John, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
Since small, I have been mesmerized by the power and exhilaration of the motion picture. My Mom took me to see Jurassic Park in the theatre and the next day I tried creating my own miniature mountain and dinosaur models out of papier-mâché. Ever since then, it became my passion to make movies. I would use my Dad’s camcorder to video and try to create films with my neighborhood friends. Fast forward 20 years later and I pursued these dreams in college at UCSD. My first real success came in a final project for one of my classes in 2005, when I made a documentary on my Dad’s life as a fisherman titled “My Father the Fisherman” (available on the iMDB). After graduating college in 2006 I was eager to begin making my own feature-length movie, of which I would financially produce, write, film, direct and edit (looking back it was a very daunting task considering I wouldn’t finish the movie until 2020!) There wasn’t any money coming in from this passion venture, I needed to make a living, so I decided to begin my own video business based on my abilities learned, specializing in event/wedding videography and commercial production. I was slowly able to build up a good clientele through word of mouth, while still pursuing my ultimate dream of making a feature movie on the side. The experiences filming and capturing the life’s cherished moments have been invaluable to developing and applying my craft. Whether it is an event or wedding, there is a special story to be told, and from a video standpoint, the client is giving me the precious responsibility to film and unlock that emotion to uniquely replicate one of the most special days of their life.

After years of trials, tribulations and and in between video work from my production business, COVID hit and all of our work came to a standstill. During this time, I was finally able to finish the editing on my feature movie titled “Shells of Men” in July of 2020. It would go on to win Best Feature at the 2021 International New York Film Festival.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It certainly has not been a smooth road, and I like to think the hard times make you appreciate the good times that much more. The anxieties of life, health obstacles that pop up and the challenges of running a business through an economic collapse in 2008 and now COVID have certainly tested the resolve that you have deep within.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I am a one-stop shop for motion picture and video production and have first hand experience in creating and producing projects from start to finish including scriptwriting, directing, shooting, editing, and delivery across various platforms. This is all ignited by a passionate desire to create and produce powerful and lasting motion pictures. Specializing in corporate, commercial and wedding/event videography, in addition to creative short and feature films.
I pride myself in having the ability to work in the high pressure situations presented during live event production and have developed and applied a calm but efficient ability to adapt to any environment.

I am most proud of the 2 films I have made to this point (My Father the Fisherman and Shells of Men) and the recognition they have received through awards and being on the iMDB. It is also extremely gratifying every time a client comments about how much they love the work I have done for them, or a wedding couple that can’t thank me enough for how beautiful and emotional their wedding video is and how they intend to watch it over and over again throughout their life. That is the power of the motion picture that I refer to and what I love most- the ability to preserve a moment in time or in some cases, create that moment in time that lives forever.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I’d like to share a quote from my movie “Shells of Men” in dealing with adversity when times are tough: Put one step in front of the other, and when tomorrow comes, you will thank yourself for the steps you took yesterday.

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