Throughout the summer, Soapbox is profiling each of the eight finalists in the Artworks Big Pitch competition, presented by U.S. Bank, which offers artists, makers, designers and creative entrepreneurs a chance to claim up to $20,000 in cash prizes, as well as pro-bono professional services. The competition concludes August 27 at the American Sign Museum with the eight finalists each giving five-minute presentations to a panel of judges. You can read Soapbox’s article on the Big Pitch here.
It was the radio station or the film festival. It was going to be one of those two and for whatever reason, the film festival won out. That was 11 years ago, and since then, C. Jacqueline Wood has continued her passion for film and made it her career. Now back in her hometown of Cincinnati, she is the one-woman show behind Golden Hour Moving Pictures
During her freshman year of college at the University of Michigan, Wood decided to walk into the office of the Ann Arbor Film Festival
. She wound up working for the festival in a variety of capacities throughout her time at the university before moving to Chicago, where she received her master’s degree from the Art Institute of Chicago in film video/new media. From there, Wood returned to Ann Arbor, where she began teaching film and video classes to high school students through a program with Eastern Michigan Unveristy.
“It was great to get to teach students about experimental film and video and to expose them to some things outside of the mainstream Hollywood aesthetic,” Wood says. “But I was getting antsy and really had an urge to spend more time creating my own work. So in 2012, I decided to quit all of my jobs and move back to Cincinnati, and on the day I moved, I began the CO.STARTERS
After graduating from the CO.STARTERS
program, Wood had an LLC and a business plan for Golden Hour Moving Pictures, but the business itself was still very green. Two breakthrough moments came for her one right after another when she landed an opportunity to create a video for Nicola’s
, one of Cincinnati’s most esteemed Italian restaurants, which led to her creating a video in anticipation of the opening of Boca
’s downtown location, which opened just over a year ago.
Boca from Golden Hour Moving Pictures on Vimeo.
“For the Boca video, I traveled all around and got footage of farmers, painters, woodworkers, engravers and more,” Wood says. “That video got a lot of attention for Boca and ended up being show on the jumbotron on Fountain Square
. It also opened a lot of doors for me, and it’s just been project after project since then.”
Since then, Golden Hour’s clients have included organizations like the Contemporary Arts Center
, The Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington
, Random Snacks of Kindness
and more. Wood does all of her editing and production work in her studio at the Essex
“Even though I’m from here and I’m moving back here, it’s just a whole new place,” Wood says. “It’s not the same Artworks
I remember 12 years ago when I was in high school. It’s just an amazing organization. In any other big city, there’s no other way I would be at this point in my business. Artworks has truly helped make my business what it is every step of the way.”
Through the Big Pitch
competition, Wood is hoping to secure the funding that would allow her to expand her staff and catch up on the demand for her work. She sees lots of room to grow here and also has her sights set on some bigger dreams further down the line.
“In the long term I want to open a micro cinema, a small movie theater that has a focus on experimental film and video,” she says. “That’s a huge part of the culture right now, and it’s not represented here in Cincinnati. I’d love to see the cinema as a place that focuses on exhibition and education, where people can take film-making classes for all ages.”
In the meantime, Wood has plenty of video production work to keep her busy for a long time.
“I’ve done virtually no PR, so the fact that people have seen my work and notice it, I can’t describe what that means to me,” she says. “I can’t imagine that happening this quickly or in this capacity in any other city.
Check out these other Artworks Big Pitch finalists: