John Rhode has seen it all. He modeled, acted in the theatre, shot the Buckeye’s football film as well as PSA’s for the state of Ohio, had a film critic show in Columbus and received an MFA in Cinema from Ohio State University. Destined to come to LA, he later studied at USC cinema and got into tons of music videos.
Then he worked as a camera operator and had the opportunity to work with Academy Award winners like John Seale (Harry Potter films), Vilmos Zsigmond (The Deer Hunter), and Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now). John has won Telly and Eagle Awards for his own cinematography, and has now turned to directing when he’s not shooting, having directed three movies as well as commercials with Southwest Airlines and videos for Google. His list of credits is impressive.
I got to know John’s work from an excellent short he worked on with Frank Chindamo for one of our branded competitions. Their short, “Quit Your Day Job”, included YouTube stars in a hilarious comedy about two lazy husbands who try to make millions by filming their own reality shows. Their wives are not amused, but our viewers were! I asked John about what he thinks is happening with web video.
“I’m definitely looking to do a lot more, and we’re pitching different companies,” he began. “Amazon, Yahoo, YouTube, even Craigslist all have their own webisodes. I think the YouTube experiment is over…I heard the subscribers to their webisodes — the ones they spent $100M on one year and another $200M the next — didn’t amount to the subscribers compared to their existing wacky YouTube celebrities.
“But everyone is still trying to find their way. I’m looking to shoot more narrative material including webisodes or even commercial-tainments. Some webisodes have been very successful, and some networks are picking them up for TV shows.” For some examples, read this recent article from IndieWire or this one from The National.
In addition to his efforts on the web, John is still inspired to work on his own features. “I’m developing screenplays with several writers, looking to develop features for under $5M as well as mega-budgets. We have several scripts in development, from family to thriller genres.”