How a Cumilla motion graphic designer succeeds in Hollywood
In Hollywood, the world’s leading commercial cinema industry, everything must meet a high level of quality and technical mastery.
The same rigorous standards and production values that inform a film must also generally be reflected in its trailer – a crucial element that acts as the centerpiece of all activities to promote a film once it is made. The same goes for innovations or more contemporary interpretations of the trailer, for example teasers, which are well suited to the age of social media.
This is the story of a young man from Laksham to Cumilla, Bangladesh – Jisan Kamrul Hasan, and how his relentless pursuit of a dream led him to Culver City, California – the most populous and most economically advanced of the 1950s. Constituent states that make up the United States of America – and the homeland of Hollywood.
Culver City itself is a film and television production hub, best known as the home of the famed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, or MGM Studios. But how did Jisan end up there?
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More importantly, what was the journey of this young Bangladeshi motion graphic designer like, on the road to get to work on teasers and trailers for some of the most popular films and series of recent times, from “Last Night in Soho” critically acclaimed chart-topping hit “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” from Marvel Studios.
Following a recent interview with a major national daily, Jisan has become known in the country, and naturally many players in the entertainment industry as well as netizens are waiting for the opportunity to indulge their curiosity to find out. more about Jisan and his background.
“My journey actually started very early in 2002, when I was blown away by the majestic visuals of ‘The Lord of the Rings’. I wondered about motion graphics and decided I was going to learn this,” Jisan said in a phone interview with UNB from his home in Hollywood, engaging at length on different topics.
It wasn’t until 2007, however, that Jisan even got his first personal computer.
“At this point however, things started to move really fast in my lane in life. Soon after, in 2008, I moved to Dhaka and started practicing Photoshop on my own, thanks to Youtube.
His interest and practice in 3D animation and motion graphics led him to start his bachelor’s degree in CSE at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST).
“I was already making money from graphic design and photography by then and got my first opportunity as a motion designer after one of my roommate’s seniors approached me in 2012 and m asked if I would be interested in working for his company as a graphic designer.”
This is how a lifelong passion was kindled inside a young man with his future ahead of him.
“In 2013, I bought my camera and started photography as a freelancer. This phase of my life revolved around the dream of being a filmmaker. I made short films, did wedding photos, made a bunch of creative and talented friends and used to have regular and frequent visits to ‘Chobir Hat’ in Charukala of the University of Dhaka,” recalls Jisan.
Then in September 2016, Jisan moved from Bangladesh to New York on the US East Coast, where he started working for a newspaper as a graphic designer, courtesy of expatriate journalist Kazi Shamsul Hoque. “I didn’t know that my real struggle was just beginning,” says Jisan.
“I moved to Los Angeles in 2017, and the first year I had to survive on the bare minimum. A totally new big city, quite an expensive environment, and thousands of other obstacles. I survived, but COVID-19 hit and I finally realized that was it, I had to put everything aside and give my passion one last chance.
It was a ‘now or never’ situation for a lad from Laksham, and so he went into this final attempt with all he had.
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“I quit my job, started learning motion graphics design from video tutorials and reading articles and books, reviewing movies, and learning new software such as After Effects, Cinema 4D, Houdini and Nuke – this routine continued from March 2020 to December this year, every day for 15-18 hours It was incredibly difficult for me as a beginner, but I managed to sacrificing nights of sleep and other luxuries,” says Jisan.
He then prepared his showreel from January 2021 to May of that year, then took a short break from June to August when he returned to Bangladesh to spend the Eid-ul-Azha holiday with his family, after five long years of absence.
However, he returned to Los Angeles in August and began applying for jobs, this time for the position that would allow him to pursue his true passion – as a motion graphics designer. Every day, Jisan would send his showreel/portfolio to 30-40 different production companies, hoping to at least strike a deal with some of them, if not one of them. But in those first few months, that just wasn’t the case.
“I unfortunately didn’t get too many calls for interviews,” Jisan continued. “I even personally sent my showreel to many directors and producers, and finally, after three months, my current employer, Wild Card Creative, contacted me and selected me. I joined here in November 2021. »
Led by a husband-wife partnership with years of experience and lucrative contacts in and around the industry, the Wild Card Creative star has grown in Hollywood over the past decade.
Jisan’s first experience creating a trailer was for the movie “Last Night in Soho,” though he considers a music video for “House of Gucci” his first major work. Thanks to the growing reputation of his employers, he finally had the opportunity to contribute to promotional trailers and teasers for some fairly important recent productions such as “The Batman”, “Morbius”, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and legendary director Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of “West Side Story.”
In addition to these films, he has also worked on a number of TV docuseries, including “Bosch: Legacy”, “Tehran”, (Season 2) “The Kardashians” and others.
“We made the teasers and trailers which are distributed on all major social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, alongside our productions for theaters and television,” Jisan told l ‘A B.
Defining the trailer industry and market, Jisan said, “It is undoubtedly a multi-billion dollar industry, as trailers are the first gateway to reach the audience. We make two types of trailers: for domestic (US) audiences and the other version for international viewers. »
He also drops some valuable information: “If we analyze the industry over the past six months, the audience for series and docuseries is increasing with the flowering of more and more streaming sites.”
When asked to define the technology barriers or advantages he sees in the United States, compared to the industry in his homeland, Jisan said, “Personally, I don’t think technology is the barrier. ,because i have seen similar or close type of equipment in Bangladesh also.It is dedication and hard work that matters the most in this industry.I even made trailer up to 200 times before d ‘to finally produce a quality one.’ He added: ‘Co-workers are cordial and helpful, they never discouraged me when I tried to do something new.’
As Jisan was born and raised in Bangladesh, and also worked in the entertainment and creative industry here for some time, he does not need information about Bangladeshi content. “I’ve seen the trailers for recently released and well-received films, including ‘Hawa’, and I believe the industry will once again thrive like our glorious past if we also continue to make quality films for years to come. come.”
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Like most Bangladeshis, Jisan has a soft spot for the 1971 liberation war. His uncle, Shaheed Dr Abul Khair Mohammad Golam Mostafa, his mother’s elder brother, attained martyrdom as a freedom fighter.
Deep down, Jisan still has the will to make a film about the war of liberation. Perhaps this could be the culmination of his dream, to use his talent to create a feature film, beyond trailers.
“I will not leave my profession because it is the one for which I fought passionately day and night. Deep inside me I have the dream of making a film about our glorious Liberation
War – but from a unique point of view. And that will only be possible if I get the right creative freedom and budget for my storytelling purposes. This proud flag bearer of Bangladesh in the cutthroat American entertainment industry yearns to see more Bangladeshi colleagues around him.
“At 32, I finally realized what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This line of work is a lifetime commitment for me, and I want to see myself as a successful art director in the years to come,” Jisan says before ending the conversation.
He now has the prayers of a nation with him.