Podcast

Jon Chu on Directing in Hollywood, Creative Storytelling and Chasing Your Dreams

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How would you like a meeting to pitch your film to Steven Spielberg while you were still in film school?

How would you like him to buy your idea?

How would you like to make the first mega-successful documentary about a superstar singer?

Maybe yes, maybe no.

But if you insert your creative pursuit into these questions (if it’s not film), you’ll probably be answering yes.

Today’s guest, Jon Chu, is the director of blockbuster hits like Step Up 2: The Streets, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, GI Joe: Retaliation, and others.

How does a young guy like him (just hitting his mid-30s now) land these kinds of films in such a competitive industry?

I asked him this myself when he came by the studio to record an episode for The School of Greatness.

His stories were fascinating and inspiring. He is no doubt a great storyteller.

This quality is actually what he credits a lot of his success as a film director to. It’s at the heart of what he does.

What I was also inspired by was Jon’s humble and authentic attitude. He is a hard-working, grateful, positive guy and it’s no wonder to me that he is so successful.

If you are creative in any field, or are trying to get to the next level in your work, listen up to Jon Chu in Episode 237.

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The School of Greatness Podcast

237---The-School-of-Greatness---JonChu

“The reason we make and watch movies is to feel connected as a community.”

Some questions I ask:

    • What is it about film making that you love most?
    • What movie did you grow the most from directing?
    • How do you get thousands of cast and crew to be on board with your vision for a film?
    • What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about yourself over the past 15 years?
    • What’s the movie that you’ve been inspired by the most?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • The story of how Steven Spielberg found one of Jon’s movie while he was in school (and bought another one of his ideas!)
  • How he got into making dance movies
  • Jon started making movies in the 3rd grade

“You are what you do everyday.”

  • How he got the job to do the Justin Bieber movie (and what he learned about Justin from making it)
  • The story of how he introduced Scooter Braun to his wife
  • What he learned from (and struggled with) going 5 years without making a movie after his first hit
  • How awesome The Rock is (I thought so!)
  • Plus much more…


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Did you enjoy the podcast?

Wow, Jon’s stories are the best. I could have asked him questions for hours. So inspired. Which is your favorite movie of his?

“I would make movies for free if you gave me a camera and actors.”

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