Alumnus Lands Oscar Nomination for Production Role on “The Creator”

By Alana V. Allen / 01/26/2024 Alumni, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Journalism and Mass Communication

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumnus Jordan Brown ‘22, fourth from left, is pictured with "The Creator" production crew members at the film's debut.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Jan. 26, 2024) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University alumnus Jordan Brown ‘22 has a gift for optimism that he uses throughout his life.

An up-and-coming filmmaker, Brown worked as a post-production assistant on the hit movie, “The Creator.” While on set, he aimed to speak an Oscar nomination for the film into existence.

It worked: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Jan. 23 that “The Creator” received “Best Sound” and “Visual Effects” nominations for the 96th annual Academy Awards.

Jordan BrownBefore graduating from N.C. A&T with a B.S. in journalism and mass communication (JOMC), Brown was an Aggie Success Leader. He also started a production company, Out of Pocket Productions, to support his creative passion of mass media. In addition, he was a member of Aggie Nights Live, a student sketch comedy and variety entertainment group.

“Being a JOMC student gave me a creative outlet of video production and allowed me to work with on so many campus initiatives,” said Brown. “I always knew I wanted to work in the film industry.”

Two weeks after graduation, Brown received an opportunity to intern for Disney Digital Studio Services in Los Angeles. This opportunity was afforded to him through HBCU in LA, an initiative through Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program (EICOP) in partnership with Disney Studios.

“I packed my bags, with a one-way ticket to LA, and I stepped out on faith because this was my opportunity to pursue my dream of working in mass media production," said Brown.

During his internship at Disney, Brown worked as a production assistant and saw firsthand the work ethic needed to support a studio.

A month into his role, his supervisor, Shannon Wynne, director of Disney Digital Studios, pulled him aside and said she was recommending him for a role on the movie set of, “The Creator.”

“Shannon saw something in me. She saw me being myself, kind and genuine to others, which is a connection to my upbringing in Charleston, South Carolina,” Brown said. “My short time at Disney was the steppingstone I needed to work on my first film.”

“The Creator” starring John David Washington was released Sept. 23, 2023. The sci-fi movie is based on a war between humans and robots with artificial intelligence. The budget for the film was $90 million and it made $109 million at the box office.

In summer 2022, Brown found himself in the whirlwind of post-production life on a movie set. He spent more than a year as a post-production assistant, multitasking between supporting the crew and creator in the editing process.

“It was a privilege to be given this opportunity to spend an entire year learning the tedious process of movie editing and reshooting film,” he said. “This was a process I needed to see because I gained so much respect for my teammates and the work that goes into filmmaking.”

Today, Brown is pursuing three new production projects in LA and applying for writership programs to gain more experience in scriptwriting.

“Life in the film industry is picking back up now that the historic 2023 writers’ strike has ended," he said. “I am learning every day the importance of the work writers contribute to the film industry and fair compensation.”  

Brown credits his mentor and A&T professor Phillip Page ‘07, who challenged him to overcome his fear of becoming a filmmaker, with much of his success. The two collaborated on Page’s recent project, “The Rose Room,” a short film featuring Aggie creators.

Brown also praised his supervisor on “The Creator,” Hank Corwin, for his mentorship and training him on how to become a better scriptwriter.

“My two mentors have taught me that you must love yourself, in a sense, that you love the art you are pushing," he said.

Brown is the third A&T alumnus nominated for an Academy Award since 2017.

Terrence Jenkins '04, better known as Terrence J, won an Oscar for the short film "Two Distant Strangers" as an executive producer of the film.

Kevin Wilson Jr. '11 won the gold medal in 2017 at the 44th Student Academy Awards for "My Nephew Emmett," a 20-minute short film based on the true story of the 1955 murder of Emmett Till. Months later, the film was nominated for a Best Live Action Short Film Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards. It also garnered him a Directors Guild of America Student Film Award and a BAFTA Student Film Award. 

The 96th  annual Academy Awards will air March 10 at 7 p.m. on ABC.

Media Contact Information: avallen@ncat.edu

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