Texas-born, but having spent the majority of his life in Ecuador, Jameson Sheppard wasn’t overly impressed by his sister’s interest in attending John Brown University.
“But then I came and checked it out when she was looking into it, and actually kind of liked the art program they had going on,” he said.
Sheppard largely was interested in drawing and painting, but had been intrigued by some friends’ high school video project shortly before his introduction to JBU.
“Then when I got to JBU and realized I could study either graphic design or video production, that’s when I started to realize, ‘Wow, this is really what I want to do,’” Sheppard said.
“Prior to that, I knew that I was interested in art, and that was really the extent of it. I didn’t really know how to define that in terms of a career.”
At JBU, Sheppard studied digital media with a focus in cinema production. He spent summers working, including an internship at Walden Media, and had a handful of full-time jobs before landing at Mitchell Communications Group.
He and a part-timer were the only employees in his department. In less than three years, Sheppard has helped grow that staff to eight full-time employees and eight more in MCG’s “project employee network.”
“We’ve got a growing creative team that offers graphic design, video production, photography and creative copywriting,” Sheppard said. “I help lead the video production and photography production side of that.”
His clients include Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Southwestern Energy Co. and Hilton Hotels & Resorts.
“Most of our stuff is more like social content,” he said. “We’re making videos for YouTube or Facebook that our clients are able to use and push out as content.”
In doing so, Sheppard draws on lessons learned in Ecuador, as the child of missionary parents who were school administrators. Sheppard learned particularly valuable practices from his father, who oversaw the school’s drama department.
“That’s helped with the production side of things, understanding how all of the components fit together,” Sheppard said. “Video production is very much a puzzle to me, and you’re trying to put all the pieces together to make a nice, beautiful picture.”
Away from work, Sheppard is a self-described movie buff who helps with production at GracePointChurch and gives pro bono talks to college students interested in careers in his field.