Writer/Director Jesse Cowell grew up on the upper west side of Manhattan New York. As a child, when he wasn’t being read to by his novelist mother, or chasing fires and swat teams with his news photographer father, Jesse spent four days a week watching movies at his favorite neighborhood theater. In the years that followed, Jesse followed his dream to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s (USC) acclaimed Cinema School, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Cinema/Television Production, and along the way, Jesse’s work won several Cine Eagle awards and a student Emmy.
At this time, Jesse formed his own banner, Jeskid Productions, and mounted his first feature film, the highly irreverent comedy “Shades of Gray” launched completely online in 2005. By releasing his film on the web, Jesse built up a very significant fan base and was even awarded the Audience Choice award for Best Director’s Site by Movies.com! This led to “Shades of Gray” jumping to the big-screen as it was awarded Best Comedy Feature Film at the Microcinema Festival in Chicago that same year.
In the process of getting “Shades of Gray” seen, Jesse started “Jeskid TV”; an up close up and personal look at all the insanity it takes to move forward in the film business. Jesse not only included people who enjoyed his film in the process of figuring it all out – he invited them into the most intimate (and silly) moments of his life. Bonds were forged, screenings were had all over the country and, most of all, everyone had a great time getting to know one another. All through the fun, Jesse was inspired in so many ways to continue the fight forward.
Throwing caution into the wind with the existing fan base 100 percent behind him, “Jeskid” then mounted up with state of the art HD equipment and began shooting the half animated Webby-award-winning “Drawn by Pain”. Since its online episodic release, Jesse has been featured by IFC’s lunchbox, iTunes, the MSG channel, Escapist Magazine, NY Comic Con, the NY post, two national radio shows and many front pages across the web.
Next up came “Status Kill”. Jesse wrote, directed, and produced the action-comedy series which has been featured on sites such as My Damn Channel, Gizmodo, RedvsBlue and has been seen over 3 million times. The upcoming second season produced in collaboration with My Damn Channel features high end special FX and timely social commentary.
As of fall of 2010, Jesse has served as My Damn Channel’s Director of Content where he Executive produces all of their original content slate and works closely with passionate filmmakers and artists.
“About page” aside – I think the video below shot several years ago sums me up pretty well: