Member Spotlight: Jon Barlow
“Passion is fuel so hold onto your own and foster it in others.”
WHAT DO YOU DO AND WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER?
I’m a producer and executive producer in entertainment and advertising. I have a passion for building creative filmmaking teams to cut through today’s noisy and complex media landscape.
I started down this path after working on a film about a refugee friend of mine who went to prison in Tibet for ‘espionage’- Needless to say, he wasn’t a spy and his sentence was total BS. I participated in a short documentary advocating his release and I experienced the profound reach and power a movie can have. He ended up being released after 7 years, a far cry from his 18-year sentence.
WHAT IS THE NAME AND AGE OF YOUR KIDS?
Kirby Mei Barlow is my daughter, she’s 4 years-old, and Maxwell Wing Barlow is my son, he’s 8 months old.
WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT OF BEING A FATHER?
There’s so much that I love about being a dad. I love watching my kids discover things and seeing their joy at the newness of something. It brings a newness to the world for me - and that’s refreshing.
There’s also the physical and psychic love burst I often get when we’re just hanging around, it’s an incredible injection of positivity - it’s one of the many unique rewards of fatherhood.
AND WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING?
The challenging moments of parenting are easily offset by the positive ones. That said, the level of patience required to keep an even temper in the face of short sleeps, the temperamental child mind, and professional demands can be a challenge to maintain. It’s easy for things to slip out of balance and become reactive and short. For me it’s important to have a some practice to keep the chaos at bay and remain present with the family.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST CAREER ACHIEVEMENT THUS FAR?
I’m really proud of several things I’ve made over the years, and inside of those projects are the relationships with the team members that did the work.
Some top highlights would be my first feature doc ‘Beautiful Losers’, Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’ video, and my recent work with the National African American History and Culture Museum.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR SOMEONE NEW TO YOUR INDUSTRY?
Become and remain remain a conduit for creativity no matter your role or level of position. Passion is fuel so hold onto your own and foster it in others.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE FOR A NEW DAD?
Kids are built to last! And while it can be a somewhat nervy first time experience, human babies are pretty tough. They learn at an amazing rate, while it’s important to keep them safe, it’s also important to let them come to an understanding of the world on their own.
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT FAVORITE ACTIVITY WITH YOUR KIDS?
I love going out for a bike ride/scooter/skateboard/stroller mission to the beach.
LYRICS TO LIVE BY:
“Open up your funky mind and you can fly
Free your mind and your ass will follow
The kingdom of heaven is within.” -Funkadelic
Follow Jon at @jonbar