Most young people, at the age of 22 are just getting out of college and beginning to first dip their toes into the work force pool. Many youngsters have very little idea what they want to do with the rest of their life.
Jeremy Cropf, 2007 graduate of Ladue High School is much further down the road to a successful career. His plans are well in focus, so to speak.
Already Cropf, who grew up in Ladue. has graduated film school at New York University (NYU) completed a semester abroad with the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) in London, finished an internship with the Higher Education Channel (HEC) in St. Louis and is now well into a professional video career in Portland, OR.
Not bad for all of 22 years of age.
“I made a pledge to myself that I would never do anything outside of video or film to make a living. I am not going to wait tables or be a bartender to survive.”
In just a brief span, Cropf has landed employment at three unique places in Portland. His work week is segmented different ways.
He works in video production at Lara Media, an agency focused on doing commercials for companies such as Qdoba and Pacific General Electric, aimed at the Latino market. He works one day a week in the film room of the Northwest Film Center School of Film. Two days a week, he’s a production assistant at the Funnelbox, an agency that handles accounts for heavy hitters such as Nike and Columbia Sportswear.
Cropf has gravitated to the digital world of filmmaking because it embraces collaboration so much. He loves that aspect the most.
“No one can make a film entirely by themselves. This industry requires the cooperation and effort of actors, writers, editors, directors, musicians, production assistants and photographers. We all work together to make great films,” he said.
This whole venture started a long time ago. His mother, Gail Wechsler, an activist with the Jewish Relations Council of St. Louis and an attorney who works in the Saint Louis University (SLU) law library took him to see Disney’s Aladdin when he was 2 years old.
”I loved it. I was hooked right then and there,” he said.
His father, Bob, is head of the Public Policy Department at SLU. His sister Hannah is a junior at Ladue.
Cropf took all the video classes he could at Ladue under the highly regarded and watchful eye of Don Goble and worked on the set of the daily Ladue High School television news segment, The View.
Weekends were devoted to developing a movie with friends around St. Louis, all sharing a common interest.
Cropf even to this day maintains a St. Louis-based production company, Corner Film Productions, and they have a police procedural movie in the works, based on a serial killer targeting war profiteers.
“We started shooting in May 2009, and we’ve had a cast of 100. We’ve shot in the Ozarks, all over St. Louis and in Washington, D.C. In early spring of 2012, we wil begin to submit our final version to film festivals all over the country. We’ve done focus groups, and there seems to be good interest,” he said.
He loved his video classes at Ladue.
“Mr. Goble (and Martina Davidson, instructor) pushed us hard to do good work. They were constantly critiqing our films. I was well prepared to get into the film school at NYU,” he said.
At NYU, he was an honors scholar in the Tisch School of Arts.
Goble was pleased with this particular student’s work.
"Jeremy has always had a unique eye for the camera. He is very analytical in his process, and he always wanted to think about the big picture. Who he could impact with his films in a positive way is always on the forefront of his mind,” Goble said.
He’s joined up with his girlfriend Megan Garbayo in Portland, a graduate of Emerson College in Boston, a film and TV major whom he met at the BBC in London.
Their long-term goal is breaking into the film industry in Hollywood together. “That’s what we’d really like to do. That would be cool,” he said.
Here are links to some Jeremy's best works.