By Angel MedFlight Contributor
He started his film making career in the woods near his childhood home in Seattle. Inspired by award-winning director Steven Spielberg, Jesse Vanderpool would attend a prestigious film school and would later receive on-screen credits as a cinematographer. Now, Vanderpool is part of the talented team at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance as our newest videographer.
Whether it’s shooting our fleet of air ambulance jets or patient stories like the ones seen in our “My Real Life Moment™” series, Vanderpool’s talents will shine through in the company videos that have become so popular since Angel MedFlight was established in 2007.
His start behind the camera came as an adventurous 13-year-old. His father had shown him the Spielberg classic, “Saving Private Ryan” and soon after, Vanderpool was out on the family’s wooded property making his own war movies. “We’d get some camouflage, BB guns and a camcorder and we’d just take turns being in the movie and then filming,” says Vanderpool.
Then his father gave him some life-changing advice . “He said to me, ‘Hey, you can make movies for a living.’ That was astonishing to me because I had just figured that people just do this for fun,” says Vanderpool.
Over the next few years, Vanderpool would make movies about skateboarding, snowboarding, boxing movies, car chases, “anything that we could think of.”
Acting on his dad’s advice of getting paid to make movies, Vanderpool went to film school in Ventura, Calif., attending the Brooks Institute where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He then did several apprenticeships for the American Film Institute and the University of Southern California. Vanderpool also worked a number of years at the New York Film Academy as a teacher’s assistant. The academy’s classroom just happened to be on the back lot of Universal Studios.
Vanderpool then ventured out into a freelance career where he did several documentaries and corporate videos for companies like Boeing and United Technologies. After working as a director of photography at a production company, Vanderpool landed at Angel MedFlight in Scottsdale.
Vanderpool enjoys working on documentaries and with families because, “You don’t really know what the story is going to be until you’re there filming it. And you are not directing the story — the story is directing you.”
Vanderpool likes the challenge at Angel MedFlight of traveling on a moment’s notice to film a patient story. It’s fewer cameras and often a one-man production, but Vanderpool lives by the motto: Restriction breeds creativity. He says when you are limited and there isn’t a lot of time to plan, you have to rely more on your spontaneous creativity.
Vanderpool became interested in Angel MedFlight after viewing some of the company’s videos. “They were similar to my style and I could really appreciate them. I thought I would make a great fit,” says Vanderpool. “I think it’s an amazing company that helps people and I feel my time is very valuable here.”
A lover of airplanes and his craft, Vanderpool fits right into the staff at Angel MedFlight. He has an 18-month-old daughter and a son on the way.
By the way, Vanderpool hasn’t forgotten the days of rolling around in the dirt as a youngster making war movies. He likes to play paintball in his spare time.