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Jeremy Cho Interview

Jeremy Cho
Motion Designer
EMF
Franklin, TN

 

Career Capsule: I was born and raised in Stockton, CA. After graduating from High School, I went to college at UC Davis where I was pursuing a career in the medical field. Within a year, I realized it was not the career for me and pivoted to study computer arts at The Academy of Arts University in San Francisco, CA. Upon graduating, I landed my first job at a company called Computer Café (later renamed CafeFX) located in Santa Maria, CA. This was the start of my career in the Visual Effects (VFX) industry for Motion Pictures. After working there for two years, I got married and moved back to the San Francisco area. For over 10 years, I worked at various VFX companies and accumulated dozens of VFX film credits on movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Superman Returns, and Spiderman 3. By 2012, there was a downturn in the VFX industry and work became scarce in California. After getting laid off, I decided to relocate with my family to the Sacramento area to be closer to family. There I worked a variety of temp jobs to “make ends meet.”

Knowing about the radio station K-LOVE (EMF) and learning that their headquarters were nearby, I decided to apply. After multiple job applications across multiple positions, I was eventually hired as a Media Producer. Although the content was not related to VFX, I increased my skills in storyboarding, filming, editing, and audio. Several years later, with the increased demand for motion and social media content, a position called Motion Designer was created for me. In this (current) role, my responsibilities include bringing “to life” static images like graphics, titles, photos, intro cards, and logos by means of animation techniques. I am now approaching 10 years at EMF. It is a multi-faceted media ministry that exists solely to spread the message of the hope of Jesus to a world that desperately needs it. I am beyond blessed to be here.

 

Jeremy, tell us what’s new at EMF… any news, changes etc… and what’s new with YOU?  

EMF started its transition from NorCal to Middle Tennessee in 2021 and our ministry is relocating one department at a time. Mine was among the first to make the transition. Although I miss California at times, I feel extremely blessed to be here in Tennessee.

Having a larger presence here in the Nashville area has opened many more opportunities for EMF to interact and engage with Christian artists and their respective labels. Artists like Chris Tomlin, for KING & COUNTRY, Cody Carnes, Matthew West, and TobyMac are a few so far that have stepped foot into our studio for visits. “Being in their backyard” means we’ve been busier than ever before capturing live performances, interviews, and creative content with these gifted performers. This offers more fun and engaging content for our beloved audiences.  

It’s also been a lot of fun celebrating the various milestones EMF has reached in recent years, for instance, K-LOVE celebrated its 40-year anniversary, surpassed 1,000 broadcast signals across all 50 states, our streaming audio has reached many around the world, and EMF’s growing family of media ministries now includes podcasts, books, films, concerts, and live events.  

Although the growth has been fast, it’s been a great blessing to collaborate with new coworkers passionate about the ministry. Our future building is well beyond the “groundbreaking” phase and steadily taking shape. We are all looking forward to moving into EMF’s new home once it’s ready.  

Last December, I celebrated my ninth year at EMF. Through the years here, I have strengthened my skills in Video Production, Motion Design, and Visual Effects. I feel fortunate to be able to apply these skills to my passions of MEDIA, PEOPLE, and FAITH. A ministry like EMF provides a large stage to spread the message of hope to a world that desperately needs it and I’m glad to be a part of it. 

 

How do you balance work & family, how important is it for someone in Christian Media to ‘have a life”?

To me, having a balanced life means having a healthy life. It looks different to every person. But this is how it looks to me. Working at a place like EMF is fast-paced. It is easy for me to get wrapped up in doing “God’s work,” while neglecting my health, my family, and my time with God. Having a balanced life does not happen by accident. It must be intentional. So, when I get home, I must mentally “clock out” after a long day from work and be present with my loved ones at home. I make it a priority to stay plugged into my home church and to serve. I exercise a few times a week at my local gym with my wife. I also get in touch with my trusted therapist when necessary. Although each week introduces its own challenges, I strive to have a balanced life. To take care of others, I must take care of myself. 

 

As a digital creator, what do you do to keep up with trends, and technology?

The way digital content is being consumed by the public is changing everyday, so it is necessary that the content I create is current, relevant, and engaging. Staying up to date comes in a variety of forms. From listening to commentary from an internet personality by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk, to flipping open a Wired magazine or tuning into a TED talk, there is no shortage of ways to learn. I also find it insightful to observe those around me. I often find myself sitting on the couch with my family and observing what they watch on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+. At other times, I hear songs my teenage daughter listens to on Spotify. When she wants to, she shares with me the topics that buzz around her friends at school. On occasion, she convinces me to join her in popular dance routines on TikTok. When watching a video on YouTube, sometimes I come across an ad that holds my (or my kids’) attention and I figure out why. At work, I make sure I cross-check videos that I produce with social media producers before being published online. They are a great resource to tap into to see if a video I create will not only grab attention but also appear as expected across several social media platforms. All this knowledge and awareness are important for a digital creator.

 

What’s something you’ve learned due to the pandemic, about Christian Media, that you didn’t know before?

It was a strange and stressful time after the world went into lockdown during the pandemic. When our church canceled in-person gatherings, streaming was the only option for the congregation to stay in touch. This was one form of Christian Media for us. Our pastor encouraged us to “stand up” during this challenging time because we as a church were not defined by a building. The ability to stream kept us connected in real time. At EMF, the content we created aimed to address the hurt, isolation, and stress our audience was experiencing. We flooded our channels with hope, encouragement, and faith to remind the world that God is always in control. Christian artists were also affected. All touring and concerts were canceled. We offered opportunities for artists to reach audiences by hosting live performance sessions through our platforms. It was a joy to partner with them in the trying times. Looking back, I was encouraged to see how we pulled together as a community to utilize the resources to stay connected and continue God’s work.

 

Regarding your career, what are you most proud of?

To choose a singular proud moment in my career is next to impossible! Prior to working at EMF, I was involved in the Visual Effects Industry for over 10 years. Proud moments during this time were seeing my name in the credits on films I worked on like Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Spiderman 3. A proud moment in my freelance world would be my first VFX Supervisor credit on a film called Notorious Nick. I worked over two years leading a team to complete over 350 VFX shots. Proud moments at EMF included creating visuals for K-LOVE’s 40th-anniversary video, animating the K-LOVE FILM opener logo, and contributing VFX work on one of K-LOVE’s first films, Family Camp. At any given stage in my career, I am truly grateful for the people who have been a part of my journey.

 

What is the ONE thing you must have everyday to do your job?  

I enjoy coffee, but what I enjoy even more is boba milk tea! Aside from drinks, all I really need to get my job done is a solid laptop and an internet connection. I love creating content with very little “stuff,” which then reaches millions. I can relate to the loaves and fish account from the Bible. With little, God can multiply to reach the masses. 

 

Why is video important to a radio station’s overall content and programming?

I can’t claim to have done all the research on the stats or trends of video viewership, but I probably can guess the numbers are quite high and increasing as I am typing. Just do a quick online search you will see the stats are quite tilted toward video across all other mediums and platforms. Video content is being consumed by the world on television sets, smartphones, and the web. Social media is fueling it all as well. If radio stations want to stay relevant when it comes to public attention, having a video strategy is a must for overall content and programming. Not having visual content is like having your hand tied behind your back and hopping on one leg while trying to finish a marathon.

 

Who are your career heroes and influences? and why?

As I mentioned earlier, I was in the Visual Effects Industry for over 10 years. As a young kid, I often played with my dad’s VHS camcorder while making home movies. My interest peaked when I came across a movie when I was 15 years old. It was a movie directed by Robert Zemeckis called Forrest Gump. The movie magic spark came about when I watched the “behind the scenes” extra feature on the DVD. Seeing the before-and-after footage and the way computers and filming techniques were used to establish the characters and elevate the story truly inspired me. So, I would say a hero of mine would be Robert Zemeckis. There are also countless personal influences that have helped shape my career. My parents, Jerry and Sharon Cho, my Uncle Ron, my wife, Amy Cho, Jeff Barnes, David Ebner, Aaron Rhodes, John Jack, Phil Tippett, Shawn Farrington, Norm McDonald, Lance Hahn, Alan Mason, Ian Simkins, Jonathan Martin, Ricky Borba, Andy Erwin, and Bill Reeves. These are a few of the people who have invested in me, given me a chance, and encouraged me through my career journey so far. I am forever grateful for their involvement in my life. 

9 thoughts on “Jeremy Cho Interview

  • Thank you Ted for reaching out to me for this exclusive interview on your notable platform. I am beyond grateful to be mentioned among the greats in the radio industry. This is also extra special to me because my birthday is approaching on 2/22. Congrats to you as well on 20 years of your impactful ministry!

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  • Jeremy Cho is a brilliant artist and an awesome coworker!! I’m so glad to read a little more of his story!

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    • Thank you Monika for the encouragement. Blessed to call you friend and coworker.

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  • Great interview Jeremy!

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    • Thank you James! Appreciate the kind words!

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  • If my memory serves me correctly, I’ve known Jeremy and his family for 27 years, if not more. He’s a down to earth guy and definitely has a heart for the Lord, his love for family, and friends is genuine.

    One thing I’ve notice among many great attributes is that he’s adaptable to the situation without hesitation or fear, which helps him move through adversity instead of getting easily bogged down. From what was shared, anyone of those transition circumstances could have been a setback but instead made him stronger and grow more.

    Jeremy, you are an inspiration to me and others. Your life encourages me. Thanks for being an awesome godly example in how to be a servant of God, a living husband to your wife, an father to your kids, and an awesome friend to me and many others. Well done Jeremy well done.

    Congratulations on your success.

    Definitely let me know when you’re back in NorCal.

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    • Thank you Ed for the kind words! Your friendship means a lot to me. May God continue to bless you, your career, and your family!

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  • Wow! Great interview Jeremy! Congratulations!

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    • Hi Jan! Thank you so much for the encouragement. You’ve been such a great friend and coworker.

      Reply

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