Perhaps Jess’ intro to directing was at age 9 when she would use her parent's video camera to create short films and performances, employing her family members as the cast and crew. Her further prerequisites include shooting TV and movies primarily in New York for the last 10 years where she has worked under creators like Spike Lee, Jodie Foster, and Tina Fey. Her work as an editor with NBC Digital has garnered millions of views.
Hailing from the Cinematographer’s Guild, Jess’ visuals are created with a very specific camera language. Oners and intricate, revealing frames are apart of her storytelling. She is constantly exploring new ways to tell stories and with a past as an editor, constantly building and rebuilding the final cut in her head. More than a tech expert, actress Rachel Paulson (sister of Sarah), quoted Jess as an “actor’s director.”
With the aid of a grant, Jess spent a portion of 2018 working on her debut feature film in Paris, France. In 2017, Jess directed the first three episodes of the LGBTQ webseries, @datingZoe, which was distributed and renewed by GO-TV. That same year, Jess was approached by Blue Blood’s actor, Anthony T. Solano, to create a series. This led to the creation of Gray Ground, which Jess directed, wrote, and edited all 8 episodes. In 2016 Amazon distributed Jess’ latest short film, FUNERAL. The first film Jess wrote and directed out of college was screened at the New York Film Festival in 2013. Since, Jess’ work has screened at the SoHo House and international festivals.
Jess founded NYLA Films in 2016 to house her creative work and parlay her filmmaking experience to branded content. NYLA Films exclusively works with mindful entities and hires diversity first. Collaborations include artists, brands, and influencers.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Jess has since lived in 11 cities throughout 4 countries. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Virginia Tech. Jess calls New York home, where she sits on the 87th Street Park and Garden Committee. She enjoys playing the piano, globe-trotting, and black and white film photography.