Hello, my name is Jeff Cook - videographer, editor, producer and storyteller.
After receiving my Bachelor of Arts degree, I started my television broadcasting career at Fox 26. In just having graduated, I was green, very green. I learned how to be a photographer by watching the more experience photographers work, and by asking them questions. After a year at Fox, I was hired by KSEE 24, a NBC affiliate. Again, I was learning more and more by asking and observing. During my tenor at KSEE, I was responsible for overnight news, and editing a full morning newscast. I learned to edit efficiently, I had to…. news waits for no one. While working at KSEE I was fortunate enough to win an Edward R. Murrow award. I worked at a few more stations before hanging up my news hat at the number one station in the Central Valley, ABC30.
Even though I was in the field I went to school for, I felt a whole in my soul. Yes, I was doing what I loved to do, but something was missing. I think all the negative news I was witnessing, editing, reporting on was getting to me. What I was missing was positivity in my life and at work. I would attend the morning meetings and suggest positive stories, however, there is a saying in the news business…” If it don’t bleed it don’t read.” Well, I guess that tells you how gory it can be. Even if we were on a good feel story and there was breaking news such as a homicide, or car accident, I would have to drop my current story to cover the more gruesome one.
The empty feeling, I had needed to find remedied. So, I put myself through the Police Academy. I have always wanted to help people in need, so I thought being an officer would be a good fit. I went on several ride a longs and really liked what I was saw. In 2009 I was offered a job in Fresno. During my training I realized how wrong I was in getting into police work. Police work is meant for special people who have it in them to be officers. I was not an officer. It just wasn’t in me. To tell you the truth, I felt like I was out of my own skin. So now what? I turned in my badge and gun and started soul searching.
During my job hunt, I interviewed for a freelance position at the PBS Fresno. After my first week on the job, my spirit was reborn. I had just finished reading a book called My Purpose Driven Life, and I really connected with what I was doing at the station. You know that ah-ah moment, the feeling inside that validates truth. I was editing and shooting stories and was doing it with a purpose. It was at this moment in my life that I realized how God wanted to use me for his glory.
You know your purpose in life when you love what you do. It’s the thing that makes you tick. It’s the passion that makes you want to become better at what you love to do. My passion is to tell stories. It is my fuel to feeling good. I want to be able to tell stories to benefit people, organizations, and businesses. There is something about sharing someone’s story that is uplifting for me. I really do feel alive when I am behind a camera, editing, and interacting with people during the shoot. It’s is my job to make the shoot the best I can, and to be able to tell a compelling story. We all have stories to tell, and they are all unique. My hope is to tell as many impactful stories that I can, and in doing so, I hope I can better the business, organization or person I am telling the story about.
In looking back on my life, it was these events that helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. I did some real soul searching after I resigned as a training officer. I wanted to know why I did not get police work. I wanted to know why I thought God wanted me there. It wasn’t until after I left and started at PBS that I received those answers. I was born to create. Let me tell you, after eighteen years of media, I still love it, and I still try to improve my craft daily.
It is my honor to deliver high quality storytelling through my company Cook Films. After years of being in the news business, I now can tell a complete story without time constraints. As a news photojournalist, I only had a minute or so to tell a story; and many stories deserve more time than just one minute. Now, it’s my mission and goal to give each story life and allow the story to be told the way it needs to be told without time constraints. My desire is to tell your story, whether it be for a company, organization, or public service announcement with dignity and character. Everyone has a story to tell.... what's yours?
Feel free to check out my blog post where I share behind the scenes footage, how to video info, and much more. Here are some of my top rated blog post: