I began my film career in South Florida in the early 1970s working on feature, commercial, documentary and industrial films. I worked primarily as a cameraperson and editor.
My first job was working for the legendary Stanley Colbert at Mini Films (later known as Co-Productions), from whom I learned so much. At the beginning of his career Stan had been a literary agent and was Jack Kerouac’s agent for “On the Road.” Later he was the executive in charge of production for Ivan Tors Studios in Miami, where he produced Flipper, Gentle Ben, and many other shows, before starting Mini Films. After Mini Films/Co-Productions Colbert returned to Canada to become an executive producer at CBC and in the late 1980’s he became president and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers of Canada. Another interesting fact is that Eric Clapton’s “461 Ocean Boulevard” was named for Stan’s beach house in Hollywood, Florida!
In the mid 1970s I went to work for the Filmmakers Group in Fort Lauderdale and also worked freelance elsewhere in the south Florida area. During that time I had the good fortune to be able to work with some top film editors such as Fima Noveck, Michael Luciano and most closely with Angelo Ross. In 1981 I moved to Boston, where I worked for several years as a video editor at Cinemagraphics/Video One and then at WGBH.
While in Boston I discovered pottery and left filmmaking to become a studio artist for the next twenty years (www.jancannonpottery.com). During that period I studied ceramics at the Radcliffe Pottery Studio in Somerville, MA, and traveled extensively throughout Asia studying ceramics in China, Korea, Japan and Thailand. I was an artist-in-residence in Calhoun College at Yale University and director of the ceramics program at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1993 I established my pottery studio in Charlotte, Vermont. I have served on the board of directors for the Vermont Crafts Council, The Ferrisburgh Artisan’s Guild and the Shelburne Art Center.
In 2005, having become interested in sustainability issues, I decided to return to making films. Vermont had many groups and individuals promoting ideas about sustainable living and I felt it was important that those voices be recorded. Observing that many people still didn’t understand the challenges posed by over-consumption, climate change and peak oil, I decided that I wanted to be more actively involved in working for positive change in the world, especially by using film to educate and promote ideas of sustainable living.
When I returned to filmmaking, I still had the sensibility of a studio artist. During the time I had been away from filmmaking the technology had changed radically and I was now able to work completely independently in what was traditionally one of the most collaborative of mediums. Working independently allowed me to maintain a low profile and achieve an intimacy on projects that would otherwise be unachievable with a larger, more conventional filmmaking approach. As a studio artist the expression of beauty was always the primary aim of my work; and it remains so in my work as a filmmaker.