Alumni Documentarians

Jordan Ehrlich '00Jordan Ehrlich '00
Director and Producer, CaveLight Films

Jordan Ehrlich ’00, created his own production company, CaveLight Films, to “create [his] own independent work to explore social issues while challenging and inspiring viewers.”

At Ithaca, Ehrlich was a producer for an ICTV program, “working closely with the technical crew and the on-air talent from pre-production to the final show was one of the best most rewarding experiences of my time at IC and certainly gave me a solid base to learn from in the industry over the years,” he mentioned.

One year after Ithaca, Ehrlich earned his first position in the documentary world as a Researcher for A&E’s Biography series. Shortly after, he became an Associate Producer for the series and was responsible for maintaining show budgets, managing a production team, producing field shoots, and conducting feature interviews.

Ehrlich then pitched a full-length sample Biography script to the executive producers. He then wrote “A&E Biography: Linda Blair, Turning Heads” which aired nationally in October of 2003. These roles also led to various other writing jobs for cable documentaries.  “Each one has its own challenges, but if you are able to really understand what the series or show is about and what the network wants to convey in regards to theme, it makes the writing much easier,” Ehrlich mentions.

After acquiring this writing experience in Los Angeles, Ehrlich traveled to Madrid, Spain to expand his perspective on the industry. He was then able to secure a job working at Team Works Productions, a reputable Spanish production house. In this role, he worked with clients from mostly other countries shooting in Spain to coordinate the production process.  “Most importantly, I developed a solid understanding of the international media marketplace through my interaction and negotiations with producers from around the world,” Ehrlich explains. He worked on commercial campaigns for international companies, such as Adidas and Head & Shoulders.

After returning to the U.S, Ehrlich started working on a documentary for Hoff Productions, which explored the last Chain Gang in the nation.  For this project, he spent two weeks in the Maricopa Jail system getting to know the inmates, interviewing, and filming. This documentary aired various times on Discovery Channel in 2010.

His next project was a two-year process with Hoff Productions for a full-length documentary film, Where I Stand: The Hank Greenspun Story. The film depicted a man who devoted his entire adult life to fighting for a series of causes he believed in, even in the face of danger. As producer, Ehrlich was responsible for every aspect of the film production, ensuring that Director and Emmy Award winner Scott Goldstein’s, vision was achieved in the most effective way possible. Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins was also the narrator for this documentary.

Working mainly to produce the vision of others, Ehrlich’s desire to create his own independent work manifested in CaveLight Films. His first big project was Hope in Motion where he traveled with a team to India to document a charity organization and their work helping orphans in impoverished areas.  Another recent project his team has undertaken is documenting the top youth martial artists in the country.

In 2009, Ehrlich received his masters from University of California to further advance his education in the field of documentary filmmaking and journalism.  “If I wanted to dedicate my life to this and be the best I could possibly be it seemed worth obtaining as much knowledge as possible,” he said.

“Exploring and developing important and relevant stories is my great passion. A powerful story that conveys emotion in an entertaining way can have a lasting and meaning impact on viewers.  Because of this, I have dedicated my life to confront and explore important social issues and personal stories in the hopes of having a positive impact on the people who view them,” Ehrlich added.

 


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