Finding the Story: Q&A with Brand Filmmaker Jared Cruce

Jordan Kelley, Content Director,

That’s Not Your Story, the film that follows one woman's cancer journey with non-profit clinic, research, and education organization Mederi Center, was officially honored at the 5th annual Brand Film Awards from PRWeek and Campaign on May 7th, 2020. The film was also honored at the 2020 American Business Awards, where it was winner of the Stevie Award for Best Documentary.

The creative element behind the film is Jared Cruce, filmmaker and founder of Jared Cruce studio. Cruce succeeds in achieving all that is constantly preached about approaching brand-funded film, most notably by putting a very human story at the center that carries the viewer all the way through to the end.

Brand Storytelling caught up with Cruce to discuss his win, how he likes to work with brands, and to learn a little more about Jared Cruce Studio:

Jared, congratulations on the film! How did you come to partner with Mederi? What was the initial ask?

Mederi partnered with us on branded content for a website makeover. Our framework empowers our clients through the process of building their content and I think that was fresh and unique for them.

They then had a need to bring awareness to their new work and fundraising campaigns. They came to us with the initial ask of a video that outlined the Mederi Center, what it did, its history and key players. We proposed a character driven story that shared the heart and heroism of their clients and the work they do.

What was the give and take like as far as creative input and control when making the film?

When it comes to input and control we think about it differently. We are experts in creative storytelling and film production, but we are also experts in story finding and development. So, we bring the client into the process, collaborate and communicate the purpose of the film, the characters, the storyboard; all within an easy to understand framework. When they know we care as much as they do about their business success and understand their purpose, we can go out and execute the technical and creative skills of filmmaking with their trust. That is what we did with Mederi. They gave us creative control when making the film, and we blew them away. We believe story influences the mind by guiding the heart.

What did your relationship with the brand look like during that process?

Relationship and trust building are part of our culture. We came in and learned everything we needed to in order to find and craft their story. During this process we always share our perspective and we showed Mederi how invested we were and how much value we were going to deliver. From our preparation and to communication with their clients and throughout the process I think our relationship went from good to great.