JR Michael covers Livingston Magazine

JR Michael’s Filmmaking Journey Embodies How to Strive for Personal & Professional Excellence

New York, NY

7 mins read

JR Michael’s approach to filmmaking and life illustrates that the pursuit of excellence is not limited to a specific field but can be a guiding philosophy for anyone seeking to create a meaningful and impactful life. While many individuals chase success, driven by the pursuit of fame, wealth or recognition, JR has a different perspective. The phrase ‘don’t work for success, but strive for excellence’ is his motto. In a world driven by success and the pursuit of personal gain, JR’s approach serves as a powerful reminder. Instead of fixating on success as an end goal, we should strive for excellence in our endeavours. JR embodies this philosophy, inspiring us all to embrace our passions and work towards making a difference in the world. As we draw inspiration from his story, let’s remember that excellence is not a destination; it’s a way of life that demands our best efforts every day.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in television and radio from the New York Institute of Technology, JR started his career as an extra in work such as Syriana, Law and Order, Fighting and I am Legend. “I grew up in a family that loved watching movies. My family had established a tradition of movie-watching during my childhood, which ultimately influenced my career choice to become a filmmaker.” His father’s love for movies was infectious and lead to a shared interest and appreciation for the art of filmmaking. It is a practice that JR has upheld with his own family, extending to his daughters. “I cherish the role of being a girl dad.”

JR Michael for Livingston Magazine

With nearly a decade of excellence in the film industry his portfolio boasts notable achievements, serving as proof that Hollywood is not a prerequisite for success. “I love to tell stories and bring them to life. I am a very creative soul I love to express myself through my work.” JR’s contributions extend beyond his primary work. As a co-founder of the board of directors of BeeHive the Colony, a Christian-based nonprofit organization, he demonstrates his dedication to uplifting others through impactful initiatives. Furthermore, he has excelled as the host and producer of the podcast radio show “Make that Bloody Movie with Coffee.”

As the mastermind behind Brick House Pictures and founder of Life Destiny Miracles LLC he is able to produce projects that align with his values and beliefs including Nightfall, Lily’s Sacred Journey, Bullet and Touch about an angel who was sent down to inspire and touch people by the things he whisper in their ear. Brick House Pictures is an independent movie production company dedicated to creating films that inspire and entertain. They have several films currently on Amazon Prime and a number of projects in development including Stranger In The Dark. “The film will be about a girl that moves to a small town with her mother and discovers a terrible secret that the town keep for many years. Also in development is A New York Story where two cops from opposite sides of town teams up to take down a notorious villain. Crime is not the same in the year 2026, the law has change and society is not the same.”

Bullet: Unleashing the Power of Strategy & Deception

Bullet is an analogy of the ruthlessness of life shown through the game of chess. Thirty-two chess players, seemingly with nothing in common other than their passion for the game, are called together to join an elite secret tournament. Five rounds will be completed, each one eliminating more and more players to determine the winner, where the ultimate prize has the potential to change their lives forever. But not all is as it seems. With each game won, the victors will advance to the next round to face a new opponent. The more malevolent the moves being made, the better the player seems to do. With only one winner possible for the entire tournament, the players will go to terrifying lengths to win and ensure their own safety and reward.  

Nightfall: Unveiling the Dark Underbelly of Human Trafficking

In a riveting portrayal of the harsh realities of life, Nightfall takes center stage. The project is spearheaded by JR, who also assumes the starring role of military veteran Jack Walker. After years of service, Jack returns to civilian life to find himself torn between the warmth of his family and an impending separation from his wife for another man. As the curtain rises, the man isn’t who he seems, and tragedy strikes as Jack’s wife and child disappear into thin air. A clandestine mission emerges, shrouded in mystery and desperation. Jack must navigate treacherous paths, smuggling legal immigrants across borders, all for the promise of half a million dollars. Through the shadows, Jack unravels the truth about his missing family, plunging into the sinister abyss of human trafficking and the world of illegal immigrants, where shocking revelations lurk at every corner.

Nightfall emerges as an electrifying thriller, exposing the harrowing struggle of a father and husband determined to save his loved ones from the clutches of human traffickers. Written and directed by the dynamic duo of JR and Joelly Almodovar (who also graces the screen), Nightfall delivers an explosive combination of betrayal, corruption and gang warfare that will seize the audience’s attention from its inception to its climactic conclusion. With its mix of heart-pounding action, intense drama and nerve-wracking suspense, Nightfall guarantees an exhilarating and captivating experience. The series also stars Joelly Almodavor, Ray Acevedo, K. Stevens and Milena Barbosa.

Lily’s Sacred Journey: Navigating Identity & Legacy

Step into the captivating world of Lily’s Sacred Journey, written by Georgia Delphine and Mark Ricker. JR’s aspiration is to draw greater focus towards the historical anguish and hardships that the Indigenous communities encounter through this project that also showcases remarkable indigenous representation. JR takes on directorial duties telling the multifaceted tale of Lily Sunflower (starring Jamie Loy), a young Lakota woman who is torn between two worlds while away at college. From her earliest days, Lily has been immersed in the rich history of Sioux traditions lovingly passed down by her grandfather, a revered Holy Man dwelling on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. As a young child, Lily’s grandfather wanted her to understand that their people did not always live like this. Set against the backdrop of the inexplicable disappearance of Native American women, a longstanding predicament haunting the reservations, the story unfolds.

Amidst the prevalent poverty on the reservation, Lily’s journey encompasses both personal growth and a collective yearning for identity and healing. Her aspirations to study medicine take her to college, where she befriends diverse individuals who become her second family. Through a strange phenomenon, Lily keeps getting visions and must uncover what they all mean to her and her family. Her life suddenly becomes focused on finding the people responsible for the disappearance of her missing, Indigenous sisters. We follow Lily as she grapples with her ancestral teachings, her dreams of becoming a doctor and the allure of life beyond the reservation. An inner battle rages that will not only decide Lily’s heart, but her soul as well as she travels her own sacred journey. Themes of legacy, self-discovery and the complex interplay of tradition and modernity converge that culminate in a poignant journey of identity and purpose.

JR Michael takes on this movie’s director role, further exemplifying his dedication to projects that hold deep personal meaning. “What caught my attention about this project was that it is a very spiritual story about the Lakota Tribe. Lily is finding herself and discovering new things about herself. Her history and her background is very important to her and the journey she is going through is a special one.”

Striving for Excellence in Our Own Lives

It is a common belief that attaining excellence in life is synonymous with perfectionism, but this is a fallacy. To attain excellence, one must be willing to take risks and accept failure as an opportunity for growth. Achieving excellence involves optimizing your abilities and doing the best you can. To diligently apply yourself to your existing strengths. Aspiring for excellence in life can help you create a healthy better version of yourself. Conversely, the pursuit of perfection in all aspects can be exceedingly detrimental and unhealthy. A life of excellence is a life brimming with opportunities. You are capable of excelling in any endeavour, which will yield a sense of accomplishment and gratification. During the process, you unveil your interests and thus gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

In a world often fixated on the allure of success, JR’s philosophy invite us to embrace our passions, hone our crafts and contribute authentically to the global narrative. Striving for excellence, but not perfection, boosts creative performance. JR Michael’s journey serves as an inspiring example of how one can develop a mindset for excellence in all aspects of life. His philosophy of focusing on excellence rather than mere success is a guiding principle that can be applied universally. Here are some key takeaways that we can integrate into our own lives to cultivate excellence:

JR Michael for Livingston Magazine

Define Your Passion: Just as JR Michael found his passion in filmmaking, take the time to identify what truly excites and motivates you. Excellence comes naturally when you’re genuinely passionate about your pursuits. Identify the areas of your life that hold the greatest significance and devote your energy to excelling in those areas.

Set High Standards: Excellence thrives in an environment of high standards. Challenge yourself to go above and beyond what is expected, pushing yourself to be the best that you can be.

Continuous Learning: Embrace a growth mindset by consistently seeking new knowledge and skills. Continuous learning not only enhances your expertise but also fuels your journey toward excellence.

Consistent Effort: Excellence is a product of consistent, dedicated effort. Set goals and work diligently to achieve them, even when faced with obstacles.

Seek Feedback: Constructive criticism and feedback are invaluable tools for improvement. Be open to feedback from mentors, peers, and even self-assessment.

Innovate and Adapt: Excellence doesn’t mean sticking to the status quo. Be open to innovation and adapt to changing circumstances, always looking for ways to improve and refine your approach.

Attention to Detail: Paying attention to the finer details can set you apart from the rest. Whether it’s in your work, interactions, or personal projects, a meticulous approach can elevate your efforts.

Embrace Failure as Growth: Failure is a stepping stone toward excellence. Learn from your mistakes, adapt, and keep moving forward. It’s often through failures that the most significant growth occurs.

Focus on Impact: Striving for excellence isn’t just about personal achievement; it’s about making a positive impact on the world around you. Consider how your actions and work can contribute positively to your community or society as a whole.

Maintain a Positive Attitude: Excellence is fueled by a positive and determined mindset. Cultivate optimism, resilience, and a belief in your ability to overcome challenges.

Achieving Excellence

JR Michael exemplifies the essence of striving for excellence through his commitment to crafting impactful narratives that reflect the human experience. From the pulsating suspense of Nightfall to the introspective exploration in Lilly’s Sacred Journey, JR Michael’s portfolio stands as a testament to the potential of storytelling to inspire, provoke and instigate change. Ultimately, striving for excellence is a continuous journey that requires commitment, dedication and a willingness to embrace change. By internalizing the principles that JR Michael embodies including passion, high standards, continuous learning, consistent effort, adaptability, and a focus on impact, you can make strides toward personal and professional excellence.

Livingston Magazine is an international, independently published magazine exploring society through the eyes o people from around the world. Through diverse voices, we feature inspirational people and their stories. "We connect with an audience interested in more than just the trend, but the deeper meaning of life." - JB Livingston, Founder/Editor-In-Chief.
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1 Comment

  1. Thank you so much for creating this well-written piece! It was a pleasure and an honor to be included amongst all these wonderful talents in your magazine. All of you guys inspire me every day and it’s an honor to be a part of this wonderful group! Peace, love and happiness – that’s what makes the light shine in all of us! ❤️

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