Jeremy Oliver Miller
Director of Photography and Head Storyteller
Jeremy Miller, is the Director of Photography for The elai Project. He has worked in film for most of his adult life as cinematographer and director. His clients include the Georgia Theatre, Athens Social Media, Mellow Mushroom and the Hotel Indigo; as well as various networks including CNN, MTV, VH1 and BET. Miller has filmed music videos for Ludacris, T.I., Corey Smith, and Young Jeezy. His feature film work includes Prosper, Zombie Crush, Lie Cheat Steal, and his documentaries include Paradise Garden.
Miller’s firm owns and films with a RED, the same type of camera used to film The Hobbit. Miller says that working with 4k gives him certain advantages, such as shooting once but having several options in post production. For the “Joni Interview” section of the The elai Project, Inc Inception video, Miller shot no close-ups, as the amount of detail and data needed for the closeup was already in the long shot.
Growing up in Macon, Georgia, Miller always dreamed of working in film, but was told it was out of his reach. Miller wanted to act, but he was good at sports and surrounded by athletes. During his senior year in high school, once he realized how expensive it would be to go to film school, Miller gave up on film and gave in to the peer pressure to play sports. But film stayed with him.
“Film is storytelling. Through stories, people see themselves, much like a mirror. They grasp characters as they would grasp a friend. Their struggles are our struggles.” This creates an awareness that the audience might not otherwise have. Pulling the audience into this world of awareness is Miller’s aim. He says that film, “took me from the hard times of my life and put me in a different world, a world of endless adventures and possibilities.” Miller says that at a young age, he knew that one day he wanted to inspire people “the exact same way these great storytellers inspired me.”
At 15, Jeremy was involved in a major car accident that left him hospitalized for almost two months. The damage to his body was extensive. He survived his injuries, and fully recovered from the accident, but the memory of being disabled for months of his life has stayed with him. Miller says that The elai Project, Inc spoke to him because of this experience.
“When your life is reduced to waking up in pain, getting to the couch in the morning and then getting back to my room at night, and repeating that cycle every day, you feel limited. The only books I could read were those that were brought to me, I couldn’t keep up with school, and I remember breaking down several times because I thought I would never pass 10th grade.” Miller said that it took him much longer to learn because of his head injuries. “If I had access to the library electronically, I would have been able to keep up with school. Waiting for days for books to come in just put me further behind, and disadvantaged me in trying to keep up with my classmates.”
Miller fully supports ensuring full access to libraries for all disabled persons. “elai is important to me. My goal isn’t to see the project get off the ground. It’s to see the end result – that children with disabilities benefit from the elai Project.” Miller sees his role in the project as a catalyst to create awareness through communicating Joni’s story. “All of us are wearing whatever hats are necessary to get this project off the ground. elai is important to me, as it is to the millions of disabled people who do not have full access to libraries. Knowledge is power.”
In the next year, Miller plans to continue being the storyteller for The elai Project, Inc, and wearing whatever hats are necessary.