Today is the 18th anniversary of my company Creative Impulse Entertainment, the home of the original Justice For Hire comic books. Creative Impulse laid the foundation for our current crowdsourced cinematic universe, the Justice For Hire TV series, as well as ReelwUrld, the social filmmaking startup that created the JFH app.
With Creative Impulse, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to produce and work with some of the world’s greatest talent across films, music videos, comics, animation, music, and even games. We wouldn’t be celebrating this without all of the wonderful people, artists, directors, producers, writers, and investors that helped us grow, especially my father, Jan C. Childress. Quick story on why this company exists because of him:
In 1999, my father was leaving the Marvel offices and walking downtown on Park Avenue when he saw a flag that read, “New York Film Academy.” He walked into the Union Square building and got information on their first high school program, brought it home to me and asked if I wanted to try making films for a summer. I thought for a moment at how disappointed I was in my initial dream to program video games, which I did the previous summer at Columbia University’s high school program, and thought to myself that perhaps this is how I’ll be able to make the epic action scenes I wanted to create come to life. I said yes and was immediately fast tracked to connect with my purpose. Even my teacher that summer, Mike Sandoval, would become a major part of my life (Mike walked me into NYU to the dean’s office, where I later went for college, hired me the next summer as a teaching assistant, and is now an advisor for ReelwUrld).
In March 2003, while a junior at NYU’s Tisch film school, my father surprised me again. Noting that I had expressed interest in forming my own company weeks prior (because every film student had vanity business cards for their production company they hoped to form one day, and I wanted mine to be “real”), Dad handed me my first corporate binder. I opened it and saw inside a certificate of incorporation for Creative Impulse Entertainment. I looked at dad in shock, because he did all the work to set up the company, and I felt the weight of what it meant and the long path attached to it. Dad never put pressure on me to own a company, but he equipped me with an understanding of the value of balancing business and creativity, especially given the challenges his mentor Jim Shooter faced at Marvel and Valiant. Even so, my hands would shake nervously when I would type my company email password in as a 20-year-old.
In 2011, moments before our premiere of the Justice For Hire animation at San Diego Comic Con, surrounded by 14 of my team members, I expressed to my father that I wondered if I was in the right place in life (because being an entertainment entrepreneur can be maddening). He told me that if I wanted to stop, I could walk away right now. That blew my mind, as he was a lead investor in the company, and we were working for years to build value across media verticals. His support of my freedom of choice empowered me to stay the course, and ride the company as a vehicle across entertainment. Along the way, I’ve at times forgotten my core motivation for being in media in the first place—to access the hearts and minds of people when they’re most vulnerable and remind them (and myself) of humanity’s innate divine power. If anything has cost me efficiency in energy expenditure over the years, it has been that forgetfulness.
Fast forward to now, I feel like my journey with Creative Impulse has come full circle through ReelwUrld and the success of Justice For Hire’s crowdsourced cinematic universe. Dad walked out of Marvel to the New York Film Academy, and ReelwUrld is using the cinematic universe storytelling model made popular by Marvel to empower anyone to make movies and shows together on our cinematic social network.
Whether you’ve been there since the beginning or are new to my/our story, THANK YOU everyone for the support on this journey. I would say “I’m just getting started,” but in fact, it’s the past experiences of Creative Impulse that are allowing me and our team to boldly go where no one has gone before with ReelwUrld.
Other quick bites: Justice For Hire episode 01 hit 6 million views on TikTok, the Justice For Hire app is live, our ReelwUrld vision video is in production (and it will melt your mind), and we’ve moved ReelwUrld’s equity crowdfunding campaign to WeFunder and will launch soon.
Some fun stuff on https://creativeimpulseent.com