The story of Hollywood’s Bangladeshi Motion Graphic Designer Jisan Kamrul Hasan

Movies and series are made to enthral audiences with captivating narratives and eye-pleasing visuals, as the audiences get their first grand meet-up with these entertaining contents through the teasers and trailers. In Hollywood, the industry of producing teasers and trailers is understandably significant - and a young Bangladeshi is now a proud flagbearer in this relatively unknown yet gigantic industry.

Transcending the global borders by crafting quality teasers and trailers in Hollywood, Jisan Kamrul Hasan, a young Bangladeshi motion graphic designer has created a buzz for his works on the teasers and trailers for some of the most popular movies and series in recent times, from the critically acclaimed "Last Night in Soho" to the recent Marvel Studios' graphic-intensive hit "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness."

From Laksham in Cumilla, Bangladesh - Jisan paved the hardest possible routes to make a name for himself in Culver City, Los Angeles in the California of United States. After a recent interview with a leading national daily in his motherland, Jisan's name is buzzing in the entertainment industry and netizens are curious about the journey that Jisan made in Hollywood.

"My journey actually started at a very early age back in 2002, when I was stunned after going through the majestic visuals of the popular and celebrated film "Lord of the Rings." I wondered about the motion graphics, and I decided that I will learn this," Jisan told in a candid interview with UNB from Hollywood, sharing his side of the stories with an explanatory narrative.

Although dreamt in 2002, Jisan got his first personal computer in 2007 and moved to Dhaka in 2008, and began practising Photoshop on his own, thanks to YouTube. His interest and practice in 3D animation and motion graphics led him to begin his bachelors in CSE at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST).

"I was already making money from graphic design and photography at that point and got my first opportunity as a motion designer after one of my seniors of my mess roommate approached me in 2012 and asked if I would be interested in working for his business as a graphic designer."

"In 2013 I bought my camera and started photography as a freelancer. This phase of my life circulated around the dream of being a filmmaker. I made some short films, done wedding photographs, made a bunch of creative and talented friends and used to have regular and frequent visits to 'Chobir Hat' at Dhaka University's Charukala," Jisan reminisced.

In September of 2016, Jisan moved from Bangladesh to New York in the US and began working for a newspaper as a graphic designer, courtesy of an expatriate journalist Kazi Shamsul Hoque. "Little did I know, my real struggle was just getting started," Jisan told UNB.

"I moved to Los Angeles in 2017, and the first year I had to survive with the bare minimum. A big and totally new city, a pretty costlier environment, and thousands of other obstacles. I survived, but then COVID-19 hit and I finally realized that this is it, I have to put everything aside and give my passion a final try."

"It was a "Now or Never" situation for me, so I embarked on this journey with my everything. I left my job, started learning motion graphics design from video tutorials and reading articles and books, evaluating movies, and learning new software such as After Effects, Cinema 4D, Houdini, and Nuke - and this routine continued from March 2020 till December that year, every day for 15 to 18 hours. It was unimaginably tough for me as a newbie, but I made it through sacrificing nights of sleep and other luxuries in my life," Jisan told UNB.

He then prepared his showreel from January 2021 till May that year, then took a short break from June to August when he came home to Bangladesh to spend the Eid-ul-Azha holidays with his family after five long years. He returned to LA in August and started applying for jobs, this time for the profession of his passion.

"Hollywood is a competitive place with so many aspiring talented individuals stepping up for one opportunity, from various parts of the world. However, as I prepared myself for the race - I started sending my showreel/portfolio to 30-40 production companies every day for the position of motion graphics designer."

"I was, unfortunately, not getting too many interview calls," Jisan continued. I even personally messaged my showreel to many directors and producers, and finally, after three months, my current employer, Wild Card Creative, contacted and selected me. I joined here in November 2021."

Jisan's first experience creating a trailer was for the movie "Last Night in Soho," but he considers the clip for "House of Gucci" to be his first significant piece of work. He eventually contributed to major motion pictures like "The Batman," "Morbius," "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," and "West Side Story," directed by the legendary Steven Spielberg.

In addition to these movies, he also worked on a number of television docuseries, including "Bosch: Legacy," "Tehran" (Season 2) "The Kardashians," and others. "We made the teasers and trailers which are distributed among all major social channels including Facebook, Instagram, TickTock, YouTube, and Snapchat, alongside our productions for theatres and television," Jisan told UNB.

Defining the industry and the trailer market, Jisan said, "This is undoubtedly a multi-billion dollar industry, as teasers-trailers are the first gateway to reach the audiences. There are two kinds of trailers that we make - for domestic (US) audiences and the other version is for international viewers. Then there are different audiences for movies and series, but if we analyze the industry for the last six months - viewers of series and docuseries is rising up with the incoming and blooming of more and more streaming sites."

When he was asked to define the technological barriers or advantages he observes in the US, in comparison to the industry of his motherland - Jisan said, "I personally don't think technology is the barrier, because I have seen similar or close to similar types of equipment in Bangladesh as well. It's the dedication and hardwork that matter the most, in this industry. I even made a trailer up to 200 times before finally producing a quality one."

He added, "I have seen how co-workers and colleagues in our company can motivate and lift up the working spirit with their helpful guidelines. Especially the senior colleagues and producers, who still passionately learn their crafts by regularly going through tutorials and lessons, even after having decades of successful careers. The colleagues are cordial and helpful, they never discouraged me whenever I tried to make something new."

As Jisan was born and brought up in Bangladesh and also worked in the entertainment and creative industry here for a while, he is well-informed about his country's dynamic contents. "I do watch Bangladeshi films and series; Orchita Sporshia starrer 2019 film "Kathbirali" is one of my favourites. I also have seen the trailers of recently released and well-received films including "Hawa," and I do believe the industry will thrive again like our glorious past if we continue quality filmmaking for the upcoming years as well."

Coming from a well-educated family in Bangladesh, Jisan has a special affection for the 1971 Liberation War. His own uncle, Shaheed Dr Abul Khair Mohammad Golam Mostafa, sacrificed his life in the war as a freedom fighter. He was the elder brother of his mother, and Jisan holds the patriotic spirit to make a film on the Liberation War.

"I won't leave my profession as this is the one for which I passionately struggled day in and night out, but deep down inside I do have the dream to make a film on our glorious Liberation War - but from a unique perspective. However, that will only be possible if I get the proper creative freedom and budget for the purpose of my storytelling."

A proud Bangladeshi flagbearer in the Hollywood mainstream entertainment industry through his grit and hardships, Jisan aspire to see more Bangladeshi colleagues in Hollywood. "At the age of 32, I finally realised what I want to do for the rest of my life. This field of work is a lifetime commitment to me, and I wish to see myself as a successful art director in the coming years," Jisan Kamrul Hasan told UNB.

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