As a child in a war zone, I was so focused on survival that I never imagined being able to come to this greatest of all nations—let alone helping others thrive here through the power of storytelling. I’m proud that our films have helped garner billions of dollars to build more than a hundred new schools, secured a $10 million endowment at USC, and fundraise still more millions of dollars to give homeless veterans like Jack a chance at a new life.
Growing up, I spent many dark nights praying for the bombs not to destroy my family’s home. The only light during the blackouts of air raids came from stories my grandmother told me. Then at dawn, after the dust had settled, I would hop on the back of my photojournalist father’s motorcycle, joining him as he sped to capture the images of devastation.
The inspiring tales I heard and the terrible power of the images I saw sparked a passion for visual storytelling within me that has fueled my life and career.
We finally ran from the war to land in the United States. But I kept running in a way, joining my high school cross-country team. I was never very fast, though. I spent too much energy filming the races instead of winning them. My exasperated coach kept telling me to “Put the camera down and run.”
I kept the camera focused, and soon something magical happened.
The year-end athletic banquet at my high school featured my film. As I sat under the screen, watching the crowd, a rush of emotion filled me as parents laughed, cheered and even reached for their hankies.
I was the only athlete who didn’t get a medal that night, but I received an award that meant so much more—especially when all the parents lined up to order copies of my video.
The following year, my coach, who finally saw the motivational power of my film, had the track team sell M&Ms to fund hiring me as the team’s official videographer.
Since establishing Art Simon Productions in 1990, my journey of cinematic storytelling has taken me around the globe to document purposeful stories, allowed me the opportunity to teach filmmaking to at-risk youth as well as university students, and inspired me to continuously raise the bar of my craft.
Over the years, our production team, client roster and number of awards have all grown—as has our drive to become even better at discovering, documenting and visualizing your stories. We are proud to learn from you, as we share your stories with the world to make it a better place for all of us.
Founder of Art Simon Productions
“Our organization changes the lives of many Armenians, and works because of the help of people like you. You have wonderful humanitarian traits.”
Roger Ohanessian M.D
Armenian Eye Care Project