Winter 2017: Jon Cozart

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Jon Cozart is already well-known for his impressive comedy acapellas and music medleys on his YouTube channel, Paint, but he’s planning for something bigger. Though Jon started out like any kid with a dream and a video recorder in middle school, he is one of the few who are able to say that they have made it and are going beyond. Many successful YouTubers move on to write books or sing, but Jon chose filmmaking. 

A film major, Jon is sure of a future filled with film. Like any film student, he was inspired to pursue film by his favorite directors. He loves the altered reality of Peter Jackson’s take on the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the masterful dialogue of Aaron Sorkin, and his favorite movie maker of all time is Judd Apatow. 

“I've always been fascinated by film making and films in general,” Jon said. “When I was young, they definitely captured my imagination and my heart in a way real life couldn't. It was the type of storytelling that was easily accessible to me and transported me out of reality.”

Though he doesn’t do quite as many takes as Stanley Kubrick, Jon’s eye for detail and determination to get everything right is unique among his filmmaker peers. His videos are carefully planned and he is not afraid shoot entire videos twice or three times just to make sure they convey the exact message he intends them to. Even from the beginning, Jon’s works have been more of a production than the impromptu vlogs that other Youtubers put on their channels.   



“I don't care about how they look at me,” Jon explained, “I care about how they look at my content which speaks for itself.”

And what’s even more impressive is that he does everything himself.  He is every level of production: writing, acting, singing, filming, directing, and editing his own content. This is rare, when even the smallest productions today require a team of contributors. But Jon is not in any way limited by his independence; in fact, he feels that it leaves him freer to be truly authentic. 

“I prefer to do it alone because it feels like it's the most authentic form of creativity,” Jon said. “I can never put something on my channel that isn't an absolute reflection of who I am for I am involved with every single production. And I love that. The authenticity.”



Those already familiar with Jon’s videos know that many of them contain biting social commentary, ranging from the election of 2016 to global warming. But he delivers it in an entertaining way so unique and novel that even over-discussed issues seem new and interesting. Jon aims not only to make viewers laugh, but also to make them think.

“If you can make your art more than just entertainment and actually make people think about the world we live in in an introspective way, then why not?” Jon exclaimed. “It's just what I'm naturally interested in and it's how I look at the world.”

It makes sense, then, that Jon intends for his future films to be serious satirical works that are original, not just parodies. He also hopes to incorporate his musical talents, possibly with a live show. Few can juggle all the roles that Jon can, and that gives him the opportunity to synthesize something innovative that only he can. 

“I think the good thing about the current, modern day entertainment industry is that you don't have to be good at only one thing,” Jon said. “I'd love to do some singing, go on tour, and combine my love of comedy, film, and music to make something special that only I can make.”


“If you can make your art more than just 

entertainment and actually make

people think about the world we

live in in an introspective way, then why not?”



Most artists and creators tend to have a motto or a quote that they feel encompasses themselves and their work. Jon’s happens to be “I take stuff I love and make more stuff from that stuff.” That sounds self-explanatory, but the simple words convey a much deeper revelation about art. 

“After creative research I realized that everything is kind of a copy,” Jon mused. “All of this art that we're making is a reflection of the other art that we're obsessed with. So that's the deeper meaning: everybody takes stuff from stuff that they love and makes more stuff with that stuff. It's not just me. It's creativity.”


Follow Jon:  Youtube / Twitter / Instagram

Photos by Myrah Sarwar. 
Story by Ashley Fan.






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