Sam Jones is a director and photographer who began his career as a photojournalist for the Associated Press. He has directed numerous commercials, music videos, and the feature documentary about the band Wilco, entitled I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. His photographs have graced the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, Time, Entertainment Weekly, Men’s Journal and Outside. His work for these magazines have included seminal portraits of President Obama, George Clooney, Bob Dylan, Tom Cruise, Steve Martin, Renee Zellweger, Will Ferrell, Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, and many others. He has received numerous awards from American Photography, Communication Arts and the respected Eisie award from Life Magazine. Recently, his Wilco album cover was selectively published in “The Greatest Album Covers of All Time”.
His portraiture of actors and artists has been captured in his first book, “The Here And Now: The Photographs of Sam Jones” which was published by Harper Collins and has received critical praise.
Jones has achieved success as a talented commercial/music video director as well. Since he began directing commercials in 2000, he has shot numerous national campaigns for Canon, Walmart, DirecTV, Secret, Discover, Dove and many others. Recently, Jones directed multiple music videos and a short documentary for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and also directed and created the multiple award winning Cold War Kids interactive video. He won the IAA Responsibility Award in 2008 for his AD Council “Everyone Knows” PSA.
His candid, intimate style and innate ability to capture the essence of his subjects has made the documentary a natural medium for Jones’ transition into directing features. Born from his love of music, Jones’ first feature-length documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart chronicles beloved indie-rock band Wilco’s tumultuous recording of their acclaimed fourth album, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot”. The film, both “engrossing” and “beautifully photographed” captures the contrast between art and commerce. Jones was compared to Jean Luc Godard in Godard’s ability to create an intimacy with his subjects, The Rolling Stones, in Sympathy for the Devil. Jones was hailed by Variety as one of the few “intelligent filmmakers destined for serious artistic success”. Rolling Stone named I Am Trying To Break Your Heart as the fifth best rock film of all time.