When Jaylin Robinson graduated from Auburn in 2011 with a degree in Radio, Television and Film, she was warned by her professors that the future might hold some obstacles due to the career she wanted to pursue.
“My professors in my major kept it real about some of the challenges I might face working in the film industry,” she says.
Robinson overcame those challenges, though, and now owns her own video production company, JayRo Productions.
JayRo Productions began in 2016 and continues to grow every day. One of the most recent projects Robinson’s company worked on was a documentary for the Equal Justice Initiative that features the history and reasons behind the choosing of Montgomery, Alabama as the location for The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration.
When she met with Bryan Stevenson, the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, he said he believed only a Montgomery native could truly capture the essence and history that should be told in the documentary.
“I felt honored to have the opportunity, and it’s one of my favorite films I’ve worked on from start to finish.”
Since opening, Robinson’s business has been a success. However, it did take some working to get where she is now. Most of her time between graduation and opening her business was spent freelancing. She started out working on film gigs where Alabama’s Film Office would refer her to projects that came in through the state.
She then worked on projects like Animal Planet’s “Tanked,” a National CITGO Gasoline commercial, CMT’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and a number of independent feature films.
All of those projects led to Robinson working on a TruTV dance competition show called “Fake Off” in Atlanta, where she impressed the assistant director, who helped her find work connections in Los Angeles.
“At the time, I was already contemplating moving to LA so I could follow my dreams of working in Hollywood. So, I took the leap of faith and moved to Los Angeles two months later.
Before I had officially moved, I was already referred to work the 2014 BET Awards. That was an amazing experience for me. I’ve never been in the same room with so many celebrities and had to keep my composure.” After she moved to Los Angeles, she did work for the 2014 Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Sports Awards, a Fox game show called “BOOM!” and a BET and Fox daytime talk show “The Real.” She was in LA for a little over a year.
Though she was all the way in California, she kept her Southern roots close by.
“I joined the Auburn Los Angeles Alumni group, and we’d meet up during football season to cheer on our Auburn Tigers!”
After realizing the cost of living was just too expensive, she moved back to her home, Montgomery, to start her own business.
“I quickly realized that the inconsistency of work and the politics you have to play just to land your next ‘gig’ was not something I could rely on full-time. My business gives me that security and freedom to pick and choose what projects I feel passionate about. It no longer feels like work because it’s something I love doing.”
Owning her own business has given Robinson the ability to bring all the creativity possible to each and every project. No day is the same for her, and though she still faces challenges daily, she is following her passion and considers that the most rewarding part of it all.
“There were so many different directions I could have gone with my major. I chose to work in the film industry because I loved the creative start-to-finish process of producing a film. I also knew that it’s an industry that’s not going anywhere any time soon. We all enjoy getting away by watching compelling movies or television shows. I am grateful for the real-life talks I had with some of my professors that had also worked in the industry.”