Jeffery J. Haas is the owner of Deep Freeze Films, a for hire sole proprietor presence in film/video since 1983.
He's the force behind the restored 1972 Leon Russell concert DVD "Out of the Deep Freeze" and the creative spark behind numerous MTV major label music videos from Heart, Liquid Jesus and Nitro. Jeffery Haas also shot and/or edited dozens of national ad spots for brands like Nike, Toyota and Harley-Davidson. Jeff also shot feature films for gospel star Fred Hammond.
Jeff's family was rather surprised by his early embrace of the creative arts because he's the son of a world renowned German-American nuclear physicist, but it became apparent early on that he had inherited the gifts of the Italian craftsman family on his mother's side, and rather than gravitate toward science and numbers, he demonstrated an affinity for colors and shapes.
An internship opportunity at age 14 at WRC-TV Channel 4 in Washington
set the wheels in motion.
Teachers like John Chancellor and Willard Scott
exposed him to a wide palette of experience and training.
He spent his college years in Minnesota moonlighting as a piano player in a successful blues band. His musical background is an integral part of the way he approaches anything and everything in the visual arts but in the end a music career in Minnesota gave way to a film/video career in L.A.
Starting out on rotating production assignments in 1983 on a PBS show, "Window On Wall Street" and moving through the world of consumer video, Jeffery found himself as a camera participant in the Hands Across America project flying over the deserts of Ontario, California. Soon after he was working for H.B. Barnum on a quirky video "Who's Got The Money" which wound up on NBC Nightly News as a reference to the Iran-Contra investigation.
One summer later and he was working alongside surf film legend Hal Jepsen, editing a feature film in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and partnering with a small studio in North Hollywood which served as stage, sound and lighting provider for the Siempre en Domingo TV special from Olvera Street in Los Angeles.
A six year stint as camera op and editor for American Russian Television gave Jeff the bird's eye view on not only Russian entertainment culture but a firsthand witness of the fall of the USSR from the view of its expat population.
A chance meeting on the beach a short time later in 1988 and Jeff was suddenly handed the thirteen hours of video from Leon Russell's 1972 Leon Live album tour.
This was a project that had laid dormant for sixteen years that was in need of the meticulous care and feeding only a devoted editor with a musical background could provide. It's been said that the Leon Live video, known as "Out of the Deep Freeze", is possibly the best live concert video performance of Leon's early career, trademarking Russell's beloved "rock and roll tent revival" persona. He owns the copyright to this valuable retail product today.
Jeff also did a short stint as a freelance news stringer camera, just in time for the 1992 L.A. Riots.
His transition from analog to digital was abruptly punctuated by the 1994 Northridge Quake but he never let that stop him. As any good recovering analog dinosaur worth their salt knows, the key to surviving an extinction level event like having one's entire business wiped out in a natural disaster is to expand and move forward, not dwell on the tragedies of the past.
Jeff has adapted through earthquakes, love affairs, urban riots, geographic uprootings and culture shock but he continues his love affair with the art of film and video production today.
Jeff is indeed also a technician and a quick study. His lifelong dream however, continues to exist in light, lens and screen, and the tools are merely a vehicle to that end. He loves and embraces any and all devices and isn't afraid to delve deep into the inner workings.
In the end however, his love and passion starts as the image hits the lens and picks up after the data is ingested. Give him a washing machine, and if it can ingest visual and aural data, he will use it to shoot and cut picture if need be.
There isn't a camera or post production discipline he cannot figure out and there isn't a style of production or job description he's unwilling to embrace.
He has also now reconnected with his beloved musical hobby, which he enjoys in his precious spare time with his family and friends in Los Angeles, California.