Growing up in south Florida, I yearned for adventure. As a child my greatest adventures would take place in my imagination; creating worlds filled with characters, conflicts and triumphs, all without having to leave my backyard. I quickly discovered I could use this creative imagination through the outlets of writing and performing. From the time I learned how to write, I could be found filling pages of composition notebooks with stories, poems and scripts. I've been creating this way ever since.

Watching Shirley Temple as a child gave me the first insight as to what I wanted to be when I grew up. Despite my introverted tendencies, I found purpose and freedom early on through bringing characters to life. At the time, I was absolutely terrified of speaking in front of people, but once I stepped on stage during my first major role in the middle school play, I felt fearless.

Years later I would discover my passion for working with the medium of film. I realized how film can truly impact people, because movies have been impacting me my whole life. With every movie or TV series I watched, I automatically became a part of that world. I was no longer simply a viewer but a character with in it, feeling the emotions of the other characters as well. I discovered I could bring the visions within me to life to materialize on the screen, for countless others to be inspired. From then on my motive was established; to impact audiences in a positive way, make them think, feel, understand that they are not alone and gain something meaningful from what they watch. 

I decided to pursue that passion, earning my B.A. in Cinema & Television (Screen Acting track) and Creative Writing from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Refusing to be put in a box, I put my storytelling-mind to work both on screen and behind the camera. Since graduating in 2011, I've had opportunities to produce independent films. However, in order to achieve my goal, I knew I had to create my own work. I transitioned from a shy girl with a larger-than-life imagination, to an independent film director leading my team with the unified goal in mind; help others through our art. My experience both on camera and behind the scenes has given me unique insights and training in order to direct talent and lead the crew to achieve the vision.  

As the founder of Open Door Film & Media Productions, my goal is not only to entertain audiences through the artistic narrative film and video, but to engage, impact, and inspire. My passion for working with children and teens has also extended into my career as a screen acting and film production teacher and public speaker. I hope to use my gifts to encourage and empower the young people of this generation. 

I found my voice through filmmaking. It may be a fight to be heard, but it’s always worth it when others are impacted.
— Jennifer Joy O'Grady