A Reel Life Look at Paradeigm Films

By Beth Geraci

In producing five videos for OH! San Diego 2021, Paradeigm has brought to life the several featured neighborhoods and sites, from La Mesa to National City to the Ocean Discovery Institute in City Heights. In our interview with CEO Stephen Brucher and Filmmaker/Co-Owner Matt Rogers, Paradeigm’s creative leaders focus on what makes their filmmaking special and what about OH! San Diego 2021 was such a great fit for Paradeigm’s mission.

What lies at the heart of Paradeigm’s mission?

Stephen Brucher: Creating quality films is the premise of our business. Our mission is to help amplify the people, places and businesses who make San Diego great. Any project we choose is based on that mission, and it’s helped narrow our focus.

What about OH! San Diego 2021 aligned with Paradeigm’s mission?

Matt Rogers: If you look at storytelling about San Diego, you see Pacific Beach and La Jolla. They’re such a small slice of what San Diego is, and I’ve always thought, having grown up in Clairemont, that there’s a divide between south of the 94 and the rest of the county. I don’t think San Diego as a whole celebrates those communities as much. It was cool venturing south of the 94, celebrating that culture and finding those untold stories.

SB: OH! San Diego wanted to show the real side of San Diego’s lesser-explored communities, and we have a cinematic style that they liked. We love diving into the untold stories of San Diego, and OH! this year was all about bringing them to the forefront. Our goals were very much aligned. National City, for example, was a complete learning experience. It was amazing to do that film. It shows how San Diego is evolving. In National City, we met Phill Esteban, an amazing chef, and learned about the culture. It’s becoming a destination in San Diego. Before we made the film, I wasn’t aware of the growth taking place there.

What stood out for you in making the OH! San Diego films?

SB: What stood out for me was the 8th and B video that highlights National City. It was such a learning experience and made me wonder, why haven’t I been down here? There’s so much culture and all these cool spots. So that stood out. I also am a little biased to La Mesa because I live there, and my wife and daughter were in the La Mesa video. I love my neighborhood and where I live and it’s nice to see that story told. But not through my words — through the community itself.

MR: I liked the multidimensional aspect of the filmmaking. We explored city planning, how San Diego can improve, and the artistry of the architecture. What made the project come alive is the faces of people using the facilities, such as the Ocean Discovery Institute in City Heights. In the video, we showed the kids using the space, and that’s what design is all about — the end user. I enjoyed taking everyday objects and making them beautiful. It was an inspiring cinematic experience, and I think viewers will feel that watching the films.

What else can people learn from watching them?

SB: The films show that high-quality documentary filmmaking at a local level is really powerful. It can help elevate our own communities. When we make these films, it can help put San Diego on the map. The films also go to show that most people don’t know that what they’re achieving on a daily basis is amazing. We strive to capture that amazement.

MR: Yes, everyone has a little hero inside of them. There are characters inside every building, and let’s see what’s driving them every day. If you get to know someone, it will come out that they have an interesting story. It’s fun showing people that they’re heroes when they don’t feel like one.

Paradeigm Films is the official video sponsor of OH! 2021. Their contribution has helped make this year’s program possible and helped to bring a little bit of the community into our homes.  Learn more about Paradeigm Films and how they’re capturing the feats of everyday heroes.


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