Jesse Cowell was born and raised in New York City. As a child, when he wasn't being read to by his novelist mother, or chasing fires and swat teams with his news photographer father, Jesse spent four days a week watching movies at his favorite neighborhood theater.
Jesse's love for film finally found a home at the University of Albany, New York, where he met his mentor, Arthur Lennig. A master of the silent cinema, Professor Lennig opened Jesse's eyes to the style of communicating without dialogue. He then successfully gained admission to USC's Graduate School of film with his award winning short film, All I Got . At USC, Jesse quickly stood out as his vast experience with little resources enabled him to do more in a sophisticated movie-making environment. Still not satisfied, Jesse refined his skills with training from faculty such as Robert Estrin, Randal Kleiser and William A. Fraker and won three Cine Eagle awards and a Student Emmy for his work. Jesse then ushered USC into the digital age by founding its first all DV lab --effectively replacing the limited resources for students who could not afford to achieve their true visions on film.
With the choice to write a final script or make a short film to graduate, Jesse opted to write the script for the feature he would shoot that summer. Armed with a small digital video camera and a twisted sense of humor, Jesse began shooting Shades of Gray for the impossible budget of two thousand dollars.
Jesse prides himself on his ability to quickly rattle off new ideas, understand new technologies, relate to people in a positive and energetic manner, and express his thoughts on paper (via his seven completed screenplays). In his almost non-existent spare time, Jesse enjoys playing Texas hold-em, fighting in bare-knuckle karate tournaments , and hanging out with family and friends.