by LAINEY KRAL | photos provided by Turn 4 Films

Lights, Camera…

Local filmmaker Jake Snyder has led a life of transitions – he was born in Fort Worth, TX, grew up in Norman, OK, and moved to San Diego when he was 14. He graduated from Mt. Carmel High School before attending a two-year program at the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles Campus. Now he lives in Scripps Ranch with his family, where he values the friendly community and the proximity to Wahini Kai Shave Ice.

It’s only fitting, then, that his first full-length feature project focuses on transitions. “The Hardest Thing is about two young couples in their transition from high school to college and all the crazy life situations that teenagers get into,” explained Jake.


He’s had a passion for film since early childhood, when he used to watch Snow White over and over. He realized in high school that he could do more than watch – he could create. He said, “Some friends and I made a few little projects while at Mt. Carmel that were well received and that’s when it really hit me, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life.’”

Jake moved on to writing, producing, and directing two short films called Imminent and All Shook Up, as well as learning to work on a deadline and form long-lasting creative relationships in film school. “The most exciting part of the journey has been all the amazing individuals I have met from all walks of life,” said Jake. “Also, having the same passion as these individuals. When you’re around people who are all striving for the same thing as you, it’s a rewarding experience.”


Jake is looking forward to success with The Hardest Thing – not just for himself, but for his entire team. He co-wrote, produced, and directed the film as part of Turn 4 Films, which he runs with Kevan Kiely-Gilden, Monark Nakrani, Shayan Said, and Principal Partner Lloyd Hildebrand. The team wrapped up principal photography this summer, shooting in and around the San Diego area. A large number of cast and crewmembers are locals. “All in all it was a massive undertaking for all of us. A bunch of twenty-somethings got together and made something special,” he shared. “With the film community in San Diego on a potential upswing, it was great to be able to contribute to that growth.”

Now The Hardest Thing is in consideration for several winter film festivals, and Jake invites the 92131 community to stay tuned for updates at




Name: Jake Snyder
Profession: Director/Producer/Writer
Community: Scripps Ranch since 2015
Interests: Going to the movies, discovering new craft beers, spending time with family, and cheering on my Dallas Cowboys and Oklahoma Sooners
Favorite Local Spots: El Patron Mexican Grill, the ArcLight, and Wahini Kai Shave Ice