Hello! I'm Jan Vaceanu-Staicov, cinematographer, photographer, co-creator of Rude Movements and one half of Life Untold. My journey started in Germany, born to Musicians who emigrated from Romania and Bulgaria. I transplanted from Europe to Totnes in Devon, via a 16-year stint in London, traversing the realms of vulnerability, self-discovery, and connection through the transformative power of imagery, music and Love, along the way. Feeling drawn to stories and their profound ability to re-connect us to ourselves others and nature, photography, became my creative practice, helping me see stories in the moment and making me see mine unfold over time.
Photography lead to a more ego-driven pursuit of a career in cinematography where I was seeking approval, recognition and success. On that journey, I lensed music videos, commercials, short and feature films, but found myself always gravitating towards human stories and the documentary form.
The pandemic served as a poignant turning point in my story, encouraging a collective pause and deep introspection which lead me, via therapy, to Vipassana meditation. In the stillness of meditation, I discovered a different kind of storytelling — one that unfolds within, where the lens turns inward to explore the depths of the mind and body. A reframing emerged, for navigating the inner and outer landscapes, embracing vulnerability, and finding strength in stillness. This gentle shift, allowed for a more humbling and authentic connection with my art.
In the midst of that, another passion emerged — co-founding Rude Movements: an audiophile dance party; a space created to reduce barriers, allowing people to freely express themselves on the dance floor. This communal endeavour, much like Vipassana, became a practice in connecting with others on a deeper, more authentic level.
Looking ahead, my next step involves training to become a psychotherapist in a modality that integrates Buddhist thought and practice with western psychological models. While I haven't started yet, my intention is to embark on this enriching journey by the end of the year. It's a commitment to understanding and supporting the human experience — an exploration of the mind and heart that aligns with my dedication to fostering connection, well-being, and being of service.
Today, my lens is not only a tool for artistic expression, but a means to serve and build bridges within our community. I'm passionate about using the language of film and photography to amplify voices, share untold stories, and create spaces for authentic connection.
In line with that, I recently co-created Life Untold, alongside Olivia Emden; a creative endeavour, which guides people through a reflective process, helping them see their life as a story, before recording them telling their story, and producing a film.
If any of this speaks to you feel free to reach out, to connect and collaborate together.