Shawn Vela

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Shawn Vela
Shawn Vela.JPG
Born (1986-02-08) February 8, 1986 (age 36)
CitizenshipUnited States
  • BSBA in Marketing
  • AS International Business
  • AA Communications
Alma mater
  • Drexel University
  • Montgomery County Community College
OrganizationVela Visuals
Known for
  • Filmmaking
  • Video Storytelling

Shawn Vela (born February 8, 1986) is an American filmmaker, director and cinematographer of film and television projects.[1]

He is the founder of Vela Visuals;[2] a full service video production and storytelling agency, through which he has produced, directed, filmed, and edited a number of films, including the Emmy® Award Winning Flying Fortress: The Mel Jenner Story, In Good Hands - The Amerivita Story, Good News, and the docuseries Success In Your City.[3]

Vela, as of 2021, has directed, filmed, and edited more than 50 documentaries for web and traditional broadcast. His work has been featured on Entrepreneur Network, Amazon Prime Video, Roku,[4] Facebook Watch, ABC, FOX, CBS, NBC, and THE CW Television Network affiliates. He has received more than 30 Emmy® Award nominations and has won 17 Emmy® Awards for his work.[5][6]

He is also the creator and host of the online course, Documentary Filmmaking Secrets, on Udemy.[7]

Additionally, Vela is known for his storytelling marketing strategy from his premiere keynote speech, Stories Change The World, which was hosted at the Vinoy in St Petersburg, FL in 2021.[8]


In 2006, Vela enrolled at Montgomery County Community College, where he graduated in 2010 with an AS in International Business Administration and an AA in Communications. After his graduation, he transferred to Drexel University where he graduated in 2012 with a BSBA in Marketing.


Vela started his career in 2008 as a professional camera operator in Blue Bell, PA. During which he filmed several corporate promotional videos, music videos, commercials, high school graduations, weddings, and interviews.[9]

Also in 2008, Vela Co-Created his first television series David Ivory Presents, which earned distribution on Comcast Xfinity in the tristate area.[10]

Vela continued producing corporate videos. In 2010, Vela branched out into real estate video production. He created over 250 sales training videos based on neuro linguistic programming (NLP) techniques, promotional videos, client stories, “HGTV-style” home tips videos, city tour videos, sales funnel videos, and more.

In 2013, Vela established Vela Visuals, a leading full-service video production agency based in Orlando, FL. The company, since its inception, has created a number of commercials, television shows, and documentary films, gaining recognition for their unique process and authentic storytelling methods.

In the following years Vela directed, filmed, and edited a number of documentary shorts. In 2016 he directed the documentary short, Alive: Taking A Stand For Christ.[11] Vela was honored with an Emmy® award in the Religion (Program) category at the The 40th Annual Suncoast Regional Emmy® Awards that year.

Vela went on to receive further accolades for his film and commercial work. In 2017 he won four Suncoast Regional Emmy® Awards in the Religion and Photography Categories for his work on Remembering The Fallen: Antoine Smith, Pulse One Year Later: Beauty From Ashes, and Restoration.

In 2018, he won eight Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards[12] for his roles as a Director, Director of Photography, and Editor on Success In Your City, A Mother’s Love, Against All Odds: The Shea Hillenbrand Story, and The Sea Aire Motel.[13]

In 2019, Vela’s documentary short on World War II veteran Mel Jenner, Flying Fortress: The Mel Jenner Story, won two Emmy® Awards.[14] The documentary streamed on Amazon Prime Video in 2020. His most recent works Good News, and In Good Hands - The Amerivita Story are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video as well.[15]

In 2021, Vela created Documentary Filmmaking Secrets, an online film education course hosted on Udemy.[16] Also in 2021, Vela premiered his first keynote speech, Stories Change The World, at a video marketing conference hosted at the Vinoy in St. Petersburg, FL.[17]


S.No. Title Year Type Role
1 Visioneer: The Peter Diamandis Story 2015 Documentary Cinematographer
2 Armonia 2016 Short Documentary Cinematographer, Editor
3 Return to Esperanza 2016 Short Documentary Editor
4 The Soul of Success: The Jack Canfield Story 2017 Documentary Cinematographer
5 Game Changer: The Dan Sullivan Story 2017 Documentary Cinematographer
6 Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On 2017 Documentary Cinematographer
7 Against All Odds: The Shea Hillenbrand Story 2018 Short Documentary Director
8 Operation Toussaint: Operation Underground Railroad and the Fight to End Modern Day Slavery 2018 Video Documentary Cinematographer
9 Getting Everything You Can Out of All You've Got: The Jay Abraham Story 2018 Documentary Cinematographer
10 Connected: The Joe Polish Story 2018 Documentary Cinematographer
11 A New Leash on Life: The K9s for Warriors Story 2018 Documentary Cinematographer
12 Success in Your City 2019 TV Series Documentary Editor
13 Flying Fortress: The Mel Jenner Story 2019 Short Documentary Director, Editor, Cinematographer
14 Success in Your City 2019 - 2020 TV Series documentary Director, Cinematographer
15 Folds of Honor: A Fighter Pilot's Mission to Deliver Healing and Hope to America 2020 Documentary Cinematographer
16 Choose Yourself: The James Altucher Story 2020 TV Series documentary Director of Photography
17 Good News 2020 Short Film Director, Cinematographer, Editor
18 In Case You Didn't Know with Nick Nanton 2020 TV Series Editor
19 In Good Hands - The Amerivita Story 2021 Short Documentary Director, Cinematographer, Editor


In the media



  1. "Shawn Vela". IMDb. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. "Vela Visuals - Full Service Video Production - Orlando, Florida". Vela Visuals. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  3. "‎Business Minds Coffee Chat: Shawn Vela | A Steward of Stories on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  4. "Shawn Vela movies and TV shows". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  5. Boedeker, Hal. "Emmys showcase Central Florida filmmakers". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  6. " - Digital Newspaper & Magazine Subscriptions". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  7. "Vela Visuals Archives". LP Bloggery. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  8. Boedeker, Hal. "Pulse coverage: WESH, WFTV, News 13 win Emmys". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  9. "flyx". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  10. "Movie photographer Shawn Vela at". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  11. Visuals, Vela. "Shawn Vela Wins Emmy For Inspirational Short Film, "Alive: Taking A Stand For Christ"". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  12. Christiansen, Kathleen. "2020 Suncoast Regional Emmy Awards winners announced". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  13. "Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Shawn Vela Debuts Business Travel Show "Ambitious Adventures", by @newswire". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  14. "Shawn Vela Wins Emmy". Vela Visuals. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  15. Boedeker, Hal. "Suncoast Emmys: WFTV, Spectrum News 13, sheriff's office win". Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  16. "Shawn Vela | 17 -Time Emmy® Award Winner | Filmmaker | Director | DP | Editor". Udemy. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  17. "2020 Suncoast Winners" (PDF). Retrieved 1 December 2021.

External links