Jason Wishnow

(founding) Director of Film + Video, TED
New York, NY, United States

About Jason


Hi. I am the filmmaker behind TEDTalks, the Peabody Award winning video series watched over one billion times (even in outer space).

Jason Wishnow works at the intersection of film and emerging technologies and has been called “no stranger to difficult shoots” (Wired UK, 2014), an “online-video virtuoso” (New York Times, 2009), the “enfant terrible of digital film” (The Guardian, 2000), and one of the ten most influential digital filmmakers of 1999 (RES Magazine). Prior to joining TED, Wishnow founded one of the first film websites, The New Venue, in the mid-’90s, an entire decade before YouTube. In 2000, Wishnow organized the first handheld/mobile film festival, The Aggressively Boring Film Festival, named after the technical limitations of its time. As a director, Wishnow’s short films and videos have played on television, in museums, and at over 100 film festivals worldwide including Sundance, Seattle, São Paulo, and Hong Kong. Wishnow’s most recent project is a controversial sci-fi film made in China: The Sand Storm (沙尘暴).

TED Conferences

TED2014, TED2012, TEDGlobal 2011, TED2011, TEDWomen 2010, TEDGlobal 2010, TED2010, TEDIndia 2009, TEDGlobal 2009, TED2009, TED2008, TEDGlobal 2007, TED2007, TED2006

An idea worth spreading

This one goes out to all the TEDx organizers who might have stumbled upon my profile. Here are two videos on how to shoot a TEDTalk from 2010: http://vimeo.com/20220549 and 2011: http://youtu.be/rf_Lm5IEmb4 - Enjoy!

I'm passionate about

I have a thing for the movies (watching, making, and living my life like a poor substitute for them).



Talk to me about

Talk to me about a movie you like. Tell me why I should see it. Tell me why you like it. (Or we can play this game with a book recommendation.)

People don't know I'm good at

I recently started rock climbing. I can't say I'm any good at it... but it's something I've been enjoying. (And I should do it more often.)

My TED story

For years I was accused of having the best job in the world. I'd never say anything like that, other people did, which made me uncomfortable. But yes, it was pretty amazing.

TED brought me on board weeks before TED2006 to develop, direct, and subsequently supervise the production of TEDTalks. I was the fifth person in the office and I also helped launch TED.com. I am privileged to have played my role as part of TED's transformation from elite, exclusive event to massive, egalitarian, world-changing movement (and to have met some extraordinary people along the way, including a wonderful team).

I'm supposed to pick a few of my "favorite talks" which is difficult because I love all my children, but as with real human babies, some are intrinsically more adorable than others.

Please drop me a line and point me to your favorite TEDTalk

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Jason Wishnow
Posted over 4 years ago
What's the best hidden gem in the TED archive?
ok june, i'll take your bait. here are a couple hidden gems: like batman and robin or chocolate and peanut butter, richard dawkins and david deutsch from TEDGlobal2005 are a formidable duo. most people who visit the site may not remember that way back in 2006 we used to post curated PAIRS of talks once a week. i consider this our most engaging lineup. i recommend watching them back to back. http://www.ted.com/talks/david_deutsch_on_our_place_in_the_cosmos.html http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_dawkins_on_our_queer_universe.html and i always regret i wasn't there to film them...
Jason Wishnow
Posted over 5 years ago
Sam Harris: Science can answer moral questions
Today's TEDTalk was having a technical issue. Thanks for your patience this morning. We're on it. The video should be working now. Enjoy the talk! ***NOTE: you may need to refresh your browser's cache if you are still having difficulties***
Jason Wishnow
Posted over 8 years ago
Jeff Han: The radical promise of the multi-touch interface
it's so rare for a computer to evoke an authentic feeling of awe... when i walked up to his latest, 8-foot model at TED 2007 there were three or four other people fooling around with it and we all just did our own thing for a few minutes. it felt perfectly natural (and really cool).