Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl... boy puts girl on his 'Don't Call List' ? Yep, sounds like dating in Los Angeles. In this quirky Romcom short film, Jason struggles to deal with his commitment issues on Valentine's Day. We interviewed him regarding his film.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
I actually was a screenwriter for two years and one of my best friends suggested I try to direct. I wrote a shortfilm script that I fell in love with and I decided I wanted that to be my directorial debut. That short was The Don’t Call List.
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a filmmaker and why?
I am absolutely obsessed with romantic films. They’re just there for you when you’re going through tough times, even happy times, or holidays a good romantic film just helps your mood. There’s a healing quality to a good romantic film.
What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent filmmaker in the film industry?
I’d say the most challenging part is believing in yourself. There’s a natural insecurity I believe all Indie filmmakers have, that what they’re creating won’t be received as well as you hope. Once that doubt creeps in it’s hard to stay on track. There’s not often money for reshoots in the indie filmmaker game so you try your hardest to get everything perfect every time and that can definitely drain you.
How difficult is it to fund indie films?
Extremely difficult. A lot of meetings and a lot of no’s. But often you get those 4 or 5 people that believe in you and really help. Favors help out a lot too.
Please name three of your most favorite directors. How have they been influential in your work?
Ryan Coogler - The way he shoots his films and puts so much of himself in every film is incredible and so admirable
Guy Richie - His storytelling is so pure and amazing. The Voiceover monologues in his films are always executed flawlessly. Every film he does just takes you for such a ride.
Quentin Tarantino - Talk about a man just doing things his way. It’s inspiring to see someone stay true to who they are in their films while also taking extreme chances! This man almost has a Genre of his own, his shot angles and storytelling are a huge influence on me.
What inspired you to work on The Don't Call List and how did the film go into production?
I was watching multiple romance films and it never felt like they were getting the true emotions of the guy. One day after another dating fiasco I was watching a film and I just thought to myself I want to see what I go through on the screen. Someone else has to be going through this too. So I made it. Then I got a few friends together and just made it happen!
How did you find the cast and the crew of the film? Tell us more about the production of the film and working on the set of the film to create this feature.
I was fortunate enough to have a few amazingly talented Actor friends and a very talented producer who just pulled everything together. Believe it or not I met the lead actress at a bar ! Four months later I reached out on instagram and told her about the project and she did a phenomenal job.
What do you recommend to other filmmakers regarding the distribution of independent feature films?
Just get the work out there. If you’re only in this for money you’re not going to last long and it’ll show through your work. I say you make something you want people to see it get it out there! Any way you can. Festivals, YouTube, streaming its all out there for us to take advantage of.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a film called the Call centered around Veteran suicide. I also have a few other projects coming out soon but I’m also working on a web series called Diversity Hires that is getting a lot of great reviews!
Why do you make films?
I make films to try to make a change. When I was in the military I got injured and I couldn’t walk for about a year. During that year the only thing that could distract me. Or take me other worlds was film. Im eternally indebted to film for that… Cinema quite literally saved my life. And I hope one day I can do that for someone else.