Jason Joliff, Independent Filmmaker
Jason Jolliff was born in South Bend, Indiana.
During most of his childhood, Jason’s family was filming home movies. Editing at home on the living room floor with
a homemade film-editing contraption, Jason’s mother edited family gatherings, her children playing, and other Jolliff
family memories. Marilee Jolliff was Jason’s first role model; a director, editor, and producer. Curious, Jason spent
much of his childhood at his mother’s side, using the camera, helping to edit, and all the while growing into an avid
Without going to film school, Jason taught himself
the technical aspects of filmmaking, editing, and directing. At age 20, Jason made his first short film debut. A film that
began simply as the basketball season for Michiana First Assembly School turned into an extreme sports video. Edited on two
VCR’s and a homemade audio control box, this video sold out immediately after release. Jason’s filmmaking career
After the success of this first venture, Jason did not look back. He bought a Hewlett Packard Pavilion and Adobe
Premier, a non-linear editing system. With new equipment, Jason launched his own company, Jolliff Digital Production.
In 2000, Jason worked as an assistant editor with
Oscar Nominated Director John D. Hancock on the award winning “Suspended Animation.” After production, Jason edited
and produced the “behind-the-scenes” featurette for the nationally distributed DVD. The success of this film led
to more opportunities for Jason. He was a camera operator for “Wreck “N’ Roll Tree” for Speed Vision,
an extreme snowmobiling film, which was released independently in 2002. After working on this project, Jason moved to Indianapolis,
where he became involved with the Indianapolis Independent Film Community. Jason was the editor and DVD layout designer for
“Loser’s Lounge,” an independent film that won Best Feature at the Bare Bones International Film Festival.
With several projects behind him, Jason was ready
to make his directorial debut. As Jason began screening and developing several potential projects, the idea and layout of
I AM DB filled and overwhelmed his mind in the middle of the night. Unable to focus on any other of his ideas, it was obvious
that this reality journey was the perfect choice. I AM DB combines Jason’s technical skills as an editor, creative skills
as a designer, and innovative skills as an entrepreneur. With this film, Jason will be able to use all of his talents to create,
promote, and sell a film that will generate a higher class of reality filmmaking.
Q & A with Jason Joliff
Film Addiction:Tell me a little bit about your latest film
project "I Am Db"?
It’s what I’m calling a reality film. The cameras follow a filmmaker (me) as he goes through the process
of making a film while that very process becomes the film itself. I came up with the idea on November 18, 2003, and
started filming that very day. At that point, it was just me and my girlfriend, and she was operating my consumer grade
DV camcorder. I start out talking with other filmmakers about the idea and the film just naturally evolves from there.
have received support from individuals and businesses (Best Buy, CompUSA, North Street Media, Bike Wave, Derringer Productions
to name a few). The viewer will see a metamorphosis as the film continues. The beginning of the film is very amateur
looking, and the end will be very styled and polished, illustrating our gain in momentum, crew, and financing ($3.1mil budget).
The film will change and evolve on many exciting levels and quality is just one of them. The crew has also grown
to about 13.
did you come up with the idea of I Am Db?
JJ:I was sitting at my computer surfing the IMDbPro.com at about 3 o’clock on the morning as I often do…researching
films and seeing what was going on in the entertainment industry. Then…the
idea just came to me. In about 30 seconds I had about 75% of the concept for
the film start to finish. I was so excited about it; it’s hard to explain. It was just so real to me and I really believed that I could do what I saw in my head. I say “75%” because the film lives and breathes and continues to evolve
in ways that I did not foresee. It will be very exciting to watch the finished
FA:When do you expect the completion of I Am Db and what do you hope
to do with the finished product (distribution, festivals, etc.)?
JJ:Well, I used to think that it was going to be by the end of 2004…I was wrong.
I just had no idea how long some of the legalities and business aspects would take.
Now I say, by the end of 2006. There have been a lot of other things that
have taken me away from the film (time-wise) but I have just turned the corner and am re-energized and ready to move ahead
at full speed again. I think the crew is ready to do this too.
comment on the second part of your question. That has to remain a secret…sorry. I can say that the obvious goal of most filmmakers is to get his/her creation in front
of as many people as possible. This film is no exception.
FA:At one time you were on a quest/mission to be ranked very high on the IMDb Star Meter, what
are your goals for that?
JJ:That IMDbPro StarMeter is still very much a component of I Am DB. From
the beginning I thought it would be great to have something in place that could quantify the success and buzz surrounding
this film. It’s not that I’m trying to make myself famous or anything
like that but at the same time, the higher my ranking goes on the StarMeter the more it is a sign of the films success. It’s all about the marketing. Naturally
we’re aiming for #1.
It doesn’t even have to be me. I think the
film will be just as successful if any of my crew members hit #1 or even Top 10. It’s
still a measure of how much awareness there is for the film. There are some beautiful
people involved with the film, sometimes that’s all it takes for a StarMeter ranking to go up. You see a film or trailer for a movie, you think “Wow! Who
is that gorgeous girl”, you (along with millions of other people) look her up and…their ranking goes up, just
by viewing their profile on the IMDb.
FA:Backing up just a little. Tell me about some of your past projects
such as Suspended Animation. What was your involvement?
JJ:Suspended Animation changed my life. It altered my outlook on what I truly wanted to do in life in that it really focused me on filmmaking and
lit that fire under my butt to really make waves in the industry. I had the honor
to work under Oscar nominated director John D. Hancock on that film. It was such
a rush and such a learning experience. I also worked under Dennis O’Conner
(I was the assistant editor), which was a great education. He’s an awesome
storyteller both on the AVID and with personal stories. The rest of the crew
was great as well. The whole experience was just incredible. I’m so happy that I got to be a part of that.
I was also given the opportunity to produce and
edit the behind the scenes featurette on the nationally distributed DVD. I was
tickled when I saw a copy of the DVD in Blockbuster.
That was my first feature film.
Before that it was mostly just a hobby; skits with friends and family and documentaries on family vacations. The visual art has always been in my blood though. My mom
has home movies dating back to 1957. There has always been some sort of film
camera or camcorder in the family and my mom was always very generous with it, allowing me to tape skits with the cousins. At that time I basically had to edit in camera if it was “edited” at all. In ’96 I bought a non-linear editing system and was just amazed at the possibilities. My experience on that system gave me the know-how to help with editing Suspended. The last 10 years of my life have really seemed to lead to what I hope will be the
ultimate success of I Am DB.
FA:What projects are you taking on for other people (Essentially, what's paying the
production. I was recently hired to tape the MMS (Midwest Music Summit) and NAMM
conference, which is a growing annual music conference here in Indy. I also just
got back from doing a corporate video for an RV manufacturing plant. Up until
the last month or so I really hadn’t been working that much. I’ve
really been trying to focus on just the film. My girlfriend Faith Marie has been
paying my bills for me for the last year. Pretty sweet deal and I’m fortunate
to have her help. She also helps a lot with the film as she is a very dynamic
personality and helps “sell” the concept to people. She understand
how important it is for me to work on the film for as much as I can. Both of
our futures depend on it’s success. It’s not too often that one can
say that they are part of a life changing experience. I believe I Am DB is my
life-changer and I’m trying not to let it pass me by.