Professional Filmmaker Goes Mobile

When Jay Jennings shared his film with MFF2015 last year, during the submission period, we knew Jay was experienced but we did not realize he was a Professional in the industry. Take a look at Jay’s history and experience.

“I grew up in Beverly Hills, California and got interested in film making at an early age. I watched classic movies as a young teen (i.e., Citizen Kane, Fellini’s 8 1/2, 2001: A Space Odyssey, etc…) and by the time I was 16, I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. From age 16 to 33, I made hundreds of short films o n Super-8, VHS, and mini-DV. In 1999, I directed my first feature, LOANSHARK, the first ‘shot-on-digital’ gangster film. Sin ce then, I’ve directed another feature, plus many shorts and documentaries. So I’ve been making films for 30 years and f or the last 15 years professionally.”

So what does a professional who can film using professional equipment think about the future of mobile filmmaking after experiencing it? Jay believes that “Mobile filmmaking today is what picking up a Super-8 camera was in the 60s and 70s. Now, anyone can be a filmmaker, but how good you become depends on knowledge, practice, perseverance, and how to transfer that into a good story.” He also thinks there is a future in mobile filmmaking. “Mobile filmmaking is definitely the next evolution in filmmaking, just as DV was the next step after VHS.”

Jay Jennings: Getting the shot!
Jay Jennings: Getting the shot!

The film Jay has submitted for competition at MFF2015 is Target for Elimination (shot with an iPhone) in which, well, it’s all Jay. It’s a very interesting short which leaves you wondering in circles in a fun way. “Target for Elimination, is a short experiment which demonstrates how you can shoot and edit an “action piece” in roughly one hour’s time with an iPhone.” He shares.

Jay will also share a documentary piece which is not competing during the festival and we believe is an untold industry story which Jay began to film a few years ago and recently completed with his phone. “Convention of Lost Souls is a short documentary about where celebrities go after they’re famous.” Jay said. “My films crossover into many genres, such as drama, horror, sci-fi, and documentaries.”

We asked Jay about the phone he uses to film and what he uses as a mobile filmmaker to capture his footage. “Currently I use the iPhone5, as I like the size and feel of it, e specially since I do a lot of run-and-gun, guerilla-style filmmaking. I use the Smart Phocus camera mount so I can attach 37mm lenses of both the wide and telephoto variety to it, as well as, the Rode Video Mic. I use an assortment of filmmaking apps to get different film looks that I’m trying to achieve. I use them because they mimic the camera controls of today’ s DSLRs. They are FilmicPro, MoviePro, and iPhocus.”

“I find that mobile filmmaking saves a lot of time and product on costs since you don’t have a lot of equipment to carry around. Plus it’s not as obvious when shooting at different locations and you don’t want to be noticed. Larger cameras weigh more and they seem to draw more attention from onlookers, which I don’t want.”

What is your dream, Jay Jennings? Will mobile filmmaking help you realize it? “My dream is to keep making interesting movies that people will want to see. Mobile filmmaking is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Jay Jennings will be attending MFF2015. Meet him, watch his films and be a part of the conversation and get some tips from a pro in person.

Jay Jennings, Writer-Director: Blog