JB: Coming from the South, the fundamentalist vision of life was either you are a sinner or you are saved. In essence there is no room for your humanity. But for me it goes beyond that, I was also interested in exploring the ideas of darkness and lightness inherent in all of us and every situation. Despite its dark themes I think it’s a very hopeful film.
SCV: Who are your influences in independent cinema?
JB: Ted Hope and Christine Varchon.
JB: For their spirit. To challenge notions and to examine humanity beyond stereo types.
SCV: What do you say to someone who wants to start making films?
JB: Definitely. It’s an exciting time. The internet has opened up a lot of opportunities, we no longer have the big studios as gate keepers.
SCV: It seems you have some disdain for the big brass?
JB: I just question the quality of their work. I think art and reasoning has been relegated to fame and reality TV. We’re going back to the times of Bergman and Antonini where film makers can explore real meaning, extentialist notions.
SCV: What do you hope for the film you are currently making?
JB: Expression, a delving into meaning and the engagement of the audience. It’s about the film, making money shouldn’t enter the equation, if it moves people it will eventually find a wider audience.
SCV: I’m curious as an acting teacher and filmmaker what do you teach and advance?
JB: I don’t teach acting, I teach permission and hoping, only then can you move an audience.
SCV: What makes a great actor?
JB: It’s their permission to go the next level. To throw away their guards and be vulnerable. Only you can grant that to yourself. I think at the end of the day actors are some of the most courageous people around, because ultimately when you ask for a good performance you are asking for someone to tear down their defenses.
SCV: How vulnerable are you?
JB: Vulnerable enough to tear at your guts at 3 am in the morning.
SCV: Which is something you are hoping to do with your project?
JB: Beauty comes in many guises but the ability to transcend and go beyond yourself is vital. So yes one has to be open to that.
SCV: You make it sound like an artist has no other choice.
JB: Ultimately not. I think it’s what an artist ultimately has to contend with.
SCV: Thank you.
Jordan Bayne is the chief custodian of Blue Eyed Cherokee Films from where her projects are made.