-Who is Jay Pennington?
All my life my biggest desire was to either contribute a great performance in a film that later became a classic or to make great films that would become classics. I’ve been a right brain & left brain person throughout life – I am a career software developer (a few years at NASA) but at the same time always a lover of film and acting. My college degree was in Computer Science with a minor in Film Study. I will always continue in filmmaking & acting to hopefully be successful enough that it becomes my final chapter and make that classic film that will be studied in school later. Contact me. Let’s make that classic film together!
-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
This may seem so bizarre but when I was 6 years old I was changing channels on the TV and came across the PBS channel Friday night Classic Film Series. The film was Fellini’s “La Strada”. Again I was 6 years old but I had never seen any film like “La Strada”. And every Friday I would watch films like “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari”, “M”, “The 400 Blows”, “La Belle et Le Bete”, and “Mon Oncle”. At 6 years old I was hooked on great films!!! Throughout my life I would prefer great writing in great films and tend to ignore the light entertainment films. These days I tend to follow the steps of a “film auteur” – I write the screenplay with the sole intention of making a film from my writing. Even with my first film which was a Western but with a Rashomon and Hitchcock twist, my film partner Gerry Olert and I made the film with a no money budget and we won 17 awards around the globe. Because I credit my start of loving film and filmmaking to “La Strada” it is a great honor and thrill to me for my film “Heart Cycles” to win at the Fellini tribute festival 8 1/2 .
A few of my favorite films – “Le Enfants du Paradis”, “Joyeux Noel”, “Citizen Kane”, “The 3rd Man”, “The Seven Samurai”, and of course “La Strada”.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
Absolutly..for better or worse. Film and media have always been very powerful for change. Froom films that change society’s daily fashion. To documentaries that enlighten the viewer. To great films that stay in your mind for years. To films like “Triumph des Willens” to change the views of a country.
-What would you change in the world?
As you ask above about the cinema bringing a change, my previous film “SENIOR DISCOUNT’d” is a docu-drama I made to raise awareness about our current society ignoring people especially in business after they pass a certain age. “SENIOR DISCOUT’d” was made to show how the world sees someone differently once they are considered “old”. I hope that “SENIOR DISCOUNT’d” in some way will change that stigma.
On a lighter note, one of the many reasons I made “Heart Cycles” was to show that an older person can also be a male romantic lead in a big film.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
There is constant change. Silent movies shot on film to then talkies. Then more recently from film to digital. And now with the Internet – streaming films from any source to any type of “screen”. There used to be a definite separation between the Oscars for film and the Emmys for television. Now that television has morphed into streaming films there is not so much a distinction. An also with the Internet digital age communications the Oscars do not distinguish between a US made film and a “foreign” film. What is next? Hard to say but I still enjoy seeing a very well written very well acted film on a huge screen in a dark quiet comfortable theater.