–Who is Jaymz Bee?
I am an artist who hails from a small town in Northern Canada, currently based in Toronto. I’ve worked all my life in music, theatre, film and television. I’ve also written books, plays and screenplays for ages, yet, it is with a sense of renewed vigour that I can declare that the past year has witnessed my evolution into the realm of filmmaking. In the past year I’ve made three short films; “Wild Music”, “Beat Speak” and I’m just wrapping up “Artists & Aliens”. It’s been a busy year!
–What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
When I was just a spry five-year-old, my dad marvelled at my keen eye for recognizing Veronica Lake on the silver screen. We were engrossed in the classic film “Sullivan’s Travels,” and he took a moment to elucidate that Miss Lake was merely pretending to be someone else up there on that celluloid canvas. Naturally, my curiosity piqued, and I fired back with the kind of question that only a child could conjure: “How much does it cost to pretend to be someone else?”
My father gently explained that this wasn’t some fanciful hobby, but a bona fide job, akin to teaching or working at a bank. It was in that very moment, as the flickering light of the silver screen danced in our living room, that I knew the path I wanted to tread. I yearned to be an artist. A filmmaker weaving tales, an actor embodying characters, a musician serenading the soul, and a painter splashing emotions on canvas. Expressing myself through various forms of artistry has always been my muse, my joy, my raison d’être.
My career, to the casual observer, might seem like a whirlwind of ceaseless activity, each day more frenetic than the last. But I’ve had a lifelong dance with insomnia. Sleep has been an elusive mistress for me, and rather than fretting over it, I’ve chosen to embrace the stillness of the night as a canvas for creation. My sleepless nights have been the crucible where ideas are forged, stories are spun, and inspiration blossoms. Even during COVID, Lockdown just helped me focus on my writing.
From the extravagant Busby Berkeley musicals that sent my senses soaring to the far-flung landscapes of the original “Planet of The Apes,” I draw inspiration from myriad sources. Whether it’s the sparkle of a showbiz performance or the profound depth of a thought-provoking film, I love it all.
–Do you think cinema can make changes in society?
Certainly! ART, in its myriad forms, undoubtedly wields a profound influence upon our society. This influence is not always in the direction of progress, ha – but I maintain a steadfast belief that even the darkest of circumstances can serve as catalysts for positive change. Also, some of the worst films I’ve ever seen inspire me. (Thank you Ed Wood!)
In this contemporary epoch, we may find ourselves besieged by an abundance of extravagantly budgeted cinematic spectacles bereft of genuine passion and substance. Yet, amidst this apparent deluge of mediocrity, we discover a silver lining: the independent film scene has never been more vibrant. I am constantly encountering fresh talents within this industry, individuals brimming with enthusiasm and creativity, unburdened by cynicism, eager to share their cinematic prowess with the world.
–What are some of the biggest challenges in filmmaking?
The cinematic endeavour and its multifaceted nature presents quite the formidable challenge. Personally, I’ve been fortunate in having recently completed three short films.
In my favour, I’ve been graced with the presence of a remarkable producer, Michele Silva-Neto, as well as an ensemble of exceptional talents in my cast and crew. Over the past year, I’ve gleaned a profound lesson: the pivotal significance of a capable editor. In this realm, I am fortunate to have the skilled hands of Rick Bartram, while my longtime friend, Jono Grant, lends his auditory wizardry as the sound editor.
The crux of success lies in the art of surrounding oneself with individuals possessing superior knowledge, devoid of unwieldy egos. When this delicate balance is achieved, the arduous journey of filmmaking can, remarkably, feel like a party! When a film is done on time and on budget, no accidents and no arguments…wow. Just…wow!
–What change would you like to see in the world?
It seems to me our biggest challenge is to just get along. Allow people to be different and have different opinions. The funny thing is, if you don’t agree with what I just said – it must be ok – it’s just a different opinion!
–Where do you think movies are going in the next 100 years?
I harbour no trepidation in the face of AI, CGI, or any such acronymic innovations. Genuine art emanates from the depths of the human soul. The era of films solely reliant on dazzling effects, I dare say, is destined for obsolescence. Having said that, I personally love working with Green Screen sometimes, but that is because one of my oldest friends, Jason J. Brown is a human marvel when it comes to designing sets for my sci-fi comedies!
Presently, we witness a burgeoning appreciation for independent cinema across generations, a testament to the enduring allure of authentic narrative. I feel like I am in the right place at the right time!