Skip to main content

Filmmaker Spotlight: Director Jonathan Ade of ItsOkayItsOkay


This week's Filmmaker Spotlight focuses on writer and director Jonathan Ade, whose film was showcased at the AT&T center as part of NewFilmmakers Los Angeles. Learn about his film, ItsOkayItsOkay as he discusses  making the film, lessons he's learned and where you can catch him next.

Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you’ve been working on it. 

I’ve been working with my DP and creative partner Alexander Paul on the Meditations for the past three years. Each film takes us about a year to make, usually because we slowly accumulate the necessary resources and proper time to execute each project in-between our regular day jobs. That’s why it takes so long.

Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?

Too many people. The production couldn’t have come together if it wasn’t for the help of a number of really crucial folks, especially Henry Lange Jr. at Raising Hope and Mike Carter at Panavision. And of course, we have a tremendous support network of friends and family who have contributed financially to make this project happen. My parents are especially important in this regard.

On the production end of things, the film couldn’t have been made without the hard work of Cassandra Siemon, our production designer, who led a team to build three sets in five days. Her many sleepless nights were the only reason we were able to shoot in the first place.


How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at AT&T Center?

Wonderful. Our previous Meditation, Supper, screened at NewFilmmakers almost a whole year ago, so it feels both like a tremendous homecoming and (hopefully) something of a tradition.

What inspires you?

A number of things. Film, of course, but also a lot of long form non-fiction, poetry, theater, clowning. I’m currently enamored with a series of live events put on by Henry Hoke in Los Angeles, called Enter: Text, which is a kind of art installation meets literary reading, in which the participants find unique and intimate ways of engaging with the audience. It’s really made me think of the way a space changes your relationship to a work, no matter what that work happens to be.

Who are your influences and who do you admire?

On the film side of things, it’s interesting because there are people who I admire that don’t (consciously) influence me, and there are people who influence me that I don’t necessarily admire. Ha! They’re not always one in the same.

The aesthetic of honesty runs deep in a filmmaker like Kelly Reichardt, the single most underappreciated filmmaker working today. Virtually everything I’ve tried to do in the last few years is, in one way or another, some loose, vain approximation of what she does expertly well. For similar reasons, the filmmaker Charles Burnett remains a solid foundation for what I admire about filmmaking, and Killer of Sheep remains my favorite movie.

Strangely, I think I’ve become influenced against my will by some of the work I’ve done as an editor. Through a matter of necessity, I’m frequently a video editor of promotional videos, sizzles, and trailers. And though I’ve downplayed the significance of working in this field (as I said before, it’s felt like a matter of necessity than a burning desire), I think fast-paced editing has sharpened my instinct for saying more with the bare minimum, at whatever pace.

What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?

I’ve learned that something that’s hard doesn’t get easier just because you’ve been at it a while. And occasionally, you’ve got to remind yourself why you’re doing this, and get centered and renewed. This is more important than hard work. It’s so easy to get lost, but when you spend a year or so working on a project, you need a lot of reminders along the way.

If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?

Going back to my answer about Enter: Text and thinking about spaces, I’d very much like to create a film for a particular kind of space. I’d like to work with an interior designer to create an installation of a small living space (think of the strange world of the IKEA showroom) and create a film to be exhibited only in that space. I think that would really interesting. Like a 1970s teenagers bedroom, and the film is a Super 8 projection on his ceiling. Viewers would have to lie in bed to see the movie.

What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?

Gosh, it’s always a tough slog. I wish I had a single experience to give you, but, unless you’ve been exposed to some awful traumatic event, in Los Angeles its usually not one thing. It’s a series of things, threatening to break you down every day: a thoughtless comment by a producer, a director chewing you out on set, an editing note that asks you to make a video “more better”, the general thoughtlessness of a few that makes you feel like thinking critically is an endangered mindset. Feeling alone. That’s what’s so tough. It’s easy to get isolated.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?

A fellow filmmaker, Julian Higgins, said that the pre-production, for a director, is not preparation to execute a plan so much as it is the cultivation of instinct. That’s stayed with me for a while. I may have even cited this last year. It’s a great mindset, an important distinction.

What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?

Read, be thoughtful, be serious, be daring. If you’re not taking a risk artistically, you’re simply not doing it right. You have a responsibility to stretch your medium.

Where can we expect to see you next?

We’re filming our next movie in June, so perhaps in a year’s time. More information at LayInWait.com.

Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects.

Our next film, LayinWait.com, or find us on Facebook. We’re currently fundraising and could use all the help we could get! We’ve been working on that project for well over a year now.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks very much!

For more information, visit: http://www.newfilmmakersla.com/



About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
Questions, comments or suggestions?
Follow Twitter.com/ChristyBuena   

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.

EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

CAM4 To Sponsor The Ms. EXXXOTICA 2017 Competition

EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest event dedicated to love and sex, just announced that webcam portal CAM4 has signed on as a show sponsor for 2017. CAM4 will be sponsoring and presenting one of the expo’s most popular events, as well as one of its newest initiatives for EXXXOTICA Chicago in June and EXXXOTICA New Jersey in November.
Developed as a community with a focus on social networking, CAM4 is much more than a traditional webcam site, and they are now the presenting sponsor of SW!TCH, EXXXOTICA’s LGBT showcase. SW!TCH made its debut at EXXXOTICA New Jersey in 2016 as the show continued its efforts to be completely inclusive. SW!TCH was created as a means for LGBT vendors, talent, and performers to become part of the EXXXOTICA family. SW!TCH will continue to grow in 2017, and with CAM4 as the presenting sponsor, their booth will be the anchor of the showcase that will feature seminars, events, vendors, talent, and broadcasters catering to LGBT attendees.
“CAM4 is extremely excited…

EXXXOTICA 2-17 Hits Chicago June 23rd

EXXXOTICA Chicago, the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex, opens its doors for the seventh straight year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this weekend and thousands of attendees will be treated to a virtual playground for adults, with over 150 adult stars, a convention floor packed with over 100 exhibitors, and over 20 hours of entertainment on the main stage and in the seminar rooms scheduled.

EXXXOTICA, presented by MyFreeCams, will feature the biggest names in the adult world. Legends, stars on the rise and the hottest cam girls will be appearing. Superstars such as Ron Jeremy, Lisa Ann, Tori Black, Katie Morgan, Alexis Texas, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Tanya Tate, Evan Stone, Adriana Chechik, Phoenix Marie, Joanna Angel, Rubberdoll, Briana Banks, Teagan Presley, Alexis Monroe, Adria Rae, Mr. Marcus, Misty Stone, Stoya, Kendra Sunderland, Vicki Chase, Mia Malkova, Jillian Janson, Darcie Dolce, Eva Lovia, Harley Dean, Dani Jensen, Natalia Starr, …

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."

SUMMER FABRIC "INGREDIENTS"

DENIM
COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Exxxotica Los Angeles 2011 - Day 2 Gallery

DISCLAIMER: THESE IMAGES ARE NOT SAFE FOR WORK (NSFW)

Exxxotica, "the largest event in the U.S.A. dedicated to love and sex," took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 26th-28th drawing hundreds of fans of all various ages. From middle aged men to college kids, fans got to meet their favorite adult stars, attend seminars, watch go go dancers on stripper poles and ask their favorite stars questions during the on stage panel. Even, Youtube sensation, the "Sexy Sax Man" made a cameo. If you missed out on the event, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our photo gallery.

If you're wondering how Exxxotica measures up to Adultcon, let's just say that this event was like the E3 of adult expos, with an emphasis on females, relationships and love. Let's not forget that bigger celebrities were in attendance here including the legendary Ron Jeremy, Rockstar Phil Varone and Wicked Pictures stars Stormy Daniels, Kirsten Price, Jessica Drake, Alekt…