Kismet is a seven moment series depicting the karmic cycles of ego death and inner personal transformation. Especially in association with grief and death consciousness. A modern rock opera, an instant cult classic. The project is directed by Jocelyn Fee Miller aka Jane Free. The experimental music clip is an award winner of Venice Shorts in California.
Jocelyn Fee Miller aka Jane Free was born in Southern California in 1986. A life long performer, public speaker, and advocate for peace. Starting her life on stage at the age of 3, she eventually received her own camera at age 12 to make her dreams of film making come true. In 2007/2008 Fee Miller attended and graduated from a meisner method acting program in Santa Monica called the Baron Brown Studio. August 2008 Jocelyn shifted focus to live music with projects 'Free Lions' and 'Karma Dog.' Followed by a career in the healing arts focused in massage therapy, community building and mindfulness. After a decade long hiatus from performing - Jocelyn birthed her own music project 'Jane Free' which led to her debut production: 'Kismet Music Film'. It is our pleasure to interview Jane Free for LA Indies magazine.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
As I produced my first solo music project as ‘Jane Free’ a series of visuals took shape.
These songs had been intimately written over the last decade and had been undulating in and out of variations. I was trying to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and parts so my producer, Derek Poulsen could get the psychic message. When I wrote down the list of songs in the studio, I wrote them in a clockwise circle ... seeing it as a loop, a karmic life cycle. For me specifically the loop feels like one I have been through when grieving a loved one passing or grieving a phase of my life that is coming to a close. I have spent more than half my life grieving loss of family from suicide. Death consciousness can’t help but color my work. The songs came well before the movie but both are of equal value to me.
What is the most challenging aspect of working in this particular genre?
I find ‘experimental’ film to be the most liberating genre. I think the culture is collectively bored of linear, logical stories. Having a space that feels more like a lucid dream aligns with the reality of the grief process - and the particular aesthetic of the ‘Kismet’ dream world we were building.
Challenging aspects? Not wanting to slip into cliche molds / stereotypes. And ... Figuring out what to call it “music film” “rock opera” “visual album” .... ‘music video’ seemed less than appropriate for such an epic 30 minute display.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created as a director?
‘No business like show business’ is how I was raised. I had an acting agent when I was three years old - only to be advised to act off camera because I was missing half of my pinky finger. Total nonsense - I took quickly to the theatre and live performance throughout grade school. From there I studied and graduated from Joanne Baron + D.W. Brown method acting studio in Santa Monica in 2008. Finally this last year - after birthing the Jane Free music- I felt inclined to breathe into my 12 year old dream of making my own films. In January 2021, I applied to an online yellowbrick TV + Film production program via NYU TISCH. I was awarded a 75 % scholarship and felt cosmically validated in these new film endeavors. ‘Kismet’ is my production and directorial film debut.
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film and what was the most
challenging aspect of production?
They chose me. (Sighing with humility) Most of the cast and crew have been studying with me at the Panacea Holistic Institute, a Long Beach Bodywork + Healing Arts Career college I founded in 2018. After they graduated in 2020, a chunk of the Panacea Alumni aka ‘Earthlings’ became the production and performance team at Jane Free Productions. All of us are lined up for the next frontier of healing: our renaissance culture. Cinematographers and animators were the most challenging to pin down during this Covid production. Luckily each cinematographer involved was the exact perfect fit for their contributions. We had an under-water team, a nautical team and a theatre team in tow with a jib !!!! Maybe that’s why the project is called “Kismet” ...? ... it kept falling into place with relative ease. Covid was also seemingly a challenge but I think after all - it benefitted this freshman production - allowing some talented people with pent up creativity to fly free.
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and which genres do
you prefer to work on?
I have more music videos in mind, social documentaries seem intriguing and particularly important in the “transformational” time we are living in. I have a feature film treatment idea (that involves time travel and masculine healing) I’d like to set a 10 year goal for completion.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
It is and does - the stories we tell are a reflection of the current times. We all look to film to understand the culture we are living in. As traditional religions and political culture lose their hold on the newer generations - it is key to offer poignant, real content developed for all platforms: social media, film, YouTube, TV - content that provides tools for mental/emotional health and intelligence. More zombie shows equals more cell phone zombies and more people numb to violence. The more content centered in social evolution the more collective evolution we will see.
What is your next film project as a director?
I have a music video concept in the kiln for my jazz musician friend: Aaron Danks
and a super short film, horror-comedy concept in the works for this fall. We will see
how it unfolds. For now I’m focusing on finishing my Film production essentials
Thank you for including our story!
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