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Getting your life on track in Resume

A man tries to get his life on track after being released from prison. Resume is a short film directed by Jordan Campbell. It was our pleasure to interview Jordan Campbell for LA Indies.

What was the inspiration behind the making of "Resume"?

The opening scene was bouncing around in my head for a little over a year. I thought it would be interesting to see someone amped up, and releasing this angst and pent up energy while getting dressed, and immediately smash cutting to them in an interview trying to quell that angst and seem polite. I was trying to get at that feeling of suppression where you have to quell yourself just to fool someone into taking a chance on you. I got the scene down on paper and knew that there had to be a story around it. The idea is that Joseph is trying to get on track but keeps brushing up against these systems that are so much bigger than him. Trying to be yourself but constantly brushing up against massive systems that are designed to maintain conformity, both in filmmaking and education, is something I’m familiar with. The film is really about Joseph, seemingly freed from one system, but unable to get from under it.

What were some of the challenges of making the film?

Making a film with a small budget is always challenging but we had an awesome crew that’s used to going crazy and making the best with what we got. The biggest challenge came in post-production I would say. I wrote the whole beginning of the film around a song that we ultimately could not use. There was a lot of messing around and re-cutting of the scene but I love how it came out. Production challenges were the obvious things like nailing down locations, and shooting exteriors during what had to be the coldest day of the year. But I was proud of the production cause we planned and approached shooting in a way that made the film manageable. Luckily we wrapped a couple of days before Covid caused a citywide lockdown.

When did you realize that you wanted to make films and what was the first film project that you created?

As a kid I knew filmmaking was what I wanted to do. That goal has not changed for like 15 years now. Because I’ve been interested for so long, I can’t say I remember the “first” film project I created. I know a lot of early stuff I did as a kid were music oriented and music still plays a huge part in my films and process.

Which directors have been influential in your work and why?

So many haha. when working on something, I often think of the way Asghar Farghadi explores the dynamic between people and the complexities of relationships by putting his characters in desperate situations. Wan Kar-wai for the way he finds drama through exploring the depths of his characters, while maintaining experimental sensibilities. Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino really informed my first notions of filmmaking as a kid. I feel lucky to be an adult in this field and be able to see them still making some of their best work, so, they’re still teaching me as well. I love watching anything Ryan Coogler, and Steve McQueen have to offer.

What genre of filmmaking do you like to work on?

I like drama (lowercase d). I like the drama that unfolds between people. I don’t think that is limited to the “Drama” genre. Life gives you a dose of laughter and sadness almost everyday so I always want both of those factors to be present in my work.

What is the most challenging aspect of making an independent film?

Over the years I’ve formed super valuable relationships. I’m fortunate to be a part of a squad to go into the trenches with and get creative. Whether it’s my film or someone else’s. Time and money aside, having a creative platoon to hack through that with is important. All that is to say that the whole endeavor is really difficult, but have some passion, and have a passionate group. It’ll get done.

What is your plan for further distribution of your film?

Some more festivals hopefully. But the other day I saw a truck in the city and the whole side of it was a screen. Wouldn’t it be dope to play it on the side of one of those driving around the city for a few hours?

How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?

It has happened many times over at this point. And the change hasn’t always been overwhelmingly positive and that just goes to show how important of a tool filmmaking is. But right now I think ‘cinema’ is being changed by society and the world. I want to listen and be in tune with that.

What is your next film project?

I don’t know but food will be involved.

Why do you make films and what draws you to the language of cinema and directing?

I make films cause for me it’s always been a way to communicate. So many emotions can be difficult to communicate but film allows people to understand and empathize through sharing an experience. I’m drawn to the language of cinema because it’s spoken all over the world.

Watch Trailer:

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