If I had the talent I would’ve followed a career as a rock star more extensively. Growing up, I knew I wanted to make movies the rest of my life, but a large part of me also wanted write and record songs. In retrospect it likely stemmed from a yearning to share some sort of emotion that a teenage version of me didn’t know how to convey, and adult me is still working on.
Around age fifteen I began writing songs regularly and I found that the beautiful thing about making music was that you didn’t have to be as literal as you had to be with film, and it was far easier to get people together to make music than it was to get people together to make a movie. There’s also something to be said about asking for four minutes of someone’s time, versus an hour and a half.
But I could only devote myself to one art form, and I had to play the hand that was hot. I realized that if I were put on this Earth to make music, my voice wouldn’t sound like a combination of Andre the Giant and a guy with marbles in his mouth, who may or may not have eaten a really hot pepper before he put aforementioned marbles in his mouth.
My second major flaw as a musician was that I couldn’t perform “serious” material with any conviction. I could write it, but for lack of a better word I’m too goofy to be Eddie Vedder. Coupled with sheer lack of ability and being too uncool to be David Lee Roth, the decision to move forward with filmmaking was a no-brainer.
To this day I’m far more passionate about music than I am about cinema. I am more zealous about the art of cinema, but movies can’t move me the way my favorite songs can. To this day my rock star dream has carried with me into everything I’ve ever done as a filmmaker. I’ve handled both my screenwriting and directing as ways to write the music and lyrics to my life. It’s a liberating perspective for me; If I want to say something politically, romantically, philosophically, or simply just to have fun I can cram it all into one film, with an over-arching story and a certain production value tying it all together.
A dream of mine is to move into the phase of my career where I can completely control the “sound” of my films. In The Newest Pledge, I was privileged enough to more or less choose the music and score that make up the noise of the film, but I was dealing with no budget and couldn’t be too picky. The thing about music in film is that it dictates the mood more so than the dialogue, and the thing about the comedic genre that I work in is that pop-score is every bit the standard as instrumental score.
And one day it hit me: given that music is such an important part of the mood of my films, and I am trying to create a piece of art that encompasses me as a person, I need to find a way to control this flaw in what I do.
On my next project I will experiment with writing the pop score myself. If I find a song by an artist that I like, I’ll use it. I’ll have a composer to do the normal score. But whenever I run into a tough spot to fill, instead of settling on a song, I will write the music that conveys the mood I’m trying to covey. This entire process will allow me to further control my art, and give it more of the unique voice that I’ve always strived to present.
I’m presently working on a gesamtkunstwerk. In German that means “total work of art.” It’s a film that will be made up of original music, photographs, screenplays, and films that were all made for one common project. I’ve assembled a new band made up of old friends this gesamtkunstwerk is the perfect project to see if I’m onto something, or if I truly just suck as music.
More on the gesamtkunstwerk to come.
Jason Michael Bresica
May 18, 2012 10:56 P.M EST