Jess Brillhart is a reality contestant on the filmmaking reality show On The Lot.
Jess's On The Lot Q&A:
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Computer Specialist
Why am I here?
To be the embodiment of every race/gender/age stigma, and show how none of the above matter when it comes to making films - and good ones, at that.
A quick tour of my life
I was born and raised in York, PA. I was into a lot of Jim Henson when I was younger - especially Sesame Street. Example A: I directed stuffed animals from a Big Bird director's chair. It was borderline obsessive.
I was also raised on computers from a very early age. That with my overactive imagination, and a Pennsylvania Job Aptitude Test whose results for me were "inconclusive - but heck, be a filmmaker," led me to a film career at Tisch School of the Arts.
During those years, I travelled to South Africa to make a documentary, worked at various festivals, and even screened some of my own films at a few. I just graduated with honors and more debt than I'd like to talk about.
Describe yourself in one sentence...
I am woman 2.0.
Your theme song?
"Bittersweet Symphony," by The Verve. It's just an all-around brilliant song.
First movie you ever saw?
ET - sort of. I never quite made it through. I would hear the opening theme and run behind a couch. I think it was because ET was a muppet with a red, glowing body, and big googly eyes. It was traumatic for a two-year-old.
Favourite line from a movie?
I've got two, even: "All I want to do is enter my house justified." Ride the High Country "I guess we keep goin' through it because most of us need the eggs," Annie Hall.
What made you want to be a filmmaker?
It's been ingrained in me from a very early age, mostly because of early exposure to good television, great films, and theater. I was doing everything creatively that I suppose trained me to have a filmmaker's eye, but I didn't know that when I was four.
I just wanted to tell stories in creative, visual ways and show them to anyone who would listen. And I knew that I was good at it.
When you make a film what do you want the audience to leave with?
I want the audience to escape the grind of every day life for a few. And if they take away something from my films - learn something, gain insight into something they've never thought about before - then all the better.
When I'm behind the camera...
I'm a little kid - I'm wide-eyed, happy, and stoked to just be there.
What do you think it will be like working with other Directors?
I'm actually excited to see how everyone works. I think we can learn a lot from each other, provided we don't kill each other first.
Favourite joke about Directors/Actors?
I have a ton of light bulb jokes, but they're all hokey and aren't worth telling.
Movie that best encapsulates who you are?
While On The Lot you have a week to make a film every week. What's the biggest challenge?
Staying simple but being effective. In a week.
When you get the power, how will you use it?
I will make films that will appeal to the masses but will also remain smart.
What's more important talent or ego?
Plain ego is never a good thing. But confidence and talent go hand-in-hand. You have to have talent, but you've also got to have the confidence to put your talent out there.
Sleeper, Blade Runner, Jurassic Park, About Schmidt, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, The Five Obstructions, El la nave va, Ikiru, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Godfather, Delicatessen
Alexander Payne, Jonathan Glazer, Akira Kurosawa, Federico Fellini, Woody Allen, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Riddley Scott, Steven Spielberg
Robert Evans, Scott Rudin, Saul Zaentz
Woody Allen, Jim Tayler/Alexander Payne
Nicholson, Edward Norton, Harrison Ford, Robin Williams, Chow Yun Fat
Meryl Streep, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nichole Kidman
Birth (Alexandre Desplat), Amelie (Yann Tiersen), Blade Runner (Vangelis), Jurassic Park (John Williams), Edward Scissorhands (Danny Elfman)