Creator of Ream, Ream II, and Ream III Filmmaker Jacob Minor
The journey to success can undoubtedly be a difficult one, but there's nothing more impressive than hard work and determination. Most filmmakers experience obstacles that can discourage them but Let’s face it, there’s going to be some turbulence on that ride to the top. The question is, Are you willing to keep persevering?
Jacob Minor is currently a student studying Media Arts at the University of North Texas. Making films and Cinema is essentially his sole passion/obsession in life. Jacob has created and produced a few short films throughout his time at UNT, of which "Ream II" and "Ream III" are among them. His ultimate goal is to create more films in the future. We caught up with Jacob in a one on one conversation with LV Media to discuss his passion for filmmaking and his upcoming projects.
LVM: What attracted you to begin a career as a filmmaker?
Jacob Minor: I was a big movie person growing up, and was considering different career paths for filmmaking, but wasn't all that serious about it. In fact, I really didn't become as passionate about life in cinema until about a year and a half ago, when I started exploring a number of different arthouse directors, namely Andrei Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman. That, of course, remains a continuous practice, but since then I've felt increasingly more motivated to pursue this life in cinema, and honestly, it's all I really want to do in life. All I want to do is make movies until the day I die.
LVM: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a filmmaker?
Jacob Minor: Other than "Ream II" and "Ream III," I just recently had two short films, get accepted into a festival as official selections. One was a short film titled "Blossom" that I had done this last Fall, and it was accepted into the Direct Online Monthly Film Festival. The other was "Ream," the first film of this ongoing series, and it was accepted into Frostbite International Film Fest. I also think it's worth noting that I've found myself becoming increasingly accustomed to each level of filmmaking, which is, of course, a constant work in progress, but I definitely want to make note of that.
LVM: Describe your directing style.
Jacob Minor: My directing style, which I usually prefer to call cinematic language, is definitely more in the vein of experimental arthouse. There's no dialogue, lots of long takes, sequences of either minimal action or inaction, a rhythmic flow likely comparable to classical music. The films I tend to make are a lot more about feeling and experiencing than understanding, as I don't like using traditional methods or structures. I simply make whatever film I'm going to make.
LVM: Who is your favorite actor, and why?
Jacob Minor: I'm usually more focused on directors, but an actor I've truly grown to love is Tatsuya Nakadai. Nakadai is a Japanese actor who rose in prominence during the 1950s and 1960s, and a lot of why I love him is because he was simply astonishing in any film he was in. I also love him because he worked a lot with many of my favorite directors, including Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi, Kon Ichikawa, Mikio Naruse, Hideo Gosha, and so on. He never overpowered the films he was in, instead of being an equally important aspect of each film.
LVM: Tell me about your studies in Media Arts?
Jacob Minor: The Media Arts program at UNT is more of a culmination of various fields, sort of a jack-of-all-trades. It has courses for Television, Radio, Film, Social Media, and so on, but it doesn't specialize so much in anything, which is why it's not fully considered a film school. What I personally love about it is the creative freedom and student-centered approach of everything in the program. We're all free to make whatever we want so long as we do it well. Plus the people I've met so far have been wonderful, which is good because I'm sure there are many film schools that don't have that kind of atmosphere, which is a real shame.
LVM: What are some ways you plan to progress in your film career?
Jacob Minor: The only thing I feel like I can plan on counting on is making films. What those films are and how they turn out, I have absolutely no idea. And I'm okay with that because if I knew where I was going or what films I'd make, it would take a lot of the passion out of it. I guess another thing I'm planning on is never leaving the low-budget indie filmmaking, even if I have more expensive productions. Honestly, I don't ever see myself having colossal budgets, but I want to balance out lower and higher-budget films because it just feels like the right way to go for me.
LVM: Tell us more about "Ream II" and "Ream III"
Jacob Minor: The thing about the films I make is that because of their experimental arthouse leanings, they're basically impossible to put to words. All I feel I can really say is that they're both very open, in that different people will get different takeaways and feel different emotions when experiencing them. I don't like the idea of forcing people to feel or think any certain way about my films, I just make the film. What people do with them beyond that is up to them.
LVM: Tell us about what you're working on in the near future?
Jacob Minor: I do have a pile of short films I plan on making during the remainder of my Spring semester, as well as scripts for films during the Summer and just throughout the rest of my time at UNT. What they are beyond that, I can't even really say even if I wanted to.
LVM: Is there anything else you would like the readers of LV Media to know about you? Also what messages would you like to leave with our readers?
Jacob Minor: I think something that has really helped me a lot is coming to the realization that not knowing is the best place to be. It's when we don't know that we're open to far more possibilities and options, whether it's professionally or personally. With me personally, I have no quarrels in saying that I don't understand what a film or cinema is. It's brought me out of any sort of right or wrong decision or limitations, leaving the possibilities for what a film is or can be endless. In as much as I can observe, not knowing is such a liberating and humbling feeling, and, at least for me personally, it's made my engagements with cinema far more honest and genuine, and opened me up to more unknowns and possibilities, as well as learning opportunities. Don't be afraid to know anything. It's once you think you know that you're in trouble.