There are incredible stories all around us, waiting to be uncovered and brought to life. At LensProToGo we are so thrilled to be able to be a part of these projects through EQUIP: Helping Creatives Create.
Our first artist to be helped through this program is a young filmmaker from Chicago, Illinois, Vashon Jordan Jr, who is a recent graduate at Brooks College Prep. This fall he’s off to Kennedy-King College for his associate's degree and plans to attend Columbia College Chicago to complete his Bachelors in Television Production.
How long have you been A FILMMAKER?
I have been involved in media for as long as I can remember. I started out with a small camcorder recording family events and taking photos. I started to study photography in 2015 as a high school sophomore, I was the school photographer at Brooks College Prep. My interest is television production which I why I moved over to the realm of film in 2016. Since then I have been putting together recap and highlight videos. Death of a Black Rose is my first official short film.
How did THE concept for YOUR film come together?
I wanted to make a film that had a message and a purpose before I started college. So I searched for a short film idea. Fellow senior Lenora Perkins sent over a script that she already had written. She had an English class assignment to do an essay on a book that they read, (She selected To Kill A Mockingbird). Rather than writing an essay she decided to write a script because she is in theater.
This was more than storytelling though, you had a message to convey. Tell us about where that finds it’s way into the film?
For my end of the film, I thought it would be very cool to address two important issues in today's society and show them from the students perspective. What you have to realize is that the younger generation will eventually rise up and replace the older generation, so our views matter the most because they will stick and live on. The way we think is the way we will run and operate society.
I asked Lenora J. Perkins, the writer, for her input. She said, "The message is to basically show that we need to stop being prejudiced towards minority groups."
What makes you most excited about this project?
I am excited to see all of our hard work come together. I have tried many different collaboration projects throughout the year that were not successfully completed, so I am excited to see this one actually turn into something. Also, it was pretty cool to use professional-grade equipment and see the possibilities of it and the work it produced.
What does the Equip gear grant enable you to do that would not have been possible OTHERWISE?
This project was going to be created on basically no budget with very minimal equipment. LensProToGo helped turn this into a much bigger production, and gave us the opportunity to use equipment that we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to even hold. As a whole this experience was very motivating because many of the cast/ crew have never had people, let alone companies, actually give them a chance and believe in them when it comes to their passion or art form. Without the assistance and equipment from LensProToGo many people would overlook the film simply because of the quality and equipment used.
Where can we see the film?
The short is titled "Death of a Black Rose". You can watch the 10 minute film below.
What new projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on the full version of Death of a Black Rose, which will include scenes that did not make it in the first cut because of time constraints. Next, I will be working on a documentary, which is the style of filmmaking that I love the most. The documentary will tell the stories of multiple people impacted by or involved with gun violence. I will show how it impacted them and how they turned it into a positive to better themselves and their communities (interviews, b-roll).
That wraps up our first EQUIP: Helping Creatives Create artist story. We can’t wait to share more projects that you create. If you have a film or photography project that you are passionate about and need to tell, head over to the EQUIP page to submit your project’s gear needs.