I moved to Los Angeles, California in 2004, from Gadsden, Alabama with the dream of being a movie star. As I began studying acting, I quickly learned how beautiful of an art it was and how therapeutic the craft could be. I fell in love with it. But after a year in the industry, I realized that I wanted to be more than just an actor. I wanted to be a storyteller. I fell in love with directing, as well as the whole filmmaking process. I then decided to form my own production company so that I could tell my own visionary tales. I educated myself in the directing and filmmaking process by studying many films, various filmmaking books and attended many seminars for a year before I started developing my own projects. However, I was acutely aware that all of my stories needed a strong bedrock: the printed page.
Learning the screenwriting process became the next stage for me. I exposed myself to scores of professional screenplays and educational texts. Once I felt confident enough to write my own screenplays, I started putting my own ideas into script form. After cutting my teeth on a few scripts, Of Silence was born. When I wrote the script, I was in an optimal financial situation that allowed me to fund the film myself. During the development of Of Silence, I was introduced to producer Sheila Ryan, who loved the project and agreed to come on board. We are now very good friends and producing partners, developing several projects at the moment.
The film’s quality was very important to me. I wanted to shoot Of Silence on 35mm. After negotiating with Kodak with the help of my cinematographer, Erick M. Crespo, as well as winning the Panivision New Filmmaking Program Grant, we were able to shoot not only on 35mm, but on Super 35mm. Together, Sheila and I got everything else in place to begin principal photography. After all of our negotiating, haggling, scheduling, low-ball budgeting and tireless hard work, we and all of the crew headed to Palmdale, California on April 10, 2009 and shot Of Silence in twelve days.
Of Silence deals with the inner struggles one goes through when losing someone he or she loves, and the guilt one may feel. It deals with repressing one’s anguish after a trauma, and facing the devastating consequences that may arise from never letting those feelings out. At its core, Of Silence is a character study of a man whose life is falling apart from the very beginning of the film. It’s a psychological thriller, both mind-bending and metaphorical in its telling. It asks questions, but leaves the answers for the audience to figure out.
I wrote, directed, co-produced and starred in Of Silence, so you can imagine the stress I was under, but lucky for me I do my best work under pressure. I told myself while developing Of Silence, if I were to wake up one day and had the tinest doubt that I could not pull off directing and acting in the film that I would stick to only doing one of them, but that day never came. And trust me there were plenty of people I came in contact with that tried to instill that doubt into me, but in the end I just never stopped believing in myself.
The shoot was very challenging, but we pulled it off and everyone, cast and crew, was amazing. On the last day of shooting, I realized that, in so many ways, anything truly is possible. Once we started post-production on Of Silence, I was sure the biggest challenge would be putting together a high-calibre crew with such little money left. However, that proved not to be the case. From the two Editors of the film, Eamon Glennon and Austin Stock; to the Composer, Frederik Weidmann; to our Post-Sound Team, Shaun Burdick, Anna Gramlic, Tyler Richardson, Richard Newton; to our On-line Editor and Color Timer, Loren White… Everyone loved and believed in this project so much that they all agreed to come on board for very little up front. The people involved in Of Silence have been the most incredible and humble artists with whom I have ever had the pleasure to collaborate with.
Of Silence is a true independent film. It took 3 years and 5 months to complete. It was a long journey of ups and downs, but a well worth journey. I learned a lot making this film. It helped me to grow as a filmmaker. It helped me to truly understand what never giving up truly means. And it helped me to see what kind of filmmaker I honestly want to be and can’t wait to make my next directorial film. I’m proud of, Of Silence, and I hope those who see it enjoy it. We are currently shopping the film around for distribution and are planning to make a festival run in the next couple of months. The film will premiere on the online distribution website, Prescreen, sometime next month and will be availble to watch on the site for sixty days. Thank you so much.
Jeremiah was born and raised in Gadsden, Alabama. After graduating high school, he attended a nearby junior college, majored in English and took an acting class. He studied for three years and got up the nerve to move to California to pursue a career in acting. He arrived in Los Angeles in February of 2004.
Once in Los Angeles, he dove into the most accessible programs he could find. He studied acting at the New York Film Academy at Universal Studios, where the directing bug hit him hard. He became consumed with the directing process and closely observed the directing students when they went to the Universal Lot to shoot short films. Jeremiah left NYFA at the end of 2004, he begin studying the directing process on his own, in 2005, as he continued training as an actor at the Century Playhouse. Later he trained privately in the Method Technique. After many auditions that led to nowhere, Jeremiah decided to form his own Production Company, Worlds Last Hero Productions, so he could showcase his own visionary tales as an actor, writer, director and producer. Jeremiah spent the next three years learning the filmmaking process.
In April of 2009, Jeremiah wrote, produced, directed and starred in his first feature film, “OF SILENCE.” In July of 2009, Jeremiah produced and starred in his second feature film, “THE LEGENDS OF NETHIAH.” Both films are currently seeking distribution. In summer of 2010 Jeremiah produced and starred in the comedy horror film, "OPIOUS." The film is currently in post-production. Jeremiah’s currently in development his next directorial feature film.
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Be sure to catch Prescreen’s CEO Shawn Bercuson’s
Film Courage Podcast interview here.