Q&A with Talented Filmmaker Jade Jenise Dixon
Filmmaker is an understatement when used to describe the multi-talented Jade Jenise Dixon. Jade is not only a writer, producer and director, but a talented actress who stars in her award-winning feature film “Truth Hall“. Here Jade discusses a little bit of her journey as a filmmaker and the success of Truth Hall.
PUB: Where are you originally from and how did you get started in the film business?
JJD: Well I’m originally from Omaha, Nebraska but moved to ATL when I was twelve. I actually started with acting. I used to do monologues at my church. My mom also put me in pageants and I always did something with my talent. But being in Omaha where the black population was small, I won quite often. I went to the School of Performing Arts in ATL and that furthered my career, and after college, I started filmmaking. It came so natural and I literally stopped acting and started filmmaking. I always knew I was meant to do all three (writing/producing/acting/directing) well four, lol. It’s my first project that’s completely mine. I produced other projects but this is one that I poured my entire heart into financially – I hired all the actors and crew. It’s (Truth Hall) my baby.
PUB: Tell us where you got the story idea for the film “Truth Hall”.
JJD: Its never an easy answer to say where a writer gets their story but I wanted to create something that I could star in. The original script was longer but when writing it, it just evolved. So I would say it is a combination of personal experience and imagination.
JJD: Now that I’ve done it, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It allowed me to unleash all of my creativity. I’m an extremely focused person and have a habit of being a perfectionist so my work ethic has allowed me to wear so many hats.
PUB: How did you formulate the talented cast for Truth Hall:
JJD: They came on in different stages in the production. It was about the chemistry and what women had the same type of chemistry with whom. As far as the male character, I had a couple of people in mind but I let the bride choose and that’s how everyone got mixed in the pot! Everyone played their roles super well that people got really caught up in the characters.
PUB: The film deals with some very important and controversial issues such as lesbianism and HIV. Was it intentional to include these subjects, and if so why do you think it was important?
JJD: Some stories seem to unfold before your eyes. When writing I was like where did that come from? Things people tend to focus on are issues of lesbianism and HIV – I don’t know where it came from, but glad it made it on the page! I’ve seen so many films where people are afraid to include topics that shed light on HIV, AIDS and Homosexuality but all of that is a reality and to hide from it by not fully exploring on screen is futile.
PUB: The film just aired on BET and I heard the ratings soared. How are you feeling about this?
JJD: I am super grateful that “Truth” have made it to BET. It has been on heavy rotation on the network! During my film journey I was told that the film was great, but I wouldn’t get that type of distribution because there were no big name stars attached. I’m so glad that someone put the story first because the story is the star. Kudos to our distributors Image-Entertainment and to BET! There also have been so many people doing movie night parties and tons of email requests for movie night parties for Truth Hall. The film is becoming a cult classic because people are having parties and they are so excited about having these issues addressed.
JJD: Well I am working on several projects And the film industry is its own machine so I’m in the middle of all of that writing, etc with projects. I’m also writing a smaller film that I can get off the ground sooner like how I did with Truth Hall. I’m also working and producing with other people’s projects.
I have two production companies: Stepping Stone Productions, LLC and Utopia Films, Inc., which is a distribution company. And actually the soundtrack from Truth Hall is distributed from Utopia and won best soundtrack. It’s currently available at Amazon, on itunes and at www.truthhallthemovie.com. R&B Soul artist “Lina” who has her own label has at least 6 songs on the soundtrack. Her song “Breathe” has been downloaded a lot and has been requested left and right. We’ve also got Trenyce who was in the top 3 of American Idol who sings the title track of Truth Hall and every one else are up and coming talented artists.
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