Paul Caridad and I have been on a Visual News road trip throughout the US to connect with artists of all kinds since the beginning of March. At our first stop in Carpenteria, California, we were introduced to one of Brooks Institute’s most highly regarded film students, Jake Janisse. The 27 year old from Windsor, Ontario, Canada is in his 2nd year at Brooks Institute and is excited to be finally fulfilling his dreams of becoming a feature filmmaker.
Jake’s interest in film was sparked early in his childhood because his father was constantly documenting his and his sister’s lives behind the lens of his camcorder. At 14, Jake made his first film for a project in his high school religion class. He went above and beyond the project requirements, with LED lights to make Jesus’ head glow and a soundtrack of “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”, all of which he edited directly on the camera. His teacher and classmates were very impressed with his work and he dreamed of going to film school, but he didn’t see film as a realistic career choice at such a young age, so he went to college for advertising instead.
A few years later while he was working for BP, digging 10’ x 10’ holes by hand in the Windsor Salt Mines, he realized that he would not be fulfilled unless he was creating films. So, with his parents support, he switched gears and headed to the Brooks Institute in Carpenteria, California to follow his dream.
Since Jake had left all of his friends in Canada, he was searching for fun things to do in Carpenteria on Craigslist and came across an event called Surfboard Graveyard at Angels Antiques. He was impressed with the vintage skateboard collection and got to talking to the man behind the counter, who turned out to be skateboarding legend, Wayne Babcock. Babcock was one of the original skateboarders from DogTown crew who skated The Dog Bowl in Santa Monica in the late 70s. The two became good friends and Jake asked if he could film his vintage board collection, which Vans also just used for their upcoming Christmas Catalog. Wayne told Jake that he had hours of never-before seen footage from The Dog Bowl’s early days on 8mm film.
Soon after this, Jake was assigned a project to mix old footage with new and he asked Babcock if he could intertwine some of his vintage footage with his newer footage of the boards. The result was Jake’s impressive short, “Drain”.
Jake is an inspiration to anyone who is not currently chasing their dreams. He is constantly working on new projects- inside and outside of school- and networking with the people who have been an inspiration to him. Check out more of his amazing work on his Vimeo channel (I loved “Irreversible”) and find out what he’s doing next on Facebook. Be sure to check out Jake’s skateboard ride through Venice Beach below and stay tuned to Visual News for the story of his latest Behind the Scenes DMX video.