Tag Archives: JNTJ

INTERVIEW: SHE – Horror Film Produced in Phoenix, featuring Title Track from Jane N’ The Jungle

PHOENIX SHE is a dark horror comedy film that was produced in the Valley by Gravel Road Production and lead actress Hannah McKay; it will premiere on July 5, 2018 at a private screening at FilmbarThe 90-minute film has already stirred some controversy, having been described as a jarring film about female empowerment. The plotline involves an Airbnb owner, who uses her sexuality to manipulate her male guest into doing her evil bidding.

(Viewer discretion is advised – some scenes may not be suitable for all audiences.)

Q & A with Film Writer/Director Will Goldstein

SHE’s Writer and Director, Will Goldstein, spoke with Burning Hot Events about the film and it’s impact:

What is your background in filmmaking?

I’ve been making films since I was a teenager. I studied film production as an undergrad at U of A, then got a Masters at USC. Since then I’ve directed or produced a handful of indies that you can find on Amazon.

Your IMDB profile shows credits dating back to 2010 – How long have you been doing it?

The first short films I made that actually got shown publicly were screened as early as 2010, so that IMDB timeline makes sense.

What inspired the plotline for this film?

My original goal was to write a horror movie that took place in one location, and had a dynamic female lead. When I set out to write, the sexual assault scandals had been all over the news and I think that subconsciously influenced the tone and narrative arc of the film, and it became less of a horror movie and more of an outrageously over-the-top dark, dark comedy.

In your opinion, what are some films that would be favorites of someone who would enjoy SHE?

Ah, cool question. The film that inspired me the most is a bizarre Greek movie called Dogtooth, though fans of that film are few and far between. It’s a lot to stomach. A more mainstream comp might be Kill Bill, if it was directed by the Coen bros. And that’s on SHE’s ‘best’ day.

What do you think makes this film different from others in the same genre?

I’ve been personally struggling with the film’s genre. I think that’s what makes it so unique, though. It’s an amalgam of a few genres.

How long did it take to write the script?

About 3 weeks.

What style of cinematography was utilized for this film?

It’s a very raw, verite style. A good comparison visually might be the films of Kathryn Bigelow.

Some would describe the Phoenix filmmaking scene as a desert. Why do you think that filmmaking has been underrepresented in our arts & culture scenes?

There’s a ridiculous amount of filmmaking talent in Phoenix. The issue is, in my opinion, that these artists don’t have a significant mouthpiece in the local media. For instance, azcentral only employs film reviewers that review theatrical fare. There’s no appointed person in a position to cover local productions.

How has the film provided opportunities for local talent, and in what ways do you think the film will help the production communities in Phoenix in the future?

This film was made entirely by local talent, excluding the sound editor. The producers, actresses, actors, and crew are all Phoenicians. I’m hoping that, with this film, which will definitely play as controversial to a variety of audiences, we’re able to galvanize the media to take a more active look at local film productions.

Why did you choose Filmbar for the premiere?

Filmbar is the best. It’s the indie film hub of the community. They have a ravenous spirit for the weird and avant garde. And our film is definitely that.

What importance do you think a venue like Filmbar plays in our society?

Indie theaters like Filmbar are so few and far between outside of major cities like LA and NY, and that’s unfortunate because they’re so necessary as a distributing outlet for artists that are taking chances and making challenging films that aren’t afraid of alienation at the cost of vanity.

Will the audience have the opportunity to meet you and/or the cast at the premiere?

Of course!

Jane N The Jungle - Photo Credit: Brian Dellis
Jordan White (Vocalist) – Jane N’ The Jungle
Brian Dellis

Local band Jane N’ The Jungle provided the title track for the film. Will they be doing anything for the premiere?

They’ll be in attendance.

In the past, you worked with the band when you created their music videos for “Wild Side” and “Killed Someone”. What made you feel that JNTJ would be a good fit for the film’s soundtrack?

JNTJ are genius at disguising contentious subject matter as fist pumping, radio friendly anthems. I think that’s really brilliant in a subversive way, and that’s primarily why I think they’re a great fit. Subversion.

In the current climate of the entertainment industry with the #metoo movement, and recent killings that have been tied to self-proclaimed “incels” (involuntary celibates), some individuals and groups believe that women use their sexuality as a weapon. In the renaissance era, paintings were made of women having relations with demons and animals because female sexuality was so heavily feared. Can you explain how you think the film is progressive in terms of female empowerment? And how do you think viewing the film would impact someone who shares those viewpoints on female sexuality?

I think everyone is going to have differing opinions on this front, and part of the construction of this film is to incite a reaction, whether positive or negative. Without giving anything away, I will say that the film subverts the traditional sociological role of ‘agency,’ as it’s respective to gender.

To your second question, I honestly can’t say. I can’t purport to know how anyone will react specifically, but we’ll find out soon enough.

The lead character is shown to be calling the male guest (Troy) a “pussy” on multiple occasions. Does the film shed light on the topic of toxic masculinity?

I think it does. I was aiming for a meaner, satirical display of toxic masculinity.

SHE - Still Frame
Still frame taken from the film SHE

Can you tell us more about what other/related controversy has been triggered by the film?

I can tell you that it involves subject matter that will have some people heading for the doors.

Do you feel that controversy can bring about anything positive?

Absolutely. In the jaded world we live in, I think controversy has to be stoked to even start a debate.

Would SHE pass the Bechdel test?

Actually, it would. Barely. But it would.

It’s admirable that Hannah McKay both served as a producer, and lead actress of the film. How did McKay initially become involved in SHE, and what lead to her to wearing both hats in the production?

I would say it’s more than admirable. The role of producer is demanding enough itself. If you add to that a leading role, with a character that has pages of dialogue that not only has to be memorized, but delivered so precisely take after take for hours a day, I don’t think ‘admirable’ is the most apt term. Maybe ‘superhuman.’ I dare any actress or actor to try to pour themselves out emotionally for 6 hours straight while simultaneously worrying about the status of film permits, actor’s schedules, and whether or not lunch will be prepared in time.

I met Hannah on the set of JNTJ’s “Killed Someone” video shoot. She played the lead in that video. She’d had no prior acting experience. I thought she had a natural, honest demeanor on camera, and that’s such an unbelievably difficult trait to come across, so I asked her if she’d be potentially interested in acting in a film. Luckily, she was.

Did McKay have a lot of input on how her character, Jane, was portrayed?

When you’re working with actors, you’re collaborating. The script version of the character takes on a new form in a new body, and together you try to make this new entity as honest as it can be. So of course that requires an open mind, suggestions, and encouragement.

How did the actresses and actors influence the final product?

Funny you ask that. I think the actresses and actors are the reason this film evolved from a horror into a dark comedy. And it’s so much better because of that.

Are there any opportunities left for local artists to be involved with SHE?

Definitely. I would love to work with a variety of local musicians on the soundtrack. JNTJ did a cover song that works perfectly in the film, and I’d love to get other local acts on the team if there are any willing to collaborate.

What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone that dreams to be a writer and/or director?

Learn all the “rules,” and then do whatever you can to break them.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“I’ll rebel against powers and principalities, all the time. Always, I will.”
Paul Thomas Anderson

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about SHE?

Don’t watch it.

Phoenix band Jane N’ The Jungle does incendiary title track for brash indie film SHE

Jane N The Jungle - Photo Credit: Brian Dellis
Jordan White (Vocalist) – Jane N’ The Jungle
Brian Dellis

Popular local PHX band Jane N’ The Jungle is expanding their repertoire to film soundtracks, covering Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” as the title track for the contentious local indie flick, SHEthat has been stirring debate here in the Valley. The song was selected by the film’s director and frequent JNTJ collaborator, Will Goldstein.  

“The original song is sung by a man, with male-dominated lyrics. When we perform it, the song takes on an opposing point of view,” says Jordan White, the band’s front-woman.

At a time when sexism has been a featured topic during the #metoo movement, the irony of a woman performing such a male-centric song is intended to spark discussion about a male-dominated culture that undermines female power. The raw, stripped down performance by Jane N’ The Jungle, has a haunting grit that embodies the controversial film.   

Check out title-track “The Man” next week
NOW on Burning Hot Events!


SHE - Teaser Poster

REVIEW: Jane N’ The Jungle ‘Shakes Out’ New Video

TEMPE Ariz. — Jane N’ The Jungle announced the official worldwide release of their new music video, “Shake Me Out,” on Tuesday, May 31. The announcement came just days after the band’s successful premier of the video at Shady Park in Tempe on May 28.

Created by Rachael Smith of Ray Squared Photography, the video features vocalist Jordan White, guitarist Brian Dellis, bass guitarist Leah Brooks, and drummer Tommy Acedo rocking out in a graffitied underground garage. The video also features performances from ballet artist Samantha Kelly of Terpsicore Dance Company (TDC) Studios.

The group initially wanted to film at their rehearsal site, Bombshelter Studios, until building manager Adam Marr showed them something different. “We thought that the underground graffiti area was the perfect location,” White said in an email. When inquiring about dancers, Marr also proposed using a ballerina in the video. “We loved the idea,” White said.

The video’s technical crew, Max Gruber and Bryce White, were responsible for the vivid lighting and fog effects seen in the video. While filming, the crew had to be mindful of preventing the fog from setting off fire sprinklers. And while the dusty location combined with the blowing fans to create other challenges, everyone involved had fun during the shoot.

Jane N’ The Jungle is now working on finishing up their debut album. “We really wanted to take our time with this record and want to push out a finished product that feels right and represents the music the best we could,” White said. The group expects to announce the much-anticipated release date of the album within the next couple months.

While the record won’t be out in time for the Jane N’ The Jungle’s summer tour, they’re excited to be hitting the road with Painted Bones, another Arizona local band. The group will also be playing shows in

Las Vegas, Nevada, and Hollywood, California, with KM, a Long Beach indie pop band and friend of the group. “We are looking forward most to hitting the pavement and meeting new friends and fans,” White said.

Jane N’ The Jungle also announced that Smith would be accompanying them this summer and promises plenty of surprises are in store. The group will be documenting the tour so that fans can keep up with the ins and outs. “We’ve got some exciting shows happening in August and look forward to spending more time at high schools, middle schools, colleges and inspiring teens/preteens with music,” White said.

The members of Jane N’ The Jungle are excited to be on the verge of debuting their first record and hope that it won’t be the last. “The Phoenix music scene and all the fans have really inspired JNTJ and are the backbone to why we play so many shows, and we appreciate everyone’s love and support,” White said.

With a full summer calendar ahead, fans will still have plenty of opportunities to catch Jane N’ The Jungle playing in Phoenix. Fans can also find out more information about upcoming shows and announcements through the band’s website and Facebook page.

Check out our photos of Jane N’ The Jungle’s concert!
PHOTOS: Jane N’ The Jungle – Shady Park 5-28-16

Jordan White, Jane N' The Jungle - Shady Park
Jordan White, Jane N’ The Jungle © Kataklizmic Design