Moment Invitational | How This Was Shot | Jesse Driftwood

Jesse started making this film for the Moment Invitational Film Festival, but by the end, it had turned into something so much more...

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Jesse Title

Vlogging + Filmmaking

We launched a film festival dedicated to the mobile creative, “The Moment Invitational”. 11 filmmakers made heartfelt, visually juicy short films with their phones. They each proved you can create incredible work with the devices we use everyday. We got to sit down with each filmmaker to learn just how they did it.

“Baby, Let’s Go” is a loving and charming vlog-style film that won the hearts of so many viewers. What was originally supposed to be a “normal” short film for our Invitational turned into one of the sweetest life updates over the course of Jesse’s life. We loved seeing this story unfold before our eyes and it was a special treat to hear the behind-the-scenes action when shooting this precious gem.

Jesse Driftwood - How I Shot This
Jesse Driftwood - How I Shot This

What lead to your vlog approach in filmmaking?

My first introduction into filmmaking was through skate videos, which is a genre that has inspired me for its ability to blend cinematic bits, as well as documentary elements and even a sense of humour. As I grew up and was skateboarding less, I still found myself blending filmmaking styles. In the mid/late 2000s I spent time traveling in a camper van making travel vlogs, which blended cinematic montages, as well as visual comedy and documentary.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that my strengths lie in the blending of genres, and so here we are!

Bouncing off the previous question, what makes you love vlogging over non-fictional pieces?

As much as I love storytelling, and I do, I’ve never excelled at writing stories from scratch. I’ve always found I’m at my best when I’m using my own life to tell the stories around me.

What were the challenges in shooting all the various scenes spread out over months of time?

Most of the projects I work on have a pretty quick turn around time, and so its always fresh in my mind exactly what I have shot, and what I still need to capture. For this project however, I had filmed so much over such a long span of time that it was much harder to keep track of my progress, and to visualize what the edit would look like ahead of time.

What was easier in the filmmaking process than expected?

I was surprised at how simple it was to shoot the cinematic b-roll sequences while hiking in Hawaii. Having my camera in my pocket, and not worrying about large rigs or cameras was surprisingly freeing.

Are you excited to have another baby?

I’m over the moon about having another kid! We’ve got a little boy on the way and I couldn’t be more psyched! Don’t get me wrong though, I’m nervous! We’ve got such a comfortable routine right now as a family of three and I know adding a second kid is going to throw a wrench into that! We’re definitely up for the journey though.

Jesse Driftwood - How I Shot This
Jesse Driftwood - How I Shot This

Did your wife ever get frustrated with you during the filming process?

Oh absolutely! While in Hawaii we had a pretty good argument one night actually. I hadn’t done a good enough job communicating with her at that point that the trip was simultaneously a birthday surprise, as well as a filmmaking trip. After sitting down and hashing it out we ended up having one of the best nights of the trip eating ramen and watching Netflix in our crumby hotel room.

Documenting special is definitely important to you (and is it to us!), how do you know when to turn the camera off?

Thats a great question! It isn’t always easy, but most of it comes down to having a an idea of what “the story” is going to be ahead of time, so that I know what shots I need to tell that story. Once I have those shots I don’t need to keep filming everything that happens.

What non-film medium most influences your work and why?

Two clear things have influenced my filmmaking more than any other film mediums. Skateboarding and music. Skateboarding taught me the values of falling down and getting back up again, and about being in competition with myself, constantly trying to improve my own skills, not in competition with my peers, but with my previous self. Music taught me how to feel art. It taught how to build tension and bring resolution, how to go big or how to be minimal, and how to tell stories using sound, rather than just visuals.

What went wrong during the shoot? Any unexpected changes or curveballs?

Well there was ONE big curveball! Originally, I wanted to surprise my wife with a skydiving trip, however in the weeks leading up to the trip we found out that she was pregnant, and as it turns out, you can’t skydive when you are pregnant.

We’re dying to know… what’s your favorite movie? Why?

Thats a great question! It would be hard to pin it down exactly, but Hot Fuzz would easily sit in my top three. Edgar Wright’s direction is so on point, every character adds to the story, and every line has me in stitches and wanting to quote it in everyday conversation. Now I just want to go watch Hot Fuzz again :)

Jesse Driftwood - How I Shot This
Jesse Driftwood - How I Shot This

'Till Next Time

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