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The Jacks of all Art

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Alex, Erik, and Sam

“Jack of Arts” is the first proposed feature length documentary film from newly formed production company, Wildhouse Consortium. Wildhouse consists of Umass Boston graduate Erik Orjiako, Umass Lowell graduate Alex McAuliffe, and Berkley grad Sam Bee. Originally conceived as a documentary about the military, the idea was soon abandoned as it proved a difficult subject to explore and thus something completely new was created.

“Jack of Arts” will be a documentary film about artists both young and old all throughout the country. The group has already begun filming in MA and says they plan on hitting all 50 states in order to showcase artists and their cities while also promoting travel and inspiring creation. Just don’t ask them what the “angle” will be. Part of their “artistic method” according to the company’s website, will be allowing the narrative to “tell itself rather than trying to create it before hand.”

Erik, Alex, and Sam stopped by The Mass Media offices and told us a little more about their project and their overall goals of creating a “network of artists” and showing people that all forms of art, no matter what they are, are connected.

 

MM: How was the whole concept of this documentary started?

Erik: Alex and I, originally our first idea was to make a military documentary about people who had gone to Afghanistan and Iraq. We realized that if we were going to do that that there would be so much red tape in front of our way…

Alex: Then it became a documentary sort of based on the book “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac and since [Kerouac and I] both grew up in Lowell… we were just going to do a road trip and film it, and then I don’t know how but it stumbled into some sort of movie about artists …

Erik: I think the real shift started actually when we met Sam, he sort of, you know… we definitely had a vision and I think Sam helped bring that vision into a full circle.

 

MM: So what can you guys tell us about “Jack of Arts” and what you are trying to accomplish with the project overall?

Erik: What we want to do is create a network of artists across the country. Have a group of people that we can call on for future projects that either we create ourselves or that we hear about from other people. So in other words, maybe we meet somebody on the road that wrote a screenplay but doesn’t have actors. Finding ways to connect the different artists that we meet.

 

MM: It says on your website that you guys don’t know the exact angle you’ll be taking with the film. Has that changed since you’ve begun filming?

Erik: We’re not exactly sure. We do know the things we hope to find but because it’s a documentary we cant say with 100% certainty we’re going to find what we set out to discover. But I guess what we want to find are these undiscovered artists out there that have all this talent and potential but just don’t have the opportunity to get their voices out there.

Sam: [By doing] this trip to find artists it will raise awareness about what it actually takes to create art and also it will raise awareness about what arts breeds other art… just to [show] how much work it actually takes to be an artist.

 

MM: So what states have you guys gone to so far?

Erik: So far we started in Boston and then we realized that was not enough so we’ve gone to a few different cities in MA at this point; Salem, Worcester, Lowell, and also Manchester, NH. I guess we’re looking now to finish up in Lowell, and we have some more filming to do in Boston. Our next stop is supposed to be NYC.

 

MM: What is the general feedback you’ve gotten so far from this project, especially from those you’ve been interviewing?

Alex: They think that it’s amazing and their positive energy towards it rejuvenates us and gives us so much more energy to keep driving this [project] forward.

Sam: For me being a musician and going to Berkley; a lot of it is so competitive that when somebody hears that your doing something to help them out with no strings attached they’re just like baffled… We’re taking out [the competitiveness] and trying to help people… so people love it. Everybody that I’ve talked to has been super excited about the project.

 

MM: Have you guys ever had any doubts about getting it accomplished? What bumps in the road have you hit so far?

Erik: We’ve hit quite a few bumps, but the weird thing is with each bump we hit, we’re forced to find a way around it and we always do. That I think for me is what really made me start thinking this is really going to work out this is really going to happen.

To hear more about “Jack of Arts”, Wildhouse Consortium, and to stay updated with the project check out their website, www.wildhouse-consortium.com.

 

 

 

 

About the Contributor
Christina Giannapoulos served as the arts editor for The Mass Media the following years: Spring 2012; Fall 2012