Updated: May 14, 2019
A lot of the character-focused films within the JN Films catalog center around a degree of grief. It's a trait that everyone deals with at various stages in their lives, and we do our best to reflect that within each of those stories. From 2014 to 2018, the team has had the opportunity to film 5 productions ('the One and Only' (2014), 'The Spot' (2015), 'The Flower' (2016), 'Clap' (2018), and 'Poppy' (2018)) at the Dallas Cemetery.
Each production day contained a great degree of silence when we were there. We spoke when necessary, but we sustained our artistic voices to be in rhythm with our surroundings.
In 'the One and Only' (2014), a younger sister reflects on her older sister's journal by her grave. Her emotions aren't exclusive to sadness, but her emotions are also inclusive to solace and an occasional sprout of joy.
In 'The Spot' (2015), a painter is trying to find the narrative in her painting by searching in different locations. At one point she wanders and wonders around and about the cemetery, soaking in the history that's come before her. The film ends with her and her interest creating new history in a place filled with past history.
In 'The Flower' (2016), a teenager examines her grief in hopes of bringing her sister back in some form, whether physically or in memories. She visits her sister's grave several times, discovering something new upon each visit.
In 'Clap' (2018), the cemetery footage was cut from the film, but the footage was designed to provide additional context to the emotions surrounding a granddaughter's attachment to her implied-deceased grandfather. During filming, Sophia Brown (the lead actress) spent most of the time there looking at all of the graves, occasionally cleaning up around some of the sites. Reflecting on this experience cause me to be inspired to write this.
In 'Poppy' (2018), a young widow looks upon her husband's grave. This film was the furthest examination of grief in a JN Films production to-date, with a deep commitment by the cast and crew.
In all that we've done and all that we might do in the future, we take time to pay our respects each time we film there because there are greater things in play. While we're creating new memories with each creative journey, we want to make sure to recognize others who created memories before us whom are buried there.
In our newest film (yet to be released) 'Passage' (2019), a character reads an original poem titled Memories. The last verse of the poem proceeds with:
"Don't forget to remember,
But don't remember to forget,
In light or dark,
Memories shall ring true."
Don't forget to remember.