Director / Producer
Jillian Armenante was born on July 5, 1968 in Paterson, New Jersey, USA. She is an actress and producer, known for The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Backseat (2018) and Bad Teacher(2011). She has been married to Alice Dodd since June 24, 2000. They have two children.
Director / Producer: Stuck
Read our FILMMAKER Q&A with JILLIAN ARMENANTE:
"Push your boundaries and grow with each experience. And for god sakes don’t wait for someone to pick you before you create. "
Why do you make movies?
I was 14 when I picked up my first camera and suddenly the world made sense to me. It defined my view of the world and at last, I could interpret my point of view and experiences through the lens of a camera. For the first time I truly saw the world in the way I chose. Human indignities, frailties, beautiful vistas… a risk between two actors when they drop all pretense and truly find that spark between two humans. Incredible. I long for that sincerity.
I came to moviemaking from a long career as an actor. Both disciplines require an enormous amount of passion and the ability to continue toward the objective, regardless of rejection and obstacles.
Like most creative endeavors, filmmaking is not really a job, it’s more of a calling. You don’t choose it, it chooses you.
Honestly, it is not easy to make and finish a film and sometimes you need to push and scare yourself a bit to grow. It can be difficult, but one must find a way under extreme circumstances to make it to the finish line.
Filmmaking is a bit like childbirth. It is a long, slow process that grows in a subtle and systematic fashion until the cataclysmic birth. You are usually left wounded, bleeding and exhausted but then you get to share your beautiful baby with the world. Not long after, you forget about all the pain and labor and want to get pregnant again.
Inspiration calls when you least expect it and you have to answer the call.
There are colossal obstacles as a woman filmmaker in our society but I strive to do what I need to do because I feel that I must make films, I do not have a choice.
What do you want to achieve in your craft?
I would love to acquire a level of success in filmmaking in which I am surrounded by others who care equally about their work. I would love to work in a supported fashion where I would not have to wear all of the hats to accomplish a creation. I would love to be able to experience filmmaking with full production and administrative support to see what effect that would have on my creative process and product.
What would you tell a young person with aspirations to be a filmmaker?
Be a maker.
Make big stuff and if you can’t afford that, make tiny stuff. Push your boundaries and grow with each experience. And for god sakes don’t wait for someone to pick you before you create. Just make stuff. Learn every aspect of the business, vertically and horizontally. And most importantly… HAVE FUN. It ain’t no fun unless it is fun. Surround yourself with equally awesome people and enjoy your life while doing what you love.
What has been your biggest struggle as a filmmaker?
Watching others with less ability acquire more opportunity because they are the opposite gender is my biggest struggle.
What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?
Now, I have an addiction. Filmmaking is my addiction and like any addiction it gets expensive to pay for so, I have to find a moviemaker/lover to pay for my creative whoredom. There I said it out loud and it feels good.