Every year, thousands of projects are created by people new to the film industry, among those new faces is San Francisco-based writer-director, Jake Heraty. Described by his peers as “well beyond his years”, Heraty has written three excellent screenplays at the tender age of twenty. The Finer Cut had an exclusive look at his blossoming Career:
Q: What about film-making drew you to pursue it in the first place?
A: I’ve always been fascinated by film, mainly in telling a story completely visually was incredible to me. Film captured me at a young age but I think it’s storytelling as a whole that drove me to create.
Q: What are some of your influences?
A: Influences… Directors like Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater, Gus Van Sant and writers such as Judd Apatow, Tina Fey, and Louis CK have really inspired me to write and create narrative-driven pieces infused with drama and comedy.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: My style… it’s a slice of life bordering on awkward comedy. I like taking a really awkward or strange situation and bringing normal people to the brink and reeling them back in, bringing them back to reality.
Q: If you could work with anyone in the industry who would it be
A: I really would love to work with (honestly just have the pleasure to meet) Louis CK. I think he is a genius when it comes to honest comedy and as an up and coming writer/director surrounded by students who want to make convoluted plots for action or sci-fi films it’s really refreshing to see Louis CK make a career out of making a show that is simply about his life, a show about honest people in awkward, embarrassing or compromising positions and how they react. It’s comedy is awkward, tragic, obscene and beautifully insightful all at the same time.
Q: What are the greatest challenges facing young filmmakers?
A: I think it’s gaining exposure. In this digital age that we live in, where everyone has a camera in their pocket it’s difficult to break through . Also when the term film or filmmaking is said the image of multimillion dollar movies is placed in our minds but as an up and coming film-maker, the term film or movie or project is simply a group of determined young creators, a camera, and some actors. Exposure is extremely hard. Also being original, outside the box is a component of gaining exposure and it’s difficult.
Q: What can you tell us about your upcoming projects?
A: The last two months have been terribly difficult for me creatively. For two years I’ve been trying to write a feature film entitled “Of A Place I Love” about a young man facing a terminal diagnosis of brain cancer and how it affects him and the people around him. However, after shooting a trailer and 20 minutes of cut screw time in order to raise money for the film through crowdfunding and failing I went through what I can only describe as a creative quarter life crisis. I was very depressed for a very long time and when I returned to San Francisco, where I work and attend film school, I found myself for the first time feeling very out of place, as if I didn’t belong in a room of up and coming directors.
In the midst of my creative depression I wrote a pilot for a comedic sitcom called “The Council” and after getting a few people to read it over I found that many of my collaborators liked the project and wanted to move forward with it. So we have began production on the pilot of the show and plan on pitching the show to various networks (like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon).
I have realized, however, that I’m not fit to be a director and so after wrapping production on this pilot episode I will no longer direct any future projects. Rather I have found that my talents and abilities are best suited for screenwriting and so I will move my attention and efforts to writing new episodes of the comedy series and more films in the future.