"Kismet" is not just a music video but it is an award winning experimentation with the music video genre and a testimony about arts, healing and spirituality. The director of the project, Jocelyn Fee Miller has stated before that the project is about a grief cycle experienced, healed and experienced again. Between music production and film production, her mother died unexpectedly, illuminating an entire new level of messaging from the original Sound Track. The music came first, but the film concept came on strong and relentless when the editor worked with over 400 clips, procured from 5 different production dates between November 2020 - May 2021.
'Kismet' was created for the mother of Jane Miller and for her daughters, for her family members and a community grieving suicide. The project is a seven moment series depicting the karmic cycles of ego death and inner personal transformation. Especially in association with grief and death consciousness. A modern rock opera, an instant cult classic. Jocelyn Fee Miller aka Jane Free was born in Southern California in 1986. A life long performer, orator, public speaker, and advocate for peace. Starting her life on stage at the age of 3, she eventually received her own camera at age 12 to make her dreams of film making come true. In 2007/2008 Fee Miller attended and graduated from a meisner method acting program in Santa Monica called the Baron Brown Studio. August 2008 Jocelyn shifted focus to live music with projects 'Free Lions' and 'Karma Dog.' Followed by a career in the healing arts focused in massage therapy, community building and mindfulness. After a decade long hiatus from performing - Jocelyn birthed her own music project 'Jane Free' which led to her debut production: 'Kismet Music Film'. It was our pleasure to speak to Jocelyn Fee Miller about "Kismet". The project was recently an award winner of Montreal Independent Film Festival. Kismet is also screening through Toronto Film Magazine in the link below:
What makes you fascinated with the experimental aspects of filmmaking, cinema and the musical, experimental genre?
Life is experimental. Life itself is so multifaceted and surreal that in creating a film that aims to capture the experience of life, you are absolutely going to create something that is in its essence, extremely experimental. There are images, songs, thoughts, fantasies, textures, memories, fears, hopes, emotions, sounds, tastes, dreams, all swirling around. Combine them all and that is life. That is what is so fascinating and compelling about the experimental genre; it’s the only genre that has enough space to create and capture the enormity of the lived experience. Jane Free aka Jocelyn Fee Miller states: “The culture is collectively bored of linear, logical stories. Having a space that feels more like a lucid dream aligns with the reality of the grief process - and the particular aesthetic of the ‘Kismet’ dream world we were building.”
Please tell us how Kismet came to life and let us know about the process from pre-production to completion.
Kismet was born from loss, grief, love, and healing. Dear loved ones had been lost to suicide - with reverence for their memory and the grief left in the wake of their transition, these songs and images came forth. Musician + Director Jane Free shares, “The songs came well before the movie - both are of equal value to me. I was trying to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and themes so my producer, Derek Poulsen could get the psychic message. When I wrote down the list of songs in the studio, I wrote them in a clockwise circle … seeing it as a loop, a karmic life cycle. The loop felt like one I had experienced when grieving a loved one or grieving a phase of my life. After we completed the mastering of the Jane Free album in late august 2020 - my mother dropped dead unexpectedly. Approximately 2 months after her passing we had our first film shoot, production lasted until late April 2021. The boats, locations, props, costumes, venues all arrived with ease and a certain curiosity - like the project had taken on my mother as the ghost executive assistant and she was pulling strings from the heavens.”
In May 2021 we began dual projects to wrap the film: 1. Post-production with editor, Kyle Crawford and 2. developing the D.I.Y. Film Fest in Long Beach CA for a public debut of the music film. After over 200 hours of editing time and a small tribe of forces we were able to roll out the red carpet on July 23rd, 2021 for ‘Kismet Music Film.’
The people behind the film all share histories of deep trauma and grief. Writing the film was a conversation of understanding how emotional freedom could heal our broken hearts and the hearts of others, specifically people suffering from suicidal ideation. The production of the film was a community effort. The Jane Free Productions team pulled in all corners of connection, like a spider web of creators. Decades of friendships were tapped into. The wellness center and holistic career college that Jane Free created drew in students that were perfectly fit to co-create this film. No mistakes. No coincidences. The filming of each song was it's own ceremony. It’s own ritual. It’s own layer of grief reckoning and spiritual awakening.
What was the most challenging aspect of making a 30 minute music video which is in between genres?
Challenging aspects? Putting all the pieces together to tell the story in a way that felt as beautiful, ethereal and liquid as the experiences that birthed the concept was quite the challenge, or as we’d say, was our greatest opportunity for growth. One very typical challenge we found - Figuring out what to call the thing!?!!! The working title from June 2020 - May 2021 was ‘Jane Free + the Earthlings’ - only after completion did we realize ‘Kismet Music Film” to be the project name - also how to classify the project? - “music film” “rock opera” “visual album” …. ‘music video’ seemed less than appropriate for such an epic 30 minute display. ALSO Finding a production crew and venues willing to work with us during COVID 2020 - these hurdles allowed us to stay true to our experimental form.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
Jocelyn aka Jane Free is completing a one year NYU / TISCH film making program online in February 2022. Associate writer/ producer Erin Grissom is working on a debut short film script. Beyond distributing “Kismet” globally - Jocelyn has been focused on restoring a 160 acre land reserve in Stanislaus Forest of central California. The emotional liberation mission continues on the land with spiritual / emotional growth retreats and re-wilding immersions. This land will hold future cinematic projects aligned with the general Emotional Freedom movement.
What is the most creative and enlightening part of directing a project for you?
Jane Free shares ”Directing is very similar to daily life. Imagine if we mapped out our days with such precise goals, visions, outcomes - how empowered and on fire we could be in our daily lives!! Coming from a Meisner acting / writing method background - directing is all about illuminating a moment in time, a feeling in that very specific moment. What makes the moment special? What makes the feeling erupt? What light casts on the room? For “Kismet” - the most enlightening component of Directing was witnessing the collective articulate this vision - in this case- a very personal vision, laid out in a stream of consciousness way. We set a trajectory in pre-production, choreography, writing sessions - and then - all we could do is watch the chips fall where they may. Process over perfection. Allowing versus force.
Does the language of cinema stand out more than other arts to you? And why?
Cinema is a universal language. It’s open ended. It’s a medium that can capture so many other mediums. In this case cinema brought our songs to life - giving a deeper connection to the music, the story behind each song and the general understanding of our collective emotional life.
Why do you make films?
We make films to feel alive, to be seen and heard. To articulate our teachings through a new medium. To give our kids a laugh. To stretch our personal edge - and to feel and be realized. Thank you for including “Kismet Music Film” in the Montreal Independent Film Festival.
Ways to join the Emotional Freedom Movement:
Kismet Film Freeway
FB: Jane Free Productions
D.I.Y. Film Fest Website