Minutes before his nuptials, a neurotic young man locks himself in the back room of a church, with the best man he knows. Recalling the woman of his past, he questions his choice.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Otoja Abit
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
JITTERS was made with the intention to highlight a particular story that I kept being reminded of. I wrote a feature-film called, UNCOUPLING that needed a short film as proof of what I can do as a writer/director.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Watching JITTERS is an opportunity to challenge yourself as a viewer and relate to the internal struggles of characters that aren’t usually highlighted.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I truly believe everything an artist creates is personal. The universal element comes from how clear a story can be and relatable. To the point of placing a story about choice, minutes before a wedding, is a universal aspect.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The idea was initial and I knew the plot points to hit. While developing writing becomes one thing, filming another and post-production/editing is a whole other beast. Very grateful to have support from like minded talents around me to see our short film to its finish line.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
It’s been extremely positive and encouraging. One main thing was for a first film, completed, it’s a feat on its own. Audiences have thoroughly enjoyed and related to JITTERS for the humanistic story that is rarely showcased. A thought provoking short film, exploring deep, lifelong relationships and stereotypes are the proud takeaways.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback has strongly surprised me as I’ve witnessed what I enjoy can be something that’s not just personal to me. We all have specific styles, likes and interests... if we can find a humanistic quality to intertwine it all, we might be on to something.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Very much interested in having your audience become aware of a film/story that is unique and hasn’t been brought to their attention. We’ve screened across America and I feel strongly your audience will have a reaction to the film.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
JITTERS as a short film is one story that is complete. Unsure what can happen moving forward, but the main goal is to get more eyes on the film. We’ve been fortunate enough to screen at well respected festivals. More of a whisper campaign will be ideal— but just sharing this story is what we’re striving to do.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would love for this film to screen on public television and for students to breakdown the choices made in storytelling. I’ve learned filmmaking from talented people at the top of their industry, and this film is a homage to them all.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Is it wrong for a fiancé, before getting married, to think about why they failed at past relationships in fear of not failing in a marriage?
Would you like to add anything else?
Very talented NYC actors were all on board and this was an absolute labor of love.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Our Executive Producer, Chris Noth is developing a TV series and acting in films/TV.
-Our lead actor, Walker Hare, just completed his first feature film that he wrote, THORP.
-our executive producer, Joe Scarborough, is still the host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
-our producer/editor, Ian Phillips, is currently taking his short documentary “her move next” to film festivals nationwide.
Interview: September 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
“When your intuition speaks, do you listen?”
About the writer, director and producer:
Otoja worked as the assistant director on Broadway's revival of That Championship Season, directed by Gregory Mosher. Otoja then went on to book roles in both television and film including: a role in The Humbling, directed by Barry Levinson and playing opposite Al Pacino, HBO's critically acclaimed The Night Of, directed by Steven Zaillan. NBC's The Slap & The Blacklist, Paris in Aleta Chappelle's Romeo & Juliet in Harlem. And co-starring, as Marsha P Johnson, in Roland Emmerich's Stonewall.
Recent credits include: Netflix “The Defeners” directed by SJ Clarkson.. Co-creator, producer and star of the New York Television Festival’s Official Selection “Harlem Knights”. And the 2018 short film “Jitters” which Otoja wrote, directed and produced. Jitters is an HBO Shorts Competition finalist.
Otoja Abit — MICHAEL
Jason Patric — DR. SHANNON
Walked Hare — BLAKE
Angelic Zambrana — MORGAN
Jonny Beauchamp — SACHA
Producers — Otoja Abit & Ian Phillips
Executive Producers — Chris Noth, Sherri Jurgens Ross & Joe Scarborough
Writer/ Director — Otoja Abit
Cinematographer — Eythan Maidhof
Music by — Alexander Arntzen
Looking for: journalists and sales agents.
Social media handles:
Instagram: @ohabit @jittersfilm
Hashtags you use: #jittersfilm #willfulproductions
Where was this filmed? New York City
Funders: Kickstarter. Private backers. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jittersfilm/jitters
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? NYC premiere - (academy qualifier) Urbanworld Film Festival, Bushwick Film Festival and Savannah College of Art and Design Film Festival