Author: Joycelynn Okezie
In your own words, who is Jairus Burks?
Jairus Burks is a Christian Husband, Filmmaker, and comic book nerd at heart. Where are you from? I am from Memphis TN, Born in Washington D.C. As a Military Child, I moved around the world and spent the remainder of my childhood in Memphis, TN.
At what age did you know you wanted to direct and edit films?
I wanted to start shooting and directing films when I went to college around 19. I started getting into cameras and filming at the age of 12 while in church.
Who would you say inspired you to get into creative arts?
I don’t have a specific person to who inspired me to get into the Creative Arts. I got into the creative arts because I was bored in church and I wanted to do something other than usher in the church.
What does a director of photography specifically do on set?
A DP is a person that is in charge of the shot. This person is a master in lighting, composing, framing, color, and texture when shooting. The DP interacts with everyone from actors, MUAs, Wardrobe Stylist to the Grips and Electricians to achieve a certain look to match the story and director’s vision. Some DP’s shoot and direct and some just shoot or they just direct. It all depends on the style of the DP.
What do you enjoy about working on the Blue Collar Hustle Web Series as the director?
Blue Collar Hustle is authentic. I enjoy working on this series because the actors, producers and the creator are passionate and they are really living this dream and tv show. Everyone works really hard to know their lines and they go 100 percent hard every time on set.
Why did you choose it?
I chose this series because I could relate to the struggle. I have a blue-collar hustle as well, being a military service member. I think we all have something we are doing to fulfil and live out our dreams through our jobs. I also chose this series because I felt like I would be a great asset to the series and add something new to the show.
Who are some of your influences in the Film world?
Influences in the film world are Roger Deakins, Bradford Young, Malik Hassan Sayeed, Devon Franklin, Denzel Washington, Ernest Dickerson, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey,
How is Blue Collar Hustle different from other shows you have worked on?
Its different than other web series because this show is authentic to the point where the actors live and breathe the blue-collar hustle. I also think that it’s different because they are really like a family.
What’s your opinion on the current climate of black Hollywood?
I think right now this is the prime time for black indie filmmakers to be heard and seen . from sci-fi to romantic dramas. This is our time to shine and be heard Is that something you strive to integrate into? Yes But I want to have my own production Company and make my own rules, which is why I admire Oprah.
What is your favorite equipment to work/shoot with on set and why?
The Camera I Work with is The Kinefinity Kinemax6K. I like this Camera because of the color, price and the fact that it is different and no look can be duplicated because not everyone has my camera. I like working with the DJI Ronin, I love the steadycam look of the camera and the polished look it can bring on set.
As a millennial creative who is also in the Air Force, do you face challenges in your work-life balance?
All The Time, Real World Situations, Deployments, and Marriages are very hard. Being able to be called up to leave the country at any time is always a risk and still being able to fulfil my dreams is a challenge but with the support of my wife and with the strength of Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior I pray and take it day by day.
What was the feeling and experience like when your work was selected as a winner in the Bronze Lens Film Festival?
I felt great! it was awesome to know that your hard work as an editor and DP and such got some shine. I honestly knew that from then on things would get real soon.
How did you react?
I was so excited but chill at the same time. I was grateful for the award, but as always my bills need to be paid and I’m not where I want to be so after that awards night and the little IG likes I got it was time to get BACK TO WORK and make things bigger and better for bigger things to come.
Which films and series have you distributed or released online as the director/editor?
Greenwood is currently circulating on film festivals, Cream X Coffee Season 1 is on Youtube as DP X Editor, Grace (Spoken Word With God) and more new things are coming soon.
Where can supporters find your work?
Are you on social media?
What advice would you give to young creatives who want to start directing films?
Work On Your Craft, Read Books On Leadership and Marketing and don’t focus on others and know that this film life sucks when you get into it, there will be underpaid gigs, and long hours and short paychecks and sometimes u might not eat at all but things will pay off and good work never goes unnoticed.
Jairus Banks podcast: THE GOOD DP