September 25, 2018

Jordan Wippell: Music Videos, Short Films and Plans For the Future

Jordan Wippell is a Digital Video student at UAT who has kept himself quite busy submitting his work to film festivals and video contests. He is also known to ask directors if he can offer an extra hand behind the scenes to get tips from a professionals point of view.

As a filmmaker, you are grateful for each opportunity to produce a film, but most filmmakers have few opportunities to work with one of their favorite bands, but now 21-year-old Jordan can say he has.

He heard of a video contest for They Might Be Giants through the band’s Facebook page. Next he lined up some talented dancers from UAT, put together choreography and used the vacant lot next to UAT to shoot the video. Jordan submitted the music video and a few months later he found out his entry was selected.

“I was over the moon,” said Jordan. “How awesome! I had almost forgot about submitting it. So this was great news!”

Watch the music video from They Might Be Giants new song, ‘Erase’:

Jordan lined up another music video shoot for the Violent Femmes new song ‘Fast Horses’, which is his one of his all-time favorite bands – how exciting!

The ‘Fast Horses’ music video begged for a western feel, so Jordan and Brandon Scott, a student producer at UAT whom Jordan has worked on many films with, found a spot to shoot in the desert of Anthem, Arizona. The video featured a cowboy as the main character, who was played by UAT Professor Craig Belanger. And a stunning cowboy he was! Here’s a glimpse at Professor Belanger’s costume.

Craig Belanger as the Cowboy

Professor Craig Belanger, as the Cowboy

Jordan expressed his excitement about scoring such an incredible gig with a band he has followed for years, “This is the first EP that the Violent Femmes has released in 14 years and it’s very cool to be part of it.”

Click to watch the music video for ‘Fast Horses’:

“Now that I have a few music videos under my belt, I plan to contact other artists and see if they want to work together,” said Jordan. “The worst they can say is no.”

'Fast Horses' filmed by Jordan Wippell

‘Fast Horses’ filmed by Jordan Wippell

Let’s talk about the reason Jordan left Australia one and a half years ago – to pursue his dream to become a filmmaker.

Jordan has produced short films such as “Straw Walkers” (still in production), “MEAT” (2015), “UP ROUTE” (2015), “M is For Miscellaneous” (2013), “Say No To Subtitles” (2013), “Rain Dog” (2013), and “Uck” (2012).

Recently Jordan learned that “UP ROUTE” was selected to screen at the International Nightpiece Film Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Another epic moment was when “MEAT” was officially accepted and won Best Short Film at the Arizona Film Wars in Tucson. Jordan and Brandon went to represent the film and accept the award.

Brandon Scott and Jordan Wippell at Arizona Film Wars

Brandon Scott and Jordan Wippell at Arizona Film Wars

“Rain Dog” was also selected for multiple international film festivals, had a New York critic review, and that helped Jordan gain more confidence in his work.

Professor Belanger has been a great mentor to Jordan, as well. Jordan usually asks him to proofread the script to get a second opinion. They have a similar taste in music and film. Jordan knows that his professor understands his goals for creating a narrative in the story and considers if the audience will find the character relatable, which is hugely important.

“While in college, I want to use this time to film what I want to make. For me, it’s all about freedom right now and I have all the resources at UAT to create anything I want,” said Jordan.

Jordan says his main goal is to be a filmmaker, but he ideally would like to be financially secure enough to make his own films. 

“To me, it’s more important to feel like an artist with the freedom of creativity than an filmmaker working on someone else’s dreams,” Jordan said.

After graduation from UAT, Jordan plans to travel, return home to Australia for a bit, maybe check out LA, Seattle or New York. Within 3-5 years, he would like to make his first feature film.

“I want to get it done while I’m young. I don’t want to miss my chance, even if it’s a bad movie, I still want to be able to say I’ve done it.”

What’s the craziest part of being a filmmaker? “Well the craziest thing I have done, which probably wasn’t the smartest move, but I sat on a cactus while location scouting for ‘Fast Horses’ and I have learned to never do that again!”

You can see Jordan’s film, “MEAT” at FilmBar this month! Official Selection for Arizona Filmmaker Showcase – “MEAT,” tickets are available for purchase. See a whole bunch of other awesome local shorts at FilmBar Phoenix on July 11, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $9.

Follow the work of Jordan Wippell here:


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