Last week Cockyboys released a short bonus scene featuring some of the beloved Answered Prayers characters, Puck and Luck. This short but sweet film is a lovely glimpse into both the characters and the models who play them, and just as poetic as “An Ode to Puck” is Jake Jaxson‘s reflection on his experience filming the scene. Normally I would give a little more intro to this post – but I think that Jake has said exactly what needs to be said, and put it beautifully.
Without further ado, please enjoy Jake Jaxson’s message – and the fruits of his work.
This was meant to be an interlude within The Bully that showed the playful, creative, and sexual nature of two very spontaneous, mischievious and fickle energies. Having been admonished by their father, Jinks, to “shed their childish ways,” both boys grow up to help him restore balance to a world becoming tilted toward the darkness of cynicism, hate and fear.
I knew from the start that I wanted to fully develop the role of Puck, but when shooting this scene in early 2014, I had not fully realized what that storyline would be. I knew exactly the energy and quality I wanted, drawing from the real-life energy of Levi. While I knew that he was going to be amazing in the role, at the time, Levi did not. He was not completely comfortable with the concept of assuming a character and the extensive acting it required. In fact, on the day of the shoot, he was the last to get into costume, and as I was adjusting the final touches to his vest, Levi looked at me straight in the eye and said, “I can’t do this!” His voice was real. He was not kidding. He was not being a diva. He was being honest.
Silence filled the room, and my heart sank. I could hear a faint whisper of fear and defiance in his declaration.
“OK?! Let’s go outside and talk,” I said matter of factly, all the while panicking inside. At that point, nothing mattered to me other than knowing what lead up to this moment. And in talking to Levi, I soon realized where I had failed, and where I had let him down. While I KNEW he was going to do great, and I KNEW I was going to guide him to do his best, and KNEW he was going to be safe, he did NOT know. And, in my rush to do everything else (design the sets, organize props, write and shoot), I never fully communicated with him what was expected, and how we were going to get there together.
Everything that was so clear in MY mind was chaos in his, creating a perfect storm of fear & doubt. To his credit, he was never closed off and was always up for the challenge, and in that moment I shared with him my vision as best I could. I shared with him why, and how. In doing so, I discovered one of many new life lessons filming this project has taught me. The obvious is not always The Obvious! This is especially true with people you are close with, whether in work, love, or in life. Sometimes we need to check in and make sure the people we care about know what you know. Often I am quick to point out The Obvious when I don’t like something, but saying The Obvious when things are good, or when I was pleased, seems to require more effort. And on that day, I discovered a new part of me: taking time to share what is right and good. What came next was a inspired three days of shooting with Levi, Bravo, Dillion, Chris, and RJ.
Soon after, I began working on the story line for “An Ode to Puck”, which would soon become “The Redeemer“. The Redeemer was never one of the films I had originally planned to make, but was born out of the possibilities created by the bravery of one of the most dedicated performers I know to say, “I can’t do this!”
So, if you will allow me a new-year indulgence, today go find someone you like, love, admire, or respect and tell them The Obvious. If you have no expectation, you may be surprised by the possibilities created.
What fans are saying about An Ode to Puck
“Thanks for this, JJ. Was lovely to see Dillon onscreen again, I do miss him. Also, I feel like Answered Prayers has given me a lovely glimpse into who Levi is, from your words, from the Redeemer, and now from this. It was a little unexpected jewel of a scene, and I’m happy you shared it with us.:
“Même si ce n’est pas pour un “long” métrage, Karter est là et filmé correctement; cela suffit à mon bonheur. En plus, il fait jouir l’autre rien qu’en le suçant, sans même le toucher; si ce gosse n’est pas un phénomène, il faudra que l’on m’explique de que c’est. Bonne année à tous ! (quand même une vacherie pour M. Jaxson sinon on ne me reconnaîtrait pas: un scénario s’écrit avant le tournage…)”
“This is an amazing and arresting short video. I certainly wished that I were the focus of Levi’s oral skills rather than Dillon — but admired the obvious pleasure that Dillon experienced. Levi is so cute and so talented. Thanks CB for the superb video!”