Director and filmmaker Jay Arnold. Photo Courtesy of Jay Arnold
Director, writer, and filmmaker Jay Arnold chatted about his new film “Shoulder Dance,” and being a part of the digital age.
Background on ‘Shoulder Dance’
The movie stars Matt Dallas (“Kyle XY”) and Rick Cosnett (“The Flash”).
The synopsis is: The slippery lines between friends, lovers, and partners threaten to trip up two couples over a wild weekend of seductive games, all-out indulgence, and unraveling revelations in this funny summertime romance.
Inspiration to write this movie
On his inspiration to write this film, he said, “They say write about what you know. Growing up as a gay kid, it was challenging, especially with friendships and things since I was figuring myself out at the time. At the same time, you have relationships with other guys of a different sexual orientation, and it has challenges.”
“I had a falling out with a best friend and we never spoke again,” he said. “I don’t even remember what we fought about.”
Arnold continued, “Unfortunately, that friend is no longer with us because he passed away from cancer not long ago, and I didn’t have an opportunity to complete that broken relationship that was really meaningful to us at a critical time in our lives. This film considers what that would have been like.”
“I feel like anybody can relate to a broken relationship with a best friend,” he admitted. “There is a lot of emotional intimacy there especially when you are younger.”
Working with the cast of actors
“I am so blessed,” he exclaimed about his cast of actors, which is comprised of Matt Dallas, Taylor Frey, Rick Cosnett, Samuel Larsen, and Maggie Geha.
“The relationships were very intimate, and it was important for me that the chemistry was there. I feel blessed and fortunate that Matt Dallas agreed to it, so I cast Matt first, and then, I cast everyone else.”
“We were putting together an ensemble that had chemistry and it felt authentic,” he said. “I credit that to the actors, who really immersed themselves in these characters and recreated the persona in such an authentic and beautiful way.”
“10 to 15 percent of my film involved content that I did not write; it came from the human experience, and that was all thanks to my actors,” he said.
He also praised actor Blake Cooper Griffin for doing a “wonderful job” with his scenes in the film.
The digital age
On being a filmmaker in the digital age, now with streaming, technology and social media being so prevalent, Arnold said, “I think that streaming expands distribution and it’s good for everyone as long as the studios agree to pay a fair wage. I really think it’s important for the actors to be well paid.”
AI on the future of the entertainment industry
Arnold shared his thoughts on AI on the future of the entertainment business. “I don’t like it,” he said in a frank manner. “I feel as though acting is human. I think it’s hard to trust big studios in Hollywood.”
Stage of his life
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Arnold said with a sweet laugh, “Retired filmmaker goes into dangerous territory.”
Regarding his definition of the word success, Arnold said, “Having the ability to tell a story that impacts people’s lives and allows them, in this case, to see relationships in perhaps a different way.”
“Also, to open people’s minds and hearts, and make a difference. You tell the story that is in your heart, and you see the heart of it, and you want to tell it. If you make a difference for one person and they love your film, then that’s success to me,” he added.
For viewers and fans, Arnold concluded about the film “Shoulder Dance,” “Love is love. I want people to have permission to love who they love in any way they like and that it’s appropriate and right for them.”
To learn more about director and writer Jay Arnold, follow him on Instagram.
Jay Arnold talks about his new film, and the digital age
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