Where do I even begin? I hope you follow along because Jamin Winan’s, Ink, is one of the most inspiring films I have seen and I am excited to share my thoughts about it with you.
As I begin to write this, please note that I am not a Film Critic. I am just a Film Fan as well as a Filmmaker. I am a growing storyteller also, so please allow me set up the story which will help me convey my full thoughts to you.
Back in 2005 I came across Jamin’s short film Spin. I can’t remember exactly how I came across it but I thought it was one of the more creative and just plain cool shorts I have seen. I wanted to know more about the film and the filmmaker so I contacted Jamin and ended up doing an interview with him through my Film Synergy blog (Interview with Filmmaker Jamin Winans)
I thought it was a great interview and I liked Jamin’s style of filmmaking so I continued to monitor his work. Now this will probably get me in trouble, but I believe it is important for me to mention. As I have studied films in the indie world, I got around to seeing Jamin’s first feature film, 11:59. Though that movie does finish strong, I came away feeling let down. It’s not anything I am going to dwell on here. Yet there may be others out there who may read this who have seen 11:59 and may not be willing to give Ink a chance and I am here to let you know that would be a big mistake.
Most recently, Jamin emailed me the trailer to his second feature film, Ink and I was amazed. Want to see why? Click here Ink Official Movie Trailer HD
Of course I had to follow up with a second interview via Film Synergy. Interview with 'Ink' Filmmaker Jamin Winans
From our correspondence I learned that Ink would be Premiering at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. My fiancé Karen loves Santa Barbara so it didn’t take much convincing to arrange a trip that included seeing the film. And as I began to mention that I was going to see it, dozens of people began to hit me up wanting to know my thoughts.
On the train ride to Santa Barbara, I pondered what will come of my own film, Night Before the Wedding. How I wished I wasn’t just traveling up to see another filmmaker’s film but to see my own as well. I thought about what kind of success lies down the road for me…And I was hit with a revelation that I will share with you soon.
When we arrived in Santa Barbara, we had lunch, and then walked to the theater to buy tickets. The box office wouldn’t sell them to us. Said we had to wait for all the festival-goers with festival passes. After they were let into the theater, they would then sell general admission tickets. So we wouldn’t be able to buy the tickets until 15 minutes before the screening. We made one more attempt to buy the tickets early that night and they still wouldn’t sell us the tickets. I mention this because when I was finally able to buy the tickets just before the screening, they were $11 plus a $4 service charge. If you want to charge $15 for the tickets, just charge $15. Get rid of that insulting $4 service charge. I just thought it was ridiculous but funny. Especially the service.
Minutes before the screening, I saw Jamin and introduced myself to him. We went back and forth on a few things before he was called away by one of the festival organizers.
What’s funny is Jamin called me his biggest fan. Because of the interviews (from above) I have conducted with him along with other updates I have published on his behalf. I found that pretty funny. I guess more than anything, it is great how appreciative he is and I must thank him for his graciousness. But don’t let Jamin fool you, millions of people have seen his short film, Spin. And I will tell you this, after seeing ‘Ink’ I can confidently say that Jamin is going to win over an abundance of new fans.
I have to be honest, I was of course excited to see Jamin’s new film but I was doing my best to hold my expectations in check. As with most movies, I wasn’t sure it would be able to live up to its own movie trailer. (I even posed that question to him in my interview. Even others have come to me and asked me the same question.)
There is talk out there that Ink is a “low-budget” independent film. I specialize in low-budget films. I make them and I watch them. I don’t want to hear people say this is a low-budget film because I’ll tell you that no matter what the budget was, this is one of the most inspiring films that I have seen. I was blown away by what Jamin has pulled off.
If I had to put it all into one quote it would be this, “Ink is the greatest combination of ambition, imagination, and execution I have seen in independent film.” It is a masterpiece that will continue to inspire me for a long time. It has already influenced me as I begin to make my next film. Jamin poured his heart and soul into this project and I could literally feel that with each and every scene. He pulls out his whole bag of tricks. This film makes me want to become a better filmmaker.
The sound design is as good as it gets. The main theme to the film (original music by Jamin) is one that I could listen to all day. I love the song. I am referring to the music that kicks in at the 53 second mark of the trailer.
It is mind-boggling to think how many levels this film hits a home-run with. From the writing and storytelling, to the directing, cinematography, lighting and sound design. The payoff at the end of the movie is beautiful and makes it all worth it. I love seeing an independent film that knows how to deliver in it's ending. It's something I work really hard at and something I know is one of Jamin's strives to perfect. So often indies don't deliver at the end. Well not just indies, but it is more glaring in smaller budgeted films.
I am sitting here writing about this film and it is even hard for me to believe how much I am gushing over it. I can tell you this, it was certainly not my intention when I was on that train ride to Santa Barbara. I did not expect this at all.
This is a film for filmmakers to see. I firmly believe that I will not be the only filmmaker who will be inspired by this movie. It raises the bar for all of us. It is also a film for film fans across the board to see because more than anything it is a great story told in a riveting and exciting way. From start to finish. Karen who is not typically a fan of these kinds of films absolutely loved Ink. We both sat there stunned. She was equally blown away.
For those of you wondering where and when you can see it, there may be some good news. Jamin and his wife, Kiowa are currently working on distributing the film as soon as possible. Here is the update from their blog, Ink to see distribution soon? I can tell you this, even having already seen it, I cannot wait to get my hands on a DVD copy and be able to watch it again. Jamin, let me know when and where it is available and it is a done deal.
Oh yeah, and if you couldn’t guess, the film itself is far superior to the trailer. It’s not even close.