Anchorage Press reviews “Chance” worldwide premiere

For a film producer, the first feature film is usually very special, and for me, that film is "Chance". From the moment I auditioned for this film, I sensed that this film was going to be special, and my thoughts were confirmed when I finally read the screenplay which was written by the talented Norberto De Jesús Jr. who also co-directed the film with Zayn Roohi. I can't help but reflect on the fact that four college kids got together and created a new film company called Bizzay and decided to make a feature film based in Anchorage, Alaska... and I got to be a part of it.

On Friday June 30th, 2017 we held a press screening at the Alaska Experience Theatre, and the screening was a success. It is one of the best feelings in the world to see our film play on the big screen... because for everyone involved in the making of the film, we all know how much love and energy and pain went into making it.

Now that the film was completed, not only were all the tickets to our premiere screening got sold out, as a cherry on top of a beautiful cake, Anchorage Press did a review on our film - it is always an honor when the press shows up at your screening!!!

Here are some photos from our film premiere event. If you missed out on a ticket, there will be opportunities in the near future to see this film as we are planning to hold more screenings - so stay tuned!

Continue Reading

My latest film “Chance” is premiering on Friday June 30th, 2017

I am excited to announce that the latest film that I’m a part of is complete and will be premiering on Friday, June 30th, 2017 at 7pm at the Alaska Experience Theatre. Here’s the trailer that was just released today:

CHANCE Trailer

BIZZAY is proud to announce the press screening of CHANCE, an indie-Alaskan feature film about homelessness. The premiere will take place on June 30th, 7PM at the Alaska Experience Theatre.Individuals can purchase tickets at bizzaymedia.com/product/chance/, and press can reserve a seat by contacting BIZZAY on Facebook or at info@BIZZAYmedia.com.

Posted by BIZZAY on Friday, June 2, 2017

 

I still remember the day I auditioned for this film.

It was late last year 2016: I showed up to the venue and met Norberto De Jesús Jr. (Director) and Sebastian Baquero (Actor & Casting Director) for the first time. I auditioned using sides that were not from the screenplay, but during the audition process, I immediately recognized dedication from these filmmakers. I firmly believe that casting the right actors for the roles is crucial to the film’s success, and the fact that these guys took such care into holding a well-organized audition process, indicated to me that they were serious about making a good film. However, when they said that they planned to film this whole feature film in less than two weeks, I was shocked. I did not know how in the world they were going to pull it off – but I chose to believe in them because I believed in miracles.

I was delighted when they offered me the role of “Rachel”, a role which really challenged my emotional range as an actor, and I accepted it without hesitation. I was even more delighted when I finally got to read the actual screenplay (which had a good story and was beautifully written), because instantly I knew in my heart of hearts that this was going to be a great film… and so I decided to be one of the Executive Producers on this project also.

We followed the filming schedule closely, conducted table-reads and very soon, the actual filming began. Remember how I said they conveyed to me that they “planned” to shoot this film in two weeks? Well, they did. Yes, they ended up shooting the whole feature film in less than two weeks.

Fast forward to now – the film is ready to premiere at the end of this month – Friday June 30th, 2017.

The thing I love about the film industry in general, is that I never know who I might meet or get to work with. However, one thing I do know, and have experienced time and time again, is that every once in a while, I meet truly talented artists who make miracles happen. The guys who made this film happen started their film company BIZZAY LLC –  Zayn Roohi, Sebastian Baquero, Norberto De Jesús Jr., and Traejen Scott – and I could not sing higher praise (from my first-hand experience from working with them) for just how talented they are as filmmakers and more importantly, how wonderful they were to work with. Despite being such young filmmakers, they were true professionals who made the process so easy for all of us, and as an actor, that made it easier for me to focus on my craft so that I could deliver my best performance when the cameras rolled.

It was truly a pleasure to get to work with these guys, and I know I will be seeing even greater things from them in the very near future.

I wish them every success and I look forward to working with Bizzay on more film projects in the future.

With Love and Admiration,
Jessie Wei

Continue Reading

Thank you Fireweed Film Challenge 2017 for Best Actress Award!

Last night I attended the 2nd Annual Fireweed Film Challenge 2017 Film Premiere, organized by the Seawolf Student Filmmaking Group at University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA). It is so inspiring to see our young filmmakers taking an active role in stimulating our local film industry here in Alaska.

The film competition was open to everyone in the community – students and professionals alike. A Producer/Director friend of mine, Charles Baird, registered for the competition and was kind enough to ask me to act in his film “The Ouroboros”. He told me a bit about the story and the character he wanted me to play – a psychotic woman on a destructive path chasing after her cheating husband – and I was hooked. It sounded exactly like the type of out-of-the-ordinary roles I love to play in films. So I said “yes”!

And am I glad I did! Last night at the screening, I was honored with the Best Actor award. This is the first time I have ever won an award for acting, and needless to say, I will cherish this forever. Acting is such a significant part of my life, my soul, and to even be in the presence of our talented filmmakers is an honor.

My first ever Best Actress Award (Fireweed Film Challenge 2017). Thank you Seawolf Student Filmmaking Group @ UAA!

So, I want to say:

Thank you Seawolf Student Filmmaking Group for this pleasant surprise!

Thank you to the organizers and presenters of this event Yoshina Okamoto, Dikeos Foudeas, Darrian Traw and Gabriela Riquelme for making this night happen and for continuing doing what you do!

Thank you Charles “Chuck” Baird for Writing, Directing and Producing this film and letting me be a part of it!

Thank you Levi Nilsson for the awesome cinematography work!

Thank you Sabrina Willis for being an awesome Assistant Director and Script Supervisor, and being there for me when I couldn’t remember my lines!

Thank you to my talented Co-Stars April Beardslee and Stephen Waalkes for being such awesome people to work with.

I dedicate this award to all the artists out there who never stop working for their dreams.
Our Art is everything. Never forget that. Don’t stop. NEVER STOP. IMPROVE EVERYDAY.

I’m so blessed to know all of you!

With Love,
Jessie Wei

Continue Reading

At the 17th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival

Last week, I got to attend the 17th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival held in Los Angeles  as a Screenwriter. It was a wonderful event, hosted at the beautiful TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood.

I saw so many amazing films from around the world, and I came out of each film screening feeling inspired to push myself to make better films. I absolutely adore short films and it was so awesome to see such a wonderful selection of short films.

I would like to proudly give a shout out to my friend and prolific Alaskan filmmaker Levi Taylor for his well-deserved win of the Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay for his feature script "The Midnight Son". I can't wait to see it get made!!!

Here are some photos from the event, which I was so honored to be a part of! It was also a pleasure to hang out with fellow Alaskan filmmakers in the heart of Hollywood. 🙂

Continue Reading

Our Pitch for Project Greenlight Reel Fear Competition 2017

This year, my film team and I participated in the Project Greenlight Reel Fear Competition. The ultimate prize is the chance to work with Clive Barker, one of my most respected horror directors.

Here was our submission to the competition, released today to the public for the first time:

This studio pitch is based on my feature screenplay “Play for Me” – a story concept that started about 2 years ago, and I am currently re-writing the screenplay, over and over again – the definition of insanity right?

So today, Project Greenlight released their top ten nominees. Unfortunately, we did not make that list. However, after watching the reels that did make the top 10 list, I’m not disappointed, because those contestants’ work are truly amazing! I am in awe of the beautiful talent out there in film-making.

So to all the filmmakers who made something for this competition – I say a big WELL DONE! The hardest part in film-making is to get out there and make something – and learn how to make it better every time.

Anyway, regardless of the result, I am truly proud of what my film team created. I personally think our 3-minute presentation is a beautiful work of art, and I hope you enjoy it too!

Here are my beloved cast and crew, without whom this pitch could not have been possible:

CREW

Director – Carl Weber
D.P./Lighting/Set Design/VFX/Editing – Mackenzie Banbury
Music – Nik Sharshak
Gaffer/Set Design/SFX/Still Photography – Shane Taylor
Sound Recording/Boom Operator/Set Design – Jeremy Blake
1st AD/Script Supervisor – Laura A. Hoosier
2nd AD – Abraham Boney

CAST
Gwen – April Beardslee
Calum – Greg Rowland
Ghost Mai – Jessie Wei
Vince – Abraham Boney

From the bottom of my heart – THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!

With Love,
Jessie Wei
“Freshman Producer and Writer”, Passionate Method Actress & Filmmaker

Continue Reading