Jay is a New York City-based award winning filmmaker, founder of Human Being Media, and former staff lead cinematographer for People Magazine. Over the last ten years, he has created short documentaries for a diverse array of clients including ESPN and Red Bull. Recently, Jay has directed viral marketing and documentary pieces for major record labels and brands, as well as official recap and commercial content for some of the biggest music festivals in the world including EDC and Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival.
I am a Puerto Rican person of color with African roots. I am also a white male. Both descriptions are technically accurate, but fail to illustrate the nuances of my competing identities. As a half-white half-Puerto Rican, my racial identity has remained inconsistent to myself and others, and I have struggled to pinpoint my place in such conversations. After the death of George Floyd, I felt a calling and an obligation – to both my ancestries- to attempt to bridge gaps of misconception.
Some might call protestors “agitators”, “trouble makers” or even “criminals”. What I found were impassioned human beings. There were no emails or phone calls. I simply approached my main subjects on the street. Their passion for justice and for reforming our beleaguered policing system was inspiring. This is meant to be a real life look in the moment and on the street. It’s an open discussion about police violence and about protest.
Extra special care was taken for this production for COIVD19 concerns. The entire piece was produced and shot by me during one week of walking over 35 miles across New York City to avoid public transit. Proper PPE was worn at all times while filming. No assistants or team members were used on this production as to reduce the rink of exposure to COVID19. Additionally all post post-production editing and sound was done by me. This was truly a one man band operation.
All featured faces have been cleared for use. Any obscured face, I have blurred for their safety.