Re­jec­tion is sweet

Af­ter film school turned him down, Jack Vero left for the Hol­ly­wood Hills

Richmond Hill Post - - Graduates - by David Ort

Jack Vero thinks his first film,

Cher­ries and Clover, might have been about as un­ortho­dox as movie pro­duc­tions can get.

The writer-di­rec­tor, who grad­u­ated from St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School in Richmond Hill, started writ­ing the script for the film when he was 17. The teen rom com is now avail­able on Ama­zon for on­line stream­ing, and is about to be re­leased on iTunes,

By the time shoot­ing be­gan, he could only just legally buy al­co­hol — with a crew whose me­dian age barely qual­i­fied for a driver’s li­cence.

He notes that many movies are made on a shoe­string budget, but thinks the lack of ex­pe­ri­ence and unique chal­lenges — ev­ery­one has a crush on each other and no one can drive — that come with an al­lado­les­cent cast and crew are greater hur­dles.

In Grade 11, when he caught him­self doo­dling for hours in­stead of do­ing cal­cu­lus home­work, Vero started to re­al­ize that medicine, his orig­i­nal ca­reer path, might not be the right one for him. He changed tack and ap­plied to film school. Once he’d de­cided that film­mak­ing was his pas­sion, he was un­de­terred when these schools re­jected his ap­pli­ca­tion.

Vero was on the verge of grad­u­at­ing from high school, knew what he wanted to do but didn't have a clear path to that goal through school. He had the script for Cher­ries and

Clover, which ques­tions whether child­hood friends can be­come lovers, and de­cided he needed to go ahead and make it into a movie.

As a high school stu­dent, he was most in­spired by English teach­ers who in­tro­duced him to writ­ing, and in­stead of film school, he stud­ied writ­ing at York Univer­sity.

De­spite an ex­cel­lent GPA, he left af­ter his sec­ond year, and moved to Santa Mon­ica a year later to pur­sue film­mak­ing full-time.

His next project, an as-yetun­named film, whose work­ing ti­tles are both Project 2 and The

Mil­len­ni­als, is de­scribed on his web­site (jack­ as a “utopian fu­tur­ist man­i­festo.”

Vero lets on that it will share some sim­i­lar­i­ties with The Ma­trix but with mind up­load­ing, and it will fo­cus on how his gen­er­a­tion might find im­mor­tal­ity through tech­nol­ogy.

Vero thinks that these more di­rect dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels are the key for other young di­rec­tors who want to launch their ca­reers.

On top of his film­mak­ing, Vero has a sec­ond ca­reer as an en­tre­pre­neur. He is in­volved with a ro­bot­ics startup, Park­ingSpot, that will mar­ket a re­mote­con­trolled pop-up “re­served” sign to block il­le­gal park­ing in as­signed park­ing spots.

From his per­spec­tive, the big­gest change in the film in­dus­try is how in­ex­pen­sive tech­nol­ogy, freely avail­able in­for­ma­tion and eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels have cre­ated op­por­tu­nity for new film­mak­ers.

In fact, the piece of ad­vice that he heard most of­ten and re­peats him­self is, “Don’t wait for people to give you per­mis­sion to make a film. Just go ahead and do it.”

Jack Vero made his first film af­terbe­ing re­jected from film school

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