Jess Stillwell, Art Department/Script Supervisor

What was your position for this film and what all did it entail?

Script Supervisor (Continuity, Log-keeping) + Art Department (Set-Dressing, Prop Design)

What attracted you to this particular project?

Initially, I was attracted to this project because of the people involved. Everyone from the cast to the crew were either friends of mine, or people which I held in high regard. Once I met Edd Blott and read his script, I was immediately sold. I was, and still am, a big believer in the themes and messages in this story. Kelly and Patrick absolutely nailed it.

What got you interested in filmmaking?

During the summer between high school and college I saw Blue Velvet and The Fall. Both these films left a huge impression on me - they inspired me to start producing my own projects, and eventually enter the industry.

What did you look forward to most when filming began?

Seeing how the actors would own their characters, and also to see how Edd would tackle being both the camera operator as well as the director. He did not disappoint.

How would you say the specifics of this project changed your approach to your job?

It was definitely a challenge working my two jobs simultaneously. It required me to work faster in both departments, but I never felt it was un-doable. In many ways, I actually really enjoyed the multi-tasking.

What is the most important thing you would want an audience member to take away after watching Escaping Freedom?

To offer more forgiveness.

What was the most challenging aspect of working on this film for you?

Keeping up with the quick production pace. We normally shot with natural light - and with a one-man camera department, this resulted in extremely quick turnovers between shots. I embraced the challenge of dressing the sets as quickly + as thoroughly as possible.

Who are some artists (any field) whose work inspires you?

Brian Wilson. David Lynch. Tom Robbins.

What’s one memory from this project that you will never forget?

The staff at the church location were extremely generous with their space, and gave me a great deal of freedom in dressing the various rooms. I'll never forget the night I worked in the church alone, late into the night, hanging various religious paintings and tapestries. It was a pretty surreal experience.


Having worked with Jeff on several films, he continues to endear himself to me. In an ever expanding role on set, he maintains professionalism, a level head, and a jovial nature. He's just one of those faces I see on set and say, this is all gonna be okay. Thank you, Jeff, for everything... you talented, amazing dude you. - Patrick

Jeff, I'm still not sure how you kept all those plates spinning! You are quite the beast, dude. Thank you for always bringing a level of professionalism rarely seen on indie sets and a desire for excellence in your craft every morning (and evening!). Your effort shows very clearly in the film and made working with you such a blast. It was a joy to get to know you and I look forward to doing it again in the near future! - Edd