Kennedy O’Brien

Our interview with Kennedy O’Brien

JJ: What does The Jabroni Journey mean to you?
KO: To be completely honest, I have no idea. I didn’t realize Jabronis had journeys.

JJ: Congratulations are in order because by agreeing to this interview you’ve gained your Jabroni certification! How does it feel to be a certified Jabroni?
Feels a lot like this. In other words, feels like absolute shit. This is a horrific moment of darkness in my young life. Where is my certificate?

JJ: Why don’t you like being called a Jabroni? You think you’re too good for this site?
I don’t think that, and I’ve never claimed that I was. HOWEVER, if you read this ** **  you’ll understand my struggle in giving the Jabroni brand the justice it deserves.

JJ: If you had to be an animal, what animal would you be and why?
 A Bear. Likely a Grizzly. They sleep for half of the year, they eat a lot and they like their alone time. They are also good at basketball and have an extensive gestation period (180-250 Days according to Wikipedia).

JJ: You live in Toronto, Canada but you’re from Ottawa. How did that come about and what’s it like being an Ottawan in Torontonian territory?
That is true, I am an Ottawa boy. I took a year off between high school and college to tend to some family matters and provide myself some time to figure out what I wanted to do. I was very interested in pursuing an education in film and Toronto was the closest (english) option for me. I didn’t give it much thought. I was ready for some change in my life and naively convinced myself I’d move here and just start making movies. I learned quickly that wasn’t the case after not getting accepted into any film programs. But it was too late… I committed to moving so I needed to find a different program to enrol in. Shortly thereafter, I was learning about Advertising and Media Sales at Humber College.

It’s great. It turned out to be just the change of pace I was looking for and over the last 6 years it has become my daily life. I adjusted very well. I’ve met lots of Ottawa folk living in Toronto as well. IT actually seems pretty common. The only downside is getting chirped for being a Sens fan on a regular basis. Whatever though, Praise Alfie.

JJ: Your back was hurting the other day. You doing okay?
KO: My back is much better. Thanks for asking. I sat in the hot tub and the jets did me wonders. You know this because you were there. We’re both unemployed and we don’t use our time wisely.

JJ: You are an aspiring film maker. What’s the most challenging part of your journey?
 Not being a jabroni. Kidding. I think my greatest realization over the past few years is that it’s easy to find excuses NOT to begin something your passionate about. You can always find a reason why later will be better. More money, more preparation, more support, more knowledge. I only recently started taking advantage of the time and resources (although minimal) I had available to me. I kept saying “You have to focus on your professional advancement” or “I need to save more money so that I can produce something of high quality”. The truth was, even though I was writing and creating concepts on a regular basis, I was too deterred to make something of my own because I was fearful I would fail. Likely because I was worried my work wouldn’t be good enough. When all is said and done, if you don’t practice your craft, you can never improve – and that goes for anything in life. That was my greatest challenge but I’m passed that now! I have been working on a couple of projects and completed the filming of my debut short film. I think you may be familiar with the lead actor. Everything is looking up now.

JJ: Making films can be a way to comment on society and shed a light on different societal issues. What do you think is a troubling societal issue that merits being put forward into public view?
Why you gotta play me like that? I’ll get back to you later.

JJ: What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
I survived swine flu.

JJ: Who is someone you look up to in the film industry and why?
I appreciate the work of many filmmakers. Everyone who’s made a film has accomplished something I aspire to do for myself. David Cronenberg is a successful Canadian – Torontonian even. He has built a brand, aesthetic and resume that I find very admirable. He has been able to work locally and put Canadian film on the map. His stories are captivating and he is well respected. John McTiernan directed Die Hard so I can’t NOT look up to him.

JJ: How glad are you that this interview took a turn for the better?
It threw me off.

JJ: If you could tell your 18 year old self one thing, what you would tell him?
Don’t waste time. Create a savings plan. Do what you love. Travel soon. Make a movie ASAP even if you think it will suck. Control your stress. Buy a Raptors jersey because they are gonna be good soon and they will be more expensive. Read more books.

Follow him on Instragram @kennedyobrien24