Jan is an author, professional journalist, and movie critic.
Beginning of Jayce Landberg's Career
Note: The interview was held in Swedish and later translated into English.
Jayce Landberg is an artist who has many strings on his lyre. His professional career started with music, an interest greatly influenced by his mother. Her main wish was that Jayce would start playing either violin or piano. But Jayce had some other plans. For him, it was the electric guitar that caught his attention instead.
At that time, Jayce was only 13 years old but was already enrolled in a conservatory and thus had to start with a regular guitar instead and play electric guitar during his free time.
Jayce moved to the country a couple of years later. There, he could learn to play the piano. Jayce tried it out and liked it immediately - it became a successful match, and now Jayce composes songs on both the guitar and the piano.
”This thing about writing and film, it kind of goes hand in hand. You create your reality, you create different characters and another dimension”.
How Passion for Writing Influenced Jayce to Make Movies
This thing about composing, and creating, is something that permeates our entire interview right through, and it is noticeable how incredibly much the creation itself means to Jayce.
The very reason why Jayce loves music is first and foremost because he wants to create something beautiful, something unique. That is also the reason why Jayce devotes himself so much to writing. An interest that, in the end, led him in the direction of filmmaking itself as such.
”This thing about writing and film, it kind of goes hand in hand. You create your reality, you create different characters, another dimension” - says Jayce, thus expressing his passion for creation.
It was during the creation of the latest music video that Jayce realized that he had succeeded with something special. Something that easily could become either a movie or a series. Therefore, he decided to create a movie based on his songs. The end product of this is a film trilogy called Truth or Dare. Now, two films are successfully finished, and a third one is in the development stage.
About Film Trilogy Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare is not just any movie series, and Jayce talks passionately about the characteristics of the film, which, in many ways, differ from the classic mainstream production. Jayce has created a linear narrative, but he has played with time and space and made something that makes the viewer look up.
The first film in the trilogy is named Never Love Again. In it, Jayce depicts the 18th century. The story takes place in a noblesse castle environment. The characters wear iconic clothes relevant to that specific era and behave as if they had been in the world of the 18th century. In the second movie named Jealousy, there is a rapid change in time and space. The characters move all the way forward to the 1950s, and the film is imbued with Noir themes.
But still, it is a linear story unfolding, and the characters carry over everything from the first movie, something that for viewers is very unique, and also very stimulating to watch and witness. Jayce explains that placing the same characters in various contexts between the different movies is a concept that comes with many possibilities in the creation itself, as stories that can be created based on this concept become almost infinite.
Of course, it is a big challenge to portray different environments, as the characters have to be adapted to the different eras so that it all looks believable. ”I tried to be as up-to-date as possible”, Jayce says.
It is the clothes, the environment, and other materials that must change, but also how the characters behave. ”The characters also develop, even though they retain their minds and their personality. They are, of course, influenced by the environment they found themselves in”, explains Jayce.
The First Movie of Landberg's Trilogy Truth or Dare
The Key Elements of Truth or Dare
The film trilogy Truth or Dare is, by all means, a multifaceted story. It includes romance, fantasy, action, and eroticism, but also the elements of mystery. The viewers need to maintain focus to understand the action as such and be able to come to their conclusions. That is very important for Jayce. He wants the viewers to be as involved as possible during the movie.
No matter how you twist and turn it, it is precisely the romance that is a central part of the story. The love affair between Hope and White Moon Drake is what everything else revolves around. One love that is incredibly strong, and that the dark forces are trying to break. It allows the viewer to see a tremendous battle in which Hope and White Moon Drake are constantly on the run, trying to survive in the dark and very inhospitable environment.
What is so incredibly interesting and so well executed about the Truth or Dare film trilogy, is Jayce's ability and boldness to provoke. He does it in a very admirable way. Hope, playing White Moon Drake's dearest, possesses strong power over White Moon Drake and protects him. Here, Jayce managed to drift away from the classic depiction where the male hero is most often the one who protects the female character. That is something that gives the story a whole new dimension.
It doesn't end there. In the second movie Jealousy, which takes place in the 1950s during a period when society is affected by gang crime, Jayce has chosen to portray a female mafia leader as the main villain of the story. It can be a little of a shock but Jayce does it excellently well. He playfully breaks the norms and makes the viewer think about immensely important social issues such as equality.
”I am not saying that I will refuse some support if it appears, but it must be in a way that is compatible with my vision”.
Challenges Jayce Had to Face During Production
During our conversation, we also talked a lot about the invisible work that is extremely important so that such a film can be created and produced. Because all in all, it is not just about writing a script and getting going. One of the first and also most important challenges is to find suitable people who can play their respective roles and make them look credible. The second, and at least equally important, is to obtain the finances necessary to carry out such an extensive investment.
Jayce has had to make a huge effort, because he decided to not apply for any financial support whatsoever, thus financing it all with his funds. He explains that there is a reason for that. Jayce wants to make sure he keeps the freedom in his creative work which, of course, could have been compromised if he would decide to receive financial support.
But at the same time, he does not deny funding help in the future if it comes along and aligns with the project itself. ”I am not saying that I will refuse some support if it appears, but it must be in a way that is compatible with my vision”.
About Jayce's Team
Of course, the team itself is the A and O of filmmaking as such. Not even the best script in the world can become a great piece if the actors underperform or can't live into their roles properly. During our interview, I notice that Jayce has a very skilled team by his side, where everyone is involved and makes sure that Jayce's vision gets portrayed as realistically as possible. Jayce talks about the importance of choosing the right people. A job that is demanding and takes a lot of time and energy.
Jayce also talks about the all-important chemistry between the actors. Something hugely important as the acting itself needs to look believable. It is about getting the actors to spend time together to bring out their personalities and create a certain relationship.
The relationship does not always need to be a good one, because it's not about people necessarily having to agree and getting perfectly along in each other's company. Some friction can help in the acting and creation of the movie itself. Naturally, it depends on what sort of relationship you have to portray in the different roles.
The Second Movie of Landberg's Trilogy Truth or Dare
© 2022 Jan Stepan