In this conversation with Director Jake Jaxson, he discusses his influences and inspirations for making MEETING LIAM
, especially the "Bottle Tree" sculptures featured in the final installment of this intricate and exciting series.
Especially exciting about this behind the scenes film is the unexplained and possible "haunting" captured by photographer RJ Sebastian and detailed in Jaxson's Director's Note from Meeting Liam: Part 3
and republished below.
Directors Note From Jake Jaxson:
Halloween has become a fun tradition for us here at CockyBoys, and I'm excited to present the next chapter (part 3) of MEETING LIAM
. While it's not necessary to have watched parts ONE
-- it might be fun to see them if you have not.
I'm often asked why it takes so long to finish my films after starting them.
MEETING LIAM, in contrast to Answered Prayers
, The Haunting
, and Road Strip
, has been quite quick. I premiered the first part a year ago on Halloween, and now I'm releasing the final two parts back-to-back a year later.
The simple truth is I don't always have the full story fleshed out immediately. Often the story I start with leaves me -- it stops and hides, often taking its time to find me again. And like the ghosts I love to write about, these stories come to me in my dreams. On dark lonely nights when blackness knows no light, they come and whisper in my ear. While others may call this inspiration, I believe it is something else entirely -- a voice not my own, a voice from another place and time, a guide that's helping me connect the dots on a riddle. Perhaps it's the riddle of my life, a life once lived or maybe a guiding hand making sure I live my all right now, a voice that wants to love me from beyond.
Not too long after I had met RJ -- once we were firmly committed and accepting of each other's flaws -- I told him that I thought I was going crazy. That I would hear voices. Actually A VOICE. It was always quick and quite assured in its task to get my attention. It was a woman's voice and she knew my name. Often at the oddest times, she would simply whisper "Jason" and I would always stop dead and look around to always find no one there.
RJ believes this voice is my biological mother. And I now find great comfort in hearing her speak to me, even if only for a second in the everyday hustle and bustle of my life.
These final two parts of Meeting Liam came to me via a series of brief hauntings at our own house, as well as when I found some old bottles on our property, eventually leading me to excavating a small garbage stash near an old smoker. As I dug, I found numerous items, all from the 1950's (old bottles, keys, toothpaste tubes, a gold AMA pin, a plastic pocket calendar, and a revlon lipstick tube in a rifle bullet casing). Everything I found magically fit into the parts of the story I had already written. But as I found each new artifact, they would speak to me and tell me how they were part of this ghost story. In fact, many of these items found their way into the finished film. In that moment, I discovered a new ghost I did not know existed, a frighteningly old one I thought would be gone and buried.
One day while RJ was filming me going through these artifacts at the dig site I was excavating, I told him that most of what I was finding was just a bunch of junk. Not happy that I was digging up the lawn, RJ whispered to himself, "I know." Just at that moment, we both heard a woman's voice say, "I KNOW."
We both kind of freaked out. "Did you hear that?" "Yes!" The hair stood up on our heads, necks, and arms. While it took me a second to realize what was happening, I tried to locate the direction of the voice. I realized the voice was familiar in a different way. It was not the voice that usually spoke to me... and then it hit me. I pulled out my phone and saw typed on the screen "I know" from Siri.
Now I NEVER ever use this app. Never! But today it was compelled to not only speak, but join our conversation. Why and how, I do not know. But it's just another example of how I'm reminded that different energy is always around us.
I think in my aloneness as a child, I was able to be open to this kind of energy. I believe creativity is often a byproduct of a lonely mind. A form of survival needing to create and invent possibility. It has NO bounds, no limits, and its energy is never-ending.
Being an adopted child, I don't know what it feels like to be "bound by blood." I know what it means to love and be loved. And "family" has a different feeling for me than most. I can only imagine that there must be a mystical connection to one's own blood, and the feeling of belonging when you see yourself in family, kin, and tribe.
In making this film, Meeting Liam
, I realized that I keep telling the same story, or expanding on the same story -- a story of family lost and of love found. A story that reminds us to live in the now.
I do not live in the past, but something about it intrigues me. Moreover I am compelled to tell these stories as a way of perhaps inventing mine. It's how I breathe, it's how I see. It's why I fight! How and why they materialize, I don't fully know. I have stopped trying to understand that now. I am just grateful to be connected to a time and place where it is even possible, and SO overwhelmingly grateful to everyone who continues to support our work. Without you all, I firmly believe these voices and stories would still only be haunting the recesses of my mind. Locked away and driving me mad.
Thank you to my partners (my forever family) RJ & Benny. They hold the keys to a peace and satisfaction that I never knew possible.
And finally, I cannot tell you how thankful I am to Levi, Liam, Tayte, Ricky, and Michael. I wish there was some way to put into words how committed, dedicated, and giving they were in helping create this reality. They truly go above and beyond what is expected and they make me proud beyond words. So please let them know if you appreciate their work -- appreciation is a blessed gift we all want and rarely receive. It cost us nothing in its giving and often we are more rewarded for the gesture. So please take a moment and let our players know that you are applauding.
With that, I wish you all the best.
Love always & Be Nice,