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Jay Will 'Bruk Out!'

Observer writer

Monday, December 11, 2017

Bruk Out! A Dancehall Queen Documentary, directed by Cori Wapnowski and co-produced by Jay Will, Janet Ginsburg and Stacy Frankel, has been making the rounds at festivals around the world.

The project, which began production in 2014, has so far been screened at the Sheffield Doc Fest in the United Kingdom, the Way Out West music fest in Sweden and the IndieCork film festival in Ireland.

It is scheduled to screen this weekend in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Jason Williams, better known as Jay Will, spoke to the Jamaica Observer about the project.

“The documentary looks into the lives of six different women from around the world, who have a passion and a dream to become a dancehall queen. It looks at their struggles, everything they go through, how they are degraded and abused. A lot of things take place in their lives. It's basically a feministic look into these women's lives,” he explained.

He added that, “It showcases a lot of different elements in the dancehall — which is nothing new to us — but just the way it is put together; and why these girls are fanatics about the dancehall queen competition.”

The six women who are the focus of the documentary are from Jamaica, Spain, Italy, Poland and Japan. Scenes were shot in the aforementioned countries.

Jay Will has also been working on several projects in Jamaica as well as in Florida and New York. He recently directed music videos for Shenseea, Shaggy, Romain Virgo, Protoje and Etana.

The Spanish Town-bred film-maker has been a driving force in the Jamaican music video industry for over 10 years.

His “GAME OVER” is on more than 100 music videos.

After relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 1992, Jay Will spent the first half of his college years at Full Sail University in Orlando then moved to Tallahassee in 1997, where he completed his degree in film and journalism at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. In 2001 he relocated to New York and worked at CBS as an editor in the syndication department.

Eventually, he moved on to MTV where he worked as an intern. Subsequently, he was hired as a full-time editor.

In 2002, Jay Will made his directorial debut with Diggy Dingy by KC Jockey featuring Elephant Man. His credits include visuals for Alkaline, Voicemail, Mr Vegas, Bugle, TOK, Shaggy, Beenie Man and soca artistes Peter Ram and Skinny Fabulous.

He yearns to do more projects like Bruk Out! A Dancehall Queen Documentary.

“I'm a writer and my dream is to do short films and feature-length films. It's about the movies. I think I was born to do what I am doing,” he shared.

Asked how the Jamaican local music video industry has changed over the years, he said: “I've seen the industry go from bad to good, good to bad, and bad to so-so. There was a time when all the key players were doing good stuff, but I can't really say that now.

Some are doing good while some are doing mediocre stuff. The market is saturated with a lot of not-well-produced content. I embrace technology and change, but from a creative standpoint, I wish I can watch 10 videos on television and they're all great videos.”