Interview with Filmmaker Jordan Rockwell (PUT YOUR F-KING PHONE DOWN)

PUT YOUR F–KING PHONE DOWN played to rave reviews at the November 2021 BLACK & WHITE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My own phone addiction (if I’m gonna accuse anyone, I must start with myself. And just about anytime I go into a public place, everyone has their noses in their phones. And we wonder why we are so divided right now. Charlie Brooker said that there is no point in making more episodes of, “Black Mirror.” He’s got a point there, and his wonderful show was a big inspiration to me.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

7 months. See answer #4 as to why.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?


4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

From answer #2, my own procrastination. I had the picture in the can…in COLOR. I couldn’t get the color timing to work and walked away. Then COVID happened, and kicked my butt into gear in more ways than one. I gave myself 2 weeks, and I’m releasing this thing. In my struggles in color timing, as an experience, I tried a black & white version and…the picture came alive. Black&white was not my first choice then, but it is now, and I’m planning on shooting my next picture in black&white (mostly) as well.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Humility and gratitude. It’s hard to stay motivated and encouraged in this business and this world.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

When my father took me to see the 70mm restoration of , “Lawrence of Arabia,” at the Senator Theater in Baltimore, Md in 1989. I was 12. Hooked ever since. That sunset rising with Maurice Jarre’s sweeping and epic score….

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?


8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

To be honest, nothing! Y’all are doing great and I’m so fired up for the feedback I got!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Fantastic. You all are helping me big time with my career.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Bone-in Rib Eye, medium rare, baked potato with all the fixings, southwest salad and a nice glass of Chianti.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

Yup! It’s called, “Traitor,” and it will be an anti-war love letter to everyone I disagree with. I can’t wait to make it. I’m planning on shooting this one in cinemascope and black&white.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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