Interview with Filmmaker Jalen Robinson (BEYOND THE ROPES)

BEYOND THE ROPES, 38min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Jalen Robinson
BEYOND THE ROPES: The 40+ Double Dutch Club Documentary showcases how taking a “break from adulting” to jump double dutch, hula hoop and play old childhood games can be an exciting, affordable way to tone, burn calories and improve physical, mental and spiritual health while encouraging and inspiring women in an often overlooked age group to relive positive childhood memories and create new ones!

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Coming from a high school that gave its students the opportunity to film, edit, and produce our own creative projects motivated me to attend film school. Going into college I was eager and excited about the possibilities that I’d have at Arizona State. Unfortunately my first two years here, having to deal with the covid 19 restrictions and the lack of filming opportunities for freshman/sophomores.

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

I came up with the idea to create this film in April of 2021. Post production was wrapped in August of 2022.

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

Spiritual and Motivational

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

The biggest obstacle that I faced was directing this project as a 20 year old while in school. Having little to no experience working and managing an 80,000 dollar budget gave us several challenges. But challenges became opportunities as we worked through everything and learned along the way.

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

For me, my initial reaction while watching the feedback video was how people of other races felt about this documentary. When we had our private screening, the members of our audience were majority black, so it was interesting to see the opinions that other races had about our film.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I realized that I wanted to make films during my sophomore year of high school. Whether these films are narrative features, shorts, music videos, commercials, or documentaries!

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

I’ve probably seen Kill Bill Volume 1 enough times to recite it word for word. When I first saw this film in high school, it became one of the key moments of my filmmaking journey.

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

I’ve loved everything about the way things are ran at this festival.

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

Pretty Good

10. What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is definitely anything with a gourmet burger included.

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

Before I graduate from asu I’m going to direct 2 short films. One of these short films will be the opener to the website that I’m creating to showcase my work, and the other short film will serve as part 1/3 of my senior thesis film. This last semester I was the Director of Photography for 2222, a senior capstone film coming out of the 2023 Arizona State film class, but next semester I want to direct my own films. After graduation my plan is to get a job while directing as many documentaries as I can. My goal is to use the money gained from these documentaries to fund my first Feature film.


By matthewtoffolo

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

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: