Justin Robinson is special, and with his latest film (beautifully shot as always by the masterful Brent Christy), he’s proven that yet again.
I’ve known he was special since I first met Justin–he and his brother Jordan had just crawled out of the Reedy River in downtown Greenville, SC, toting a video camera and shooting a Bear Grylls spoof. Several months later, I got him to come out to Lake Jocassee to shoot a 90′ cliff jump stunt I had been wanting to do, and from there…well, the rest is history.
Over the past five years, I’ve had the honor of working on seven of his films. Each time, I’ve seen his passion and his talent grow exponentially.
With “Popeye” — and his upcoming film “Riffraff” (not to mention his Vimeo Staff-picked “Grape Soda”) — he has entered a new level of film-making and directing. The study of suicide that “Popeye” encompasses required a lot, I won’t lie about that. Jordan Crowder, Joe Coffey, and I all had to go to places that were hard…really hard. But Justin made it safe for us. He’s the best “actor’s director” I’ve worked with yet. And he knows how much he can push, because he’s built that trust with us. He pulled a stunt with me on “Popeye” that, if any other director had tried, I would have walked off the set at least for a few hours if not permanently. But I know I’m safe when I’m on his set. I know he’ll push because he knows what’s inside his actors, and he knows what needs to be told.
It’s true–we leave a little bit of ourselves in every project we do; it’s a part we’ll never get back, and it’s a sacrifice I’ll make every time Justin calls, no matter what.