Rhythm and Reels: Chase Atlantic's Jesse Boyle On Balancing Music And Filmmaking

5 July 2023 | 7:10 am | Jesse Boyle

"I think my biggest takeaway is to never listen to the people who say you can only 'do one thing'. It’s bullshit."

Jesse Boyle of Chase Atlantic

Jesse Boyle of Chase Atlantic (Supplied)

My interest in filmmaking first stemmed from being an audience member first. The excitement when a huge set piece would take place in front of your eyes. The way that characters interact with each other. The way that the score would say enough when the character doesn’t say a word.

I think the most compelling thing about the art form is that it says and shows something that our English language just can’t. A simple moment like turning off a light switch, or taking out a hearing aid, in the context of a film, is enough to shake the foundation of your inner emotional self. It’s a form of magic and witchcraft. And I was hooked.

Upon going through a difficult time after a special relationship fell apart, I began to really look at my situation in life, and what these feelings that I felt really mean. I had the urge to express this the only way I knew how - which was artistically. 

Being a musician first, specifically a drummer, I felt like I couldn’t express to the world deeply enough what I was feeling through my instrument at the time. This led me to finally give myself permission to explore the world of filmmaking. 

So, I began to write. I began to self-teach on how to write a screenplay. I didn’t know at the time that there was actual software for it. I was using a word document and continually pressing ‘tab’ to try and imitate the dialogue format for a screenplay. Looking back I giggle, but these moments were imperative to learning the process organically.

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After completing my first short You Are The Ocean I was over the moon with bringing it to life, which led me to getting signed to Zero Gravity Management in LA. By the time they reached out, I already had some new writing samples and a feature-length screenplay that I had completed. Although, it did become obvious that I would need to continue to develop my craft.

Shortly after, I made my second short (UN) Justify - another one where I was dealing with something personal. It was extremely liberating and now I’m developing a feature-length screenplay based off that short. 

However, both could not have been done without the tremendous support of my friends and colleagues. Without them, there is no way I would have been able to make either short or put me in the position I am in today. 

Having a foot in both the music and filmmaking world is an interesting juxtaposition. On tour, it’s a high-energy, drum-solo-wielding madman on stage. But when back home and working on film, it’s a very elaborate, deep thinking and a softer man sitting in the chair.

It’s two kind of personalities which is sometimes a bizarre change up. However, I feel like everyone has those two sides. A primal side and an emotional side. I’m extremely gracious that I get to explore both. However, both have the same pursuit – just to express through the only way I know how which is through an art form!

I think my biggest takeaway is to never listen to the people who say you can only “do one thing”. It’s bullshit.

However, you must work hard, make sacrifices – a lot of them, and make sure you stay true to your values. You can never stop learning or growing. You owe it to yourself to try everything. The only thing is if you’re going to try, you must really try. No half measures. You’re either in or you’re not!