Jessica and Laurence Jacobs: Sibling Filmmakers Sensation

Life In Text

Newsflash! The famous Hollywood collaborator list of the Coen Brothers, the Hughes Brothers and the Ephron sisters may soon include creative sibling sensation: Jessica and Laurence Jacobs. The brother and sister filmmaking team behind the short film “Life In Text” stand poised to make their mark. Growing up in Beverly Hills and having both graduated Beverly Hills High, the Jacobs siblings are no strangers to the film business. From high school days, they still count A-list actors as friends and recall meeting many friends’ parents who were well-known producers. But growing up in a company town where they walked to school while some fellow students drove by in BMWs and Porsches was just the beginning.

After high school, Laurence attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His thesis film, ‘The Scribe,’ won Best Actor Award at NYU’s First Run Film Festival. More recently, he worked as a director’s assistant on Fox’s upcoming film “The Fantastic Four.” Meanwhile, Jessica juggled internships at A&E Networks and Electric City Entertainment while studying as a full time student in the Film-TV program at Loyola Marymount University. Undaunted by crazy schedules and a shoestring budget, Jessica and Laurence mined their personal lives and hung them out on a line for the sake of their art (and perhaps a bit of therapeutic relief).

On the set with filmmakers

Starring Tyler Ritter and Alexandra Daddario, “Life in Text” is a boy-loses-girl, boy-meets-girl, boy-drops-girl-for-good story. Confused? You won’t be when you see the film. CLICK HERE to watch:
While flashbacks are the oldest device in the storytelling book, the Jacobs siblings turned this structure on its head by pulling the viewer into the protagonist’s memories via his I-phone. We’re not talking boring insert shots. We’re talking movie magic where the main character is transported into the digital world. The story begins with main character Ben ambivalent about moving on as he nurses his broken heart over a break up. He reminisces about the good old days with girlfriend Haley by scrolling through old texts until he reaches their first text message. The audience goes along for the ride, literally jumping in and out of reality, skipping and running through time as Ben scrolls through pivotal moments in the relationship.

Jessica and Laurence communicated their vision to visual effects whiz Jason Rico who deserves a lot of credit for the slick look of the film. But what are effects without a good story? Jessica and Laurence admit to having had some trouble getting over past relationships, though Jessica points out, “I think Laurence has had a bit more problem letting go than I did.”

Co-writers and co-directors, the Jacobs siblings managed in eleven minutes to evoke an entire relationship. I’ve sat through three-hour films that couldn’t nail that. The key: brother and sister really knew how to convey a “his” and “hers” point of view through snippets of text and subtle performances. They let the viewer fill in the blanks and bring their own experiences to the piece. I believe that’s called Art.

Production of Life in Text
But before we get too full of ourselves, the real question about “Life in Text” is: After a solid year of working together, didn’t they want to clobber each other?

“Truthfully,” Laurence says, “We have the same tastes and two heads are better than one.”

Jessica agreed. “He has half of my brain, actually.”

Brother and sister are collaborating on another script, but each has plans to solo direct, as well. As they continue to develop their craft, they have the confidence in knowing that they can always count on each other not just as filmmakers, but as best friends.

Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 5 comments. Add yours

  1. 24th November 2013 | Jim bennett says: Reply
    A great BH mom! A great BH story
  2. 24th November 2013 | fromdorothea says: Reply
    Sounds intriguing. How, where and when can we catch it?
  3. 24th November 2013 | mamacita says: Reply
    Great review. I can't wait to see "Life in Text". How wonderful to have two young aspiring artist in our future.
    • 24th November 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Just click on the link in the post and you'll be able to watch Life in Text anytime.

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