Jimmy Joe Roche

            Jimmy Roche graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2004 with a BFA from the former film school.  During his years in school, he was one of the only ones with a computer and everyone was shooting on 16 mm film.    The years before school he learned how to shoot and edit in a production house in Tallahassee Florida, by working with manual reel to reel tapes.    Two years after graduating from Film school. Youtube began and completely change the landscape of video production.

In between graduation and the creation of Youtube, Jimmy describes a period where he “had no idea what I was doing” and “spent a lot of energy developing vocabulary for my work.”  From this experience, he learned that “knowing what you are doing” does not necessarily lead to great art and great films. Sometimes it is almost better to not really know what you are doing, but work from intuition and feeling instead.  Jimmy relayed a quote from his father that inspires much of his artistic sensibility: “When I make art I have the feeling of the freedom of being a child.”

When Jimmy began grad school at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006, Youtube began.  In the beginning, the videos were all quite shoddy and low quality.  He was apprehensive at first because of the poor resolution of the videos at the time, but his friend eventually convinced him and he made a comedic video about “Toothbeef.”  Jimmy explained that he shot this video completely for the Internet by using ultra close-ups and making the video extremely saturated and bright.  Interestingly, this video became exceedingly popular, and still ranks as one of his most viewed videos.  Jimmy described the ultimate result of the piece as a Pandora’s box for how he could take control and promote his work.  It is an entirely new world of distribution that redefines accessibility to artist’s work.  The possibility and openness of youtube inspired Jimmy to create videos where the context itself is unclear.  There is no context on the internet and in this sense “true subversion can occur.”

Jimmy Joe Roche

            Also in 2006, Jimmy produced “Ultimate Reality” with collaborator Dan Deacon.  This piece made up of clips from Arnold Schwarzenegger clips and played with live drummers and Dan playing music became a hit on tours.  One of Jimmy’s most ambitious recent projects was a film called Hilvanbreek shot in twelve fourteen-hour days in the Netherlands.  This film faced numerous challenges in terms of the casting and tight production schedule, but the ambitious project was completed.

Jimmy Roche’s work came about in a point that is truly revolutionary.  Just a few years before he became a viral sensation, he was one of the few students in a film school with a computer himself.  Now, digital filmmaking ahs become the norm and Jimmy’s videos utilize cutting edge after effects and digital imagery.  They continue to revolutionize in an age where innovations are continuously spread throughout the Internet.  Jimmy is part of a new generation of filmmakers and video artists who are already revolutionizing how audiences experience new content.



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