Jon Reiss (Producer and Director)
JON REISS Named one of “10 Digital Directors to Watch” by Daily Variety, Jon Reiss is a critically acclaimed filmmaker who has produced and directed three feature films most recently Bomb It about graffiti and the battle over visual public space throughout the world. Based on his experience releasing Bomb It with a hybrid strategy he has written Think Outside the Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution in the Digital Era. He also speaks around the world at film festivals, schools and organizations on this topic.
Jon teaches film the California Institute for the Arts where he created the class “Reel World Survival Skills: Everything I Wish I Had Been Taught in Film School.” This course covers the practical aspects of surviving as an independent writer/producer/director in today’s economy from finding a job, pitching and script development, to financing and new models of distribution.
His previous documentary feature film was Better Living Through Circuitry, a startling, humorous and entertaining glimpse into the exploding rave culture featuring such acts as the Crystal Method, Roni Size, and Moby, among others. The film played at such festivals as RESfest, Rotterdam, Sao Paulo, Copenhagen, Los Angeles Independent, Seattle, Vancouver, and Sheffield International Doc Festival before being released theatrically in the United States. Following its theatrical distribution the film had numerous screenings on Showtime and Sundance Channel as well as a worldwide DVD/VHS release.
Reiss’ first film, Cleopatra’s Second Husband, is a dark psychological drama which screened at the Los Angeles Independent, Seattle, Montreal World, Hamptons, Houston, Sao Paulo and Bangkok film festivals, winning Best First Feature at Cinequest before its theatrical release in the United States and subsequent DVD release by First Run Features and broadcast on IFC/Rainbow.
As an award-winning music video director, Reiss has directed videos for Nine Inch Nails, The Black Crowes, Danzig, Slayer, and the Kottonmouth Kings. Reiss’ “Happiness in Slavery” video for Nine Inch Nails won awards at the Chicago and San Francisco film festivals and was voted Top Ten by the Village Voice Critics Poll for Best Music Video. In 1995 the Toronto Film Festival curated a retrospective of Reiss’ music videos. His shorts screened at festivals throughout the world including Sundance, Berlin, New Directors/New Films, Edinburgh, and Chicago. Reiss received his MFA from the UCLA Film School.
Jon Reiss’ early credits also include four hour-long documentaries concerning the notorious performance group Survival Research Laboratories. These documentaries have screened in festivals, theaters and cultural centers throughout the world. All were included on a compilation DVD 10 Years of Robotic Mayhem released Summer 2004. Reiss got his start in filmmaking at Target Video, a San Francisco based alternative video company where he covered much of the West Coast punk explosion.