If you found an unattended bag in the middle of the street, would you let curiosity take over and look inside?
If you came to realise it contained something of great value, would you do the right thing and hand it in, or would you give in to the temptation of self-gain? We all have a moral compass, but there is always a situation that makes us ignore it. What Would You Do?
Jordan Pitt is an all-round creative, he writes, directs, produces and acts. Starting out at the tender age of 11, the Sylvia Young Theatre School Alumni made his debut in the West End and has gone on to secure himself a career spanning over 2 decades appearing on numerous London stages, Jordan also has a number of film credits both as actor and producer. What Would You Do? is the latest instalment from Jordan under his production company One Umbrella productions.
We spoke to Jordan about his film and career…
What is the premise of this film?
What Would You Do? explores human behaviour and the theme of morality using a situation where temptation is at its heights. We are presented with various characters who are faced with the same challenge but respond in contrasting ways.
What Would You Do? depicts quite an unlikely event one that very few people ever come across, what was the inspiration behind the theme and how did you develop it?
It stemmed from a conversation amongst friends – we often create hypothetical scenarios in discussions. In this case, the topic was ‘what would you do if you found an unattended bag in the middle of the street?’ I was immediately fascinated as the answers were so varied. I was like, ‘I’m going to turn it into a film…’ I think they took it as a passing comment, but the wheels started turning from there.
You created the concept, but you also star in the film, tell us about your character?
My character is Angelo – he is one of the characters that stumble upon the unattended bag. I’d say the bag itself is the protagonist, each character that comes into contact with it facilitates its journey; Angelo is a part of various characters in the film who is faced with the moral dilemma of what to do upon the discovery of the bag.
Did you have any real-life inspiration for the characters?
No, I wouldn’t say so. I was more interested in real characters and real reactions. So even though the actors had a script, I gave the actors the freedom to change what they wanted in terms of dialogue and anything that didn’t fit right for them. The main focus was the scenarios and the possible outcomes for each character in their situation.
Have you ever been in a position where your moral compass came into question?
Nothing like that of the context of the film! But what would I do if I were really in the situation of any of the characters? I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to interfere with what’s not mine, to be honest. My motto is ‘curiosity killed the cat!’
What is your favourite scene in What Would You Do?
I’d say the last scene with the character Peter (Christopher Jenner Cole). The scene was written with minimal dialogue, in the beginning, then on the day when working with Chris, I took his one line away. He gave me so much with just raw emotion, I thought it was more powerful that way. I’d say that scene speaks to me the most as I’m rooting for that character straight away and out of all, he is the only one who needs good fortune. The emotion that the scene evokes keeps me hooked more than any other scene. I mentioned to Chris from early on actually that I thought that would be a special scene.
What about your own journey, you’ve been acting since you were a child and have had a steady growth as writer and director how has the journey been for you and what has been the highlight of your career so far?
The journey has its challenges, but I am loving it. Growing up, exploring roles behind the camera was never on my radar, but it’s been more of a natural progression. Acting is still at the forefront, but I am loving the fact that I am able to express myself in other ways also. It’s hard to choose just one highlight – there have been many great moments. Recent ones would range from shooting my first major TV show in Colombia a few years back (Locked Up Abroad for Nat Geo), to recently winning Best International Short at the Wadidli Short Film Festival in Antigua for another project I directed, Coffee, written by Nii Odartei Evans. I currently have a number of projects in the pipeline and am looking forward to growing and being able to make larger-scale productions; sitting in positions both in front and behind the camera.
What would be your dream story to make and who would be your dream cast?
I don’t know if I’d say I have a ‘dream story’ as such. I just like to entertain and produce thought-provoking material and aim to do so in front of various backdrops. I do have a love for combat sports, so I’d love to merge that one day with my love for filmmaking, but for me, the story is first! I think with any story that is strong enough, it will stand up in any genre you place it within.
Dream cast? I’d love to share the screen with the likes of Idris, Denzel, Tom Hardy, Pacino, De Niro, the list could go on. But at the moment, my aim is to shed light on the talent we have here in the UK. There is a lot of undiscovered talent who have been grafting for years who haven’t yet had their break. I just want to be able to create opportunities and a platform for such talents to noticed. I think we struggle over here with it being the same faces being used over and over again, although I would say it has improved over here, but there is still a way to go.
You are a writer, director, producer, actor and own your own production company. Is there anything you can’t do! What is the most challenging thing about wearing so many hats?
When you put it like that, it does sound like a lot! I think wearing various hats has almost become the norm for many creatives today; a necessity even! It was really a natural progression for me. Acting is still at the forefront, but I love being able to express myself in different ways. The biggest challenge is being disciplined to not overload yourself and learning how to manage time. But the more you do it, the more you get better with that. I feel the other areas I have ventured into have in fact made me appreciate acting more and have given me a better understanding of some of the processes both on set and in post-production. They all kind of feed into each other.
Where can our audience watch What Would You Do?
It can now be viewed on Amazon Prime.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to starting the pre-production process on some other film projects, so do keep your ears peeled for more information on those down the line! Currently, I am nearing the end of the post-production process on my latest short film, Hi John, written by US-based writer Tiara Luten, which I starred in and co-directed alongside Sinitta Monero. I am looking forward to soon commencing the film festival circuit with that.
Keep up to date with Jordan Pitt via Twitter: @jordanpitt Insta: @theartistnamedjordan