An award-winning filmmaker and published author, Jupiter J. Makins has a passion for telling stories. She has written, directed and produced films that are selling internationally. Her feature film, Bigfoot and the Burtons has recently been licensed by Showtime and her short film Bully Fighters recently premiered on ShortsTV and signed with Films Media, an international educational distributor. Bully Fighters received Audience Favourite Award at the prestigious FOLCS International Film Festival. The 25-minute film was inspired by true events and is used by the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, a US non-profit organization, to bring the community together to create awareness and discuss solutions to prevent bullying. NCPCV has screened the film in schools across America with a panel of elite members of the community.
Having only worked on RED cameras, Jupiter is exploring smartphone filming with a short she wrote, directed and produced—currently in post-production. The story and style are done in a masculine way to show she can create beyond the stereotypes of women. Jupiter is also venturing into creating a VR film. Jupiter’s current film projects are For Heaven's Jake, a talking dog family film, and Behind the Mask, a thriller, both in development and written by Jupiter J. Makins. In addition to filmmaking, Jupiter is the author of The King of Egypt, an historical self-published fiction novel; A Frog’s Heart, a fairytale for boys; as well as a children’s novel, The Lamplighter’s Daughter, which is the first book of the series, The Legend of Linova. The Lamplighter’s Daughter has been picked up by Morgan James Publishing. Jupiter’s goal is to adapt these books into films.
What do I do best?
What I do best is tell stories. Even when not writing them, I naturally tell stories whether it’s recounting episodes in my life, inspiring people or just talking. In college, before I ever thought of being a writer, I was given the nickname ‘Story Time’. I’d say telling stories is in my soul--not to mention, when I sleep, my dreams tell stories--and that’s where some of the stories for my films and books come from.
What makes me the best version of myself?
What makes me the best version of myself is believing I can. When everyone tells me I can’t, I never take it in or on… and there has been a lot of times when people have said ‘you can’t; I wouldn’t; too risky; you’re crazy” --like when I quit working to write a novel; or when I put all my money into making a feature film, which was my directorial and producing debut; or when I left a “good” career to pursue the dream of being a writer/director/producer. Believing I can makes me unlimited. I forge forward knowing achievement is inevitable if you stay the course and don’t get caught up in trying to control the time it takes to reach success.
What are my aspirations?
My personal aspirations are to inspire people. I’m told I already do this in the way I speak and motivate people but I want to expand to a much bigger reach in the world.
My business aspirations are to tell stories that touch people in some way, make them think or have positive messages weaved in, even if not blatant. Of course, in so doing, I want to be a great writer, director, producer and author.
My Biggest Success?
My biggest success was making the choice at a young age to stop hating life, looking at all the negative things that happened to me as a reason to give up on happiness and playing small. I remember the day and the moment and that it wasn’t an easy change but there is no change stronger than when you have the will. I had decided to take control of my life, find the positive in all things and decided I’m worthy of my biggest dreams. That decision will always be my biggest success because it put me on the path to achieve all other successes.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My most challenging moment was to give up safety to go after my dream. Money is a hard thing to give up; but your dream is a horrible thing to give up. Answers 1, 2 and 4 are the reasons why I’ve never regretted doing so.
I have two mottos I remind myself of when I need to keep calm in life: 1. Worrying will never change the outcome but staying positive will definitely change how I experience it. 2. I am exactly where I need to be right now. It’s agonizing to allow wishful foresight to wish where you could be or should be in life but the truth is you can only be where you are. At every moment there was a choice in life and the only choice you could have made in that moment is the one all reasons moved you to make. Hindsight is a liar because it uses new knowledge, experiences or feelings to tell you you could have chosen differently and yet, it took that original choice to bring you those new feelings, experiences or knowledge. So, sometimes my hindsight needs to be reminded: I’m exactly where I need to be right now; and then I continue to grow and learn.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My favourite person is my best friend, Alexia. We have been friends since we were kids. She has stood by me, supported me, believed in me even before I believed in myself and has been there for me through it all. I wouldn’t have been the person I am or have realized my dreams without her.
My favourite role model as a filmmaker is Stephen Speilberg. I admire what he’s achieved in his career and wish that one day my name will be listed with his… “filmmakers like Stephen Speilberg, George Lucas, James Cameron and Jupiter J. Makins.”
My favourite role model as a person is Oprah Winfrey. There is nothing she puts her mind to that she can’t achieve in spite of all the unsupportive beliefs around her. She has class, heart, intelligence and strength, which makes her such a powerful woman.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
It’s hard to say what’s my favourite travel destination. I love Buenos Aires for the lifestyle; Paris for the fashion and old architecture rich with history; Fez for it’s interesting city structure and Moroccan design; I could go on. I guess my honest answer is my favourite place to travel is the place I haven’t gone to yet.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Hands down, my favourite product is my hair straightener. I have super curly hair and I’ve wished for straight hair my whole life. Early versions of the flatiron couldn’t tame my mane but thank god for advancements. My wishes have been granted!
My Current Passions?
My current passions are spending endless time on pinterest, getting my nails done in crazy styles I see on pinterest and of course snuggling with my cute little dog. Also, my current passions that have never changed are getting lost in the world of my writing, meeting new people and anything adventurous.