Jonathan Desbiens, better known by the pseudonym Jodeb, is a Canadian filmmaker hailing from the small town of Shawinigan, Quebec. He started doing his own VFX at 12 years old, while making skateboard films with his friends. This natural passion for filmmaking saw him continuing to helm short films and music videos through his teens. Jodeb later opted to tackle fine arts at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières to enrich his style rather than go to film school. It is within this parallel—the balance of simultaneously studying classical art history, literature, painting, sculpture, and glasswork while continuing to hone his self-taught skill for directing, editing, colors and visual effects—that Jodeb developed his rich, multifaceted creative voice.
Thanks in large part to his love of foreign worlds and culture clashes, Jodeb’s work often showcases unique human experiences with a focus on finding authenticity in inexplicable situations. He prefers going above and beyond literal interpretations of songs, using music videos as a platform to explore narrative storytelling. He has spearheaded videos for many of today’s most popular artists including Skrillex, Imagine Dragons, Swedish House Mafia, the Weeknd, Cypress Hill, Zedd, Porter Robinson, Deftones, Tinashe, Halsey and A$AP Rocky – although his visually distinct style is particularly exhibited in his non-traditional, long-form music videos.
In 2015, Jodeb’s intricately dark interpretation of Point Point’s “Life in Grey” followed a manipulative artist’s desperation for societal respect, inspiring a complex combination of nostalgia, depression and empathy. More recently, he highlighted his flare for cinematography and worldly subject matter in a 21-minute promo for Skrillex titled “Still in the Cage.” A story of escapism, the epic short film seamlessly combines the unmistakable sounds of the artist with exciting characters, beautiful scopes of nature and freakish surrealism. Both productions were commended greatly by studio executives, leading Jodeb to begin development of his first feature film.
More recently, Jodeb teamed with Johannes Leonardo for “Original Is Never Finished,” a powerful spot for Adidas Originals China. Its stunning, gritty visuals inspire courage and freedom, while the surreal transformation of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” champions the importance of originality.
Across all mediums and genres, Jodeb’s greatest desire is to make a positive impact on audiences. In his own words, “All that matters to me is that my work isn’t taken too seriously; that it invites people to enter a playful mental dance, challenges them and ultimately makes them feel something.”