Jonathan Desbiens, better known by the pseudonym Jodeb, is a Canadian director from Shawinigan, Quebec. Aside from being a director, Desbiens is also a writer and editor who has developed a career creating distinctive short-form content.
His upbringing in a small French-speaking industrial town inspired his desire to go out in the world and explore the unknown through filmmaking and eventually lead him to the world of music videos at nineteen and later narrative-driven work. He attended the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, where he chose to tackle fine arts while continuing to teach himself directing, editing, coloring, and visual effects, further fostering his creative voice.
Throughout his career, Jodeb has become increasingly interested in the events that can transpire when characters are confronted with the inexplicable and the seemingly impossible. Within these various explorations, Jodeb has spearheaded breathtaking music videos for some of today’s most popular artists, including Jack White, Skrillex, Imagine Dragons, Swedish House Mafia, the Weeknd, Cypress Hill, Zedd, Porter Robinson, Deftones, Tinashe, Halsey, and A$AP Rocky. But more importantly, his more personal narrative works, such as “Learn: 1st World Problem”, “A Plentiful Feast”, “Linger”, “Life in Grey”, “Still in the Cage” or even “Corporation”, attracted attention over the years and numerous accolades, including 11 Vimeo Staff Picks.
In 2015, Jodeb’s dark interpretation of Point Point’s ‘Life in Grey,’ followed a manipulative artist’s desperation for societal respect, portraying a complex amalgamation of nostalgia, depression, and empathy. The following year, he highlighted his flair for cinematography and passion for otherworldly stories in a 21-minute promo for Skrillex, titled “Still in the Cage.” The short film seamlessly combines the unmistakable sounds of the artist with mysteriously compelling characters, beautiful scopes of nature, and freakish surrealism. Both productions caught the attention of studio executives, leading Jodeb to begin the development of his first feature film.
In 2018, Jodeb teamed with Johannes Leonardo for “Original Is Never Finished,” a visually hypnotic spot for Adidas Originals China. The gritty imagery and the chosen Sinatra music come together to inspire courage, freedom, and the importance of originality — themes which constantly pop up in Jodeb’s work. This same year, he directed the music video for the single “Corporation” off Jack White’s album, Boarding House Ranch. The film, which was inspired by Citizen Kane, follows the investigation of a mogul’s death and the duplicitous series of events leading up to it. The film won multiple awards, including a UKMVA for best international rock video, an ANDY Award for Idea & Craft, a D&AD award, and an honoree status at the Webby Awards, and merit recognition at the One Show Awards.
In 2019, NOWNESS commissioned Jodeb to direct ‘A Plentiful Feast,’ as part of its program Survival Season. The short explores the horrors of climate change and marine pollution, which gave Jodeb the opportunity to invoke, once again, his connection to nature. The film was received with critical acclaim and will continue its successful run in the festival circuit.
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.”