2016 saw the birth of a new creative endeavor for EJ Ouellette. Under the project name Hoodoo Man Films, Ouellette articulated his vision and brought together a stellar team to bring a unique and original story to life. A natural storyteller and professional entertainer, Ouellette leads the team with his artistic vision, creativity, passion and drive. Each team member has brought amazing skills and talent to the project. With boundless enthusiasm, the Hoodoo Man crew is proud to present the "Conjure Man, Conjure Man" Official Sonic Film: Episode One.
EJ Ouellette’s single, “Conjure Man, Conjure Man,” led to the development of the unique and eccentric hoodoo man character, the Conjure Man, who is imbued with magical powers, sometimes -- but not always -- under his control. Humorous stories result from the Conjure Man’s interactions with people in his community, often with unpredictable results. An episodic adventure series is in development -- film shorts which are being produced as a pilot for TV.
OFFICIAL SONIC FILM: EPISODE ONE
Director’s Statements for
“Conjure Man, Conjure Man” Project
“As the cinematographer, co-director and editor, I've made a conscious decision to use as much natural light and hand-held camera work as possible on this project. The opening scene, which happens before the music begins, was deliberately filmed locked down using a tripod. However, as soon as the music begins, we go hand-held the rest of the way. I think this works nicely and, hopefully, will result in images that have a visual energy to match the energetic music we are editing to.”
— Dave Habeeb, Co-director, cinematographer and editor
“Working on the “Conjure Man, Conjure Man” project has been a joy and an amazing creative experience. Bringing the Conjure Man character to life has stretched me in many beautiful ways. The short film, “Conjure Man, Conjure Man,” was filmed in New England and represents the talent, dedication and energy of an amazing team. I was thrilled to be part of it!”
— EJ Ouellette, Co-director, producer, actor and visionary
CONJURE MAN PHOTO GALLERY
The Conjure Man, Conjure Man Team
EJ Ouellette – Co-director, co-writer, producer and actor
A lifelong director, producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, teacher, entrepreneur and yoga practioner, EJ Ouellette is flexing his content creation muscles into the film arena. While his music still provides the inspiration, Ouellette has enhanced his songwriting by developing stories and characters that live in his musical creations.
EJ Ouellette, owner of EJ Ouellette’s Whole Music and frontman for rock band “EJ Ouellette & Crazy Maggy,” serves as the visionary, producer, co-director, writer and lead actor in the new web series, “Conjure Man, Conjure Man.” Collaborating for the second time with cinematographer, co-director and editor Dave Habeeb of Massachusetts, Ouellette enhances his original music with unforgettable stories and characters, while at the same time enhancing the stories with his own brand of music. Ouellette’s vocals as well as his fiddle, mandolin and guitar prowess is evident in the new series, as the Conjure Man figures as a fiddle-playing hoodoo man.
DAVE HABEEB – CO-DIRECTOR, CINEMATOGRAPHER AND EDITOR
Dave Habeeb is a Boston-area filmmaker, foodie and self-proclaimed night owl. By day, he is a producer, cinematographer and video editor at Harvard Business School’s Educational Technology Services Group and part of a team that creates multimedia case studies (documentary-style teaching videos) for faculty and students. Through his work, Dave has had the opportunity to travel extensively and film in such locations as Nigeria, India, France, England, Italy, Denmark, South America, Canada and several states and major cities within the US.
By night, typically very late at night, Dave can be found working on a variety of freelance and personal projects under his recently-established company, High Fidelity Films, LLC. Some of Dave’s partners and clients have included: Burt’s Bees, King Arthur Flour Company, Panera Bread, Wild Beagle Productions, Kotter International, NYDP Deli Patrol, Lee Estridge & Associates, Desrochers & Associates, LLP, TruePoint, and Ruby Rose Fox. Dave has a Bachelors of Science degree in Film and Video Production from Fitchburg State University and a Masters in Mass Communication from Emerson College. Dave loves music, cinema, cooking (and eating), and spending time with his family and friends.
ERIKA "BRIKA" WILSON – ACTRESS
Erika J. Wilson, a.k.a. Brika Brack, who plays Veronica in “Conjure Man, Conjure Man” is an actress from New Hampshire. Brika is a Presidential Scholar and Honors graduate from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English. She is a fearless actress, host, writer, director, editor, producer, model, speaker, teacher, purveyor of positivity, powerhouse of energy, free spirit and all over entertainer.
Brika has performed in numerous productions from mainstage, live role-play, and improv to short and feature film. You can catch her on screen in Arabel, The Poet and Lazarus Rising. Brika has also written and produced for production companies throughout New England and worked at the prestigious "Hollywood of Europe," Cinecitta Studios in Rome, Italy.
DAVID BERLIND – ACTOR AND GROWTH HACKER
David Berlind who plays Baker in the “Conjure Man, Conjure Man” series is a writer and music student who lives with his wife and three children in the Merrimack Valley Area. In an earlier life while living in Miami, David appeared as an extra on multiple episodes of Miami Vice and several television pilots and commercials.
David contributed to the initial video conceptualization, writing and wardrobe for “Conjure Man, Conjure Man.” David has also provided business and tech consultative input, and, with Dave Habeeb's ‘permission,’ he held the camera while being the stunt driver.
STEVIE BAKER – ACTOR
Stevie Baker, who plays the cop in the "Conjure Man, Conjure Man" series, is a professional musician. Stevie is a member of EJ Ouellette & Crazy Maggy where he has been playing the saxophone since the band's inception. Stevie hails from Amesbury, MA.
LISA O’DONNELL – CO-PRODUCER, CO-WRITER, COSTUME AND SET DESIGN
A teacher with a Masters degree in Reading and Language, Lisa has devoted her career to working in nontraditional classrooms, integrating an artistic nature into her teaching practice. The "Conjure Man, Conjure Man" story has captured Lisa's heart and imagination. She has enjoyed every bit of the creative process in bringing the Conjure Man to life. Lisa is also a musician and instructor for piano, fiddle and voice.
Lisa credits her early family life for instilling a love of stories and an affinity for magical characters. Her mom made sure there was access to books with frequent trips to the library. Bedtime stories for the O'Donnell kids often came from the night course her dad happened to be taking at the time. (Who says seven is too young for The Tell Tale Heart?) Besides getting his homework done, this fostered her imagination and a deep appreciation for the narrative that has been a source of joy for her ever since.
MIMI SPARROW – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, BUSINESS STRATEGY, MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT
Mimi Sparrow is a strategic marketing professional, general manager and small business owner with a passion for music and film. After discovering EJ Ouellette’s fiddle music in a barn in Vermont, she became hooked on the energy and the sound. Mimi is delighted to be a part of the Conjure Man team where she is driving business strategy and marketing for Hoodoo Man Films. A natural leader with an eye for adventure, Mimi’s career has taken her from Budapest to London and Boston to San Francisco. Mimi earned her MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
TIM SMYTH – ANIMATOR, FILM, VIDEOGRAPHER
Tim saw the film King Kong when he was very young, and it made a BIG impression on him. In the 8th grade, he found out that Kong was created through a process called stop motion animation, which fascinated him. He later learned that anyone could go into a store, purchase a motion picture camera and film, and make their own movies. He has been doing it ever since.
Tim has worked professionally for many years at animation studios including MTV Animation, Will Vinton Studios, Space Bass Films, Mercury Productions, Chiodo Bros. Productions, Bix Pix Entertainment, Polymorph Productions, and more.
ETHAN COHEN – DRONE OPERATOR/PHOTOGRAPHER, CEO AND FOUNDER OF UAV LOOK
Ethan Cohen founded UAV Look Aerial Photography and Video in 2014. Strongly interested in technology, Ethan took a model drone for a "test flight" and discovered he had a knack for piloting them. Ethan's background in Political Science and Public Administration gives UAV Look the unique ability to track, understand and work with new drone technology, as well as navigate the political, legal, and governmental landscapes surrounding commercial civilian drone use.
Sarah Blasi – photographer
Sarah attends the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography. See Sarah's work at Sarah Gates Photography.
DEEP THANKS AND APPRECIATION TO OUR ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTORS:
Ken and Donna Irwin
Patty and Frank Lane
James Fiorentini, Mayor of the City of Haverhill, MA
Shanti Salon, Newburyport
David Berlind for his superb and timely capture of the image that is used on the cover of the "Conjure Man, Conjure Man" album.
Lisa Blasi for her fabulous creation and rendering of the "Conjure Man, Conjure Man" Official Teaser.
Justin Ouellette for his significant and professional contributions as creative consultant on the "Conjure Man, Conjure Man" sonic film.
Brenda Riddell of Graphic Details for her creativity and expertise on the design of the ejouellette.com website.
Mimi Sparrow for her vision, direction and management of the ejouellette.com website.