BEAUTY / Synesthesia

Jacob Hylton shot by Rosie Bailey

How was growing up in North Carolina?

Growing up in North Carolina for me was simple and quiet. The state has so many unique and beautiful things about it. As a kid, I loved playing outside in the forest beside my grandma's house. I had a tree house that I would climb up and play in all day. Looking back now, I appreciate growing up not only in North Carolina but the south. I feel like I appreciate tradition, value simple things, and learned how to make sweet tea!

What is your experience in Chicago so far?

Never in a million years did I think I would live in Chicago. The city is unlike any other, it has its own unique vibe and the culture is very urban. The people I think are what make this city for me. I've met a lot of interesting people from all over the world. They have helped me grow as a person and given me opportunities that I could never get anywhere else.

How did you meet Rosie? 

I meet Rosie in college at Columbia College of Chicago. I was smoking a cigarette outside and met her. I didn’t know anyone at the time because I just transferred to Columbia. Later that night she invited me up for some whiskey, we have been best friends and now roommates.

Would you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind?

I love storytelling, especially with media/art. Growing up in a small town, I was able to tell stories by acting for our community theatre. I continued with live theatre into my first two years of college and decided it wasn’t for me anymore. Film has always been a hobby, so I decided to pursue editing/directing. I started telling stories behind the camera. Something about working with a dedicated crew is very rewarding for me. From directing my actors to being in a dark room working on the edit and to act in it is all about the storytelling for me. 

Do you consider yourself comfortable in your body?

My body is something I’ve grown to love more and more every day. I’ve always been the “bigger” kid in my family and friends. When I was younger, kids in my grade could be harsh. They used to call me “fat”, “plump”, or “have you thought about a diet ?”. I was very self-conscious and even now I feel that way sometimes. As a bigger gay man, the gay community can be very hurtful. I remember thinking I need to be slimmer to even get a man. Lucky, moving to Chicago has really help me find myself. I've learned to love myself more and appreciate what I got. I found a wonderful man who loves me for who I am, curves and all. 

What is your favorite film of 2017?

Never ask a film person their favorite movie. There are so many amazing films that have come out. But if I had to say, It would be “Get Out”. That film tells a story and a perspective that as a white male, I will never be able to relate or understand. The story helps shed some insight on what the African American community goes through. Which is something again I will never truly know. 

What film do you wish you made?

I really wish I made any movie from A24 studio. A24 have made movies like, “Moonlight”, “Ex Machina”, “Lady Bird”, “The Witch” and many more amazing films.