SC: After discovering your passion for music and composition in high school, did you pursue formal training upon graduation?
TJ: I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in composition and also studied graduate courses in sound Engineering at John Hopkins Peabody conservatory.
SC: How did you become involved in the film industry?
TJ: I love the old MGM musical movies –that passion is really what made me want to do musical films . I love the legends like Gene Kelly and Dick Van Dyke, so it was beyond an honor to work with Dick Van Dyke on Buttons.
SC: What drew you to the family-oriented genre?
TJ: I like movies that are happy and warm hearted… I have another film close to going into production, with a similar theme. Movies like Singing in the Rain, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins make you feel happy and uplift your spirits…I believe that’s very important.
SC: Your work with Buttons ranged from creator to director. Can you elaborate on your many roles and was it your initial intention to be involved in these areas?
TJ: I actually took part in every role in the production of Buttons. I love them all, from set design to music, to cameras and lighting. I believe it helps to know a little bit about everything as a director.
SC: It has been noted that inspiration for this movie originated during a church service and that you began writing down the ideas immediately. How did that story idea continue to evolve?
TJ: Buttons was created over a five-year time frame. Just as there are angels in the film, there were certainly angels that helped make this film. It was an incredible journey, very inspiring, and an amazing adventure. We are so grateful to all those who helped us along the way.
SC: How does it feel to look back upon this film’s journey, starting with the pivotal moment in the church until now when it is enjoyed around the world?
TJ: It has been such an unexpected and incredible journey. Now, the exciting part is for more people to find out about the film and I am really happy for Button’s release on Super Channel.
SC: You have indicated that this movie took 5 years to complete. What was the greatest lesson you took away from having a long-term filming project?
TJ: There were so many magical moments I would have loved to have share with everyone during the 5 years of making Buttons. I think next time I would love to have someone ready to capture some of those moments so the viewer can enjoy them too. For instance, one of the most special moments for me was when Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury came on set together. There are two icons standing side by side, what a moment that was.
SC: What were some of the challenges when faced with multiple filming locations and different crew over the years?
TJ: There were many challenges over the years of filming Buttons but there really were angels that made this all come together. That is what really stands out to me.
SC: This project became more than sharing a Christmas story and resulted in raising funds for Autism support and Lyme Disease. Can you further elaborate on these partnerships and importance in fundraising for these causes?
TJ: We have worked with the Golden Hat Foundation for over nine years now. Each year we have a fundraising concert with them at Carnegie Hall. We really want to help spread their message of the intellectual capabilities that people living with autism have. It’s always important to us to associate our projects with a mission and a cause.
SC: You often speak of hope as one of the messages that Buttons offers to the audience. What do you also hope the Canadian viewers will take away from this movie?
TJ: I often feel Buttons is like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” it’s a magical movie but also touches on real life challenges and how we can work to try to have hope even through the difficult times.
I hope people in Canada find hope and inspiration in the film.
SC: Can you share about any upcoming projects that viewers can watch for?
TJ: My next movie is called “Letters from Home” it’s another beautiful heart-warming musical movie. We hope to go into production soon.
I am so grateful to Super Channel for supporting Buttons. I want to close by sending a thank you to them, and to Canada for all the beauty and goodness you create in the world. Blessings.
SC: In a world ever changing, Buttons is a reminder that with change there is hope. This film not only offers a chance for families to connect and enjoy a musical tale together, but also makes a difference for others by partnering with charitable organizations. To enjoy inspirational music while waiting for more uplifting stories from Tim Janis, there are many ways to keep connected and follow his musical journey.
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