“I learned everything I know about storytelling from watching Northern Exposure, my dad reading us comic books before bed and the listening to the raconteurs of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.”
My life is the culmination of
miracles and debacles…
I was born in a snowstorm
on a Vermont commune
to a carpenter and a teacher
in their off-the-grid cabin
by an abandoned military base.
After serving as a TV news cameraman (while living homeless in my car),
I headed West to San Francisco on my Harley to track down the Beats,
but Vermont called me home, to work for the family construction company.
Life was so easy and rewarding—even when the heat went out in my Vermont writer’s shack, -47F° in my bedroom one morning. But then…
My Brother died.
My fiancée dumped me.
My slumlord jumped me—
and I was sentenced to 120 days…
Thugs murdered my new girlfriend—in front of her son.
Another left me to become a “vegan porn star.”
I struck out as a TV writer in Hollywood.
I got a $2000 traffic ticket in LA…
… Compelling me to return home to Vermont
and build a solar cabin…
… To write a TV/film series called Departed Harvest and many books,
including Criminal Thinking—
poetry from my 120 days spent with
… Before house-sitting for the actor Luis Guzman for 9 months and launching our successful Kickstarter campaign… but then his dog killed my cat.
What he then did to me is unforgivable—though I’ve forgiven him and I’m so thankful, because it set me free, to take care of my family and stop living in the specious shadow of an ego. I didn’t wanna be one of those guys making love to his own image. That’s how stories die and boys never grow beards.
Art Saves Lives—And I’m Proof!
What is Departed Harvest? from JoDa on Vimeo.
JoDa Hodge is a novelist, filmmaker and director of the New York Film and Television Festival. He was born to a teacher and a carpenter from Jersey on a Vermont commune near the abandoned Concord Air Force Base (whose guards first saw the UFO lights in the sky later to “abduct” Betty and Barney Hill in New Hampshire).
With degrees in English, Psychology and Communications, he quit his TV news cameraman job, rode his Harley solo cross-country and published Freedom Road—a travel memoir battling the broken American Dream. He is now penning book #17.
JoDa built a cabin on an old Christmas tree farm and wrote 33 one-hour episodes of the Departed Harvest dark comedy, winning the Rhode Island Film Festival Screenplay Competition and others.
JoDa polished DH with Larry Holden (Memento), Jerome Perzigian (Married With Children), Steve Molton (HBO), Ken Rotcop (Hannah Barbara), Frank Manchel (UVM Film Professor), Hawk Ostby (Iron Man), Jacob Krueger and Chase Bartels (Warner Brothers TV).
Our “comedy-thriller” gleans inspiration from true life: JoDa’s best friend sold his soul to the lethal Northern California underground to finance his Rock band, blended with JoDa’s commune-Air Force Base heritage—and the loss of his little Brother.
These allegorical stories galvanize our dystopian tale, set one week into the future, starring Navajo inspirational speaker-producer, Loren Anthony.
JoDa Kickstarted, wrote, produced, directed, shot and edited a short Departed Harvest film at Luis Guzman’s home in Vermont. JoDa’s beloved cat was killed by the actor’s dog and… long story.
Now JoDa is raising his daughter, harvesting medicinal mushrooms for cancer patients and building a “Film Farm.”