Posts Tagged ‘Jack Ackerman’

So here’s our little 48 hour experimental film we produced a week ago for The 48 Hour Film Project (Des Moines). The genre we had to make a film in was “Ghost Story” and we had to include a character named Greg or Greta Calhoun, a can opener, and the line “I have three words for you.” The film had to be between four and seven minutes and from start to finish everything had to be done in 48 hours. (We delivered the video in Des Moines.)

Dominique Wooten had seen the film we made last year and was game for being our star this year. He’s a voice major at the University Northern Iowa so I knew we would feature him singing and just kind of back the story in from there. I figure if the film did nothing else it would highlight his voice. Dom is originally from New Jersey and while this is his first film he has performed on stage in musicals and operas.

Jack Ackerman who played the minister also had never been in a film or been a minister, but he is a lawyer and a Toastmaster so I knew he could speak. In fact, Jack will be competing next month against nine other people to be the top Toastmaster of 2009. One of the things Toastmasters does is prepare you to give 1-2 minute talks off the cuff. I knew Jack would come through.

And while the film was made in 48 hours the budget was probably only $48.

Related post: 2008 48 Hour Film


Scott W. Smith

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A friend of mine from film school who has made over a dozen feature films says forget whether or not a film is any good or not, he’s just amazed that a film simply makes sense after you’ve finish editing it. Anyone who’s made even a short film knows there is a lot of truth in that thought. It’s a messy process.

This weekend I made another short film with a handful of people for The 48 Hour Film Project (Des Moines). 

That’s where you have 48 Hours to make a 4 to 7 minute film from start to finish. This was my fourth year of taking part in the process. In the past three years the short films I’ve made have won best cinematography in the competition that usually attracts about 35-40 teams of filmmakers here in Iowa. 

One of the reasons my films have won in the cinematography category is I started out back in the day as a photographer and am drawn to strong visuals. This year was no different as you can see from the above photo that feature a beautiful stained glass window in the background. And one of the fun parts for me is to work with talented people who have never made a film before. 

This year was no exception. This year’s film stars Dom Wooten a voice major at the University of Northern Iowa (standing in suit) and Jack Ackerman who is a retired lawyer who next month will compete with nine other people to be the top Toastmaster in the world for 2009. So I had a gifted tenor and a gifted public speaker and just needed to figure out a way to write a story around them. (The process of which is really not all that different than writing a script to fit a particular Hollywood actor. Embrace your strengths and limitations.)

You’ll see the results in the coming days as I’ll post a link and tell you how our team did in the competition. In the meantime if you’ve never had a film made this is an excellent way to not only put some rubber to the road but to also meet a lot of like-mined people (crazy creative types that don’t care if they get much sleep and work for no pay). The 48 Hour Film Project is done around the world so there is a good chance there is one near you. (Even if it’s two hours away like Des Moines is for our team.)

Thanks again to the cast and crew for getting another film done—and turned in with 13 minutes to spare.


Scott W. Smith

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