I had a long meeting with local film producer Justin Henry this morning at the Jackson Coffee Company. We spoke about our various projects and got to know each other a little after Amanda Trudell suggested that we meet.
I was very impressed by what a wonderful, creative mind Justin has. He has enough projects to fill up a production company's slate. Justin has several shorts, webisodes, web series and feature film ideas in various genres that are compelling and thought-provoking. Justin spoke with obvious passion about his film projects, and his enthusiasm was infectious as he described several in different stages of development.
Justin and his associates at Silver Moon Films, Mike Gifford and Ben Curtis, are one of Jackson's precious natural resources that we cannot afford to lose. Meeting him just reinforced my belief that there is plenty of creative talent in Jackson, and that we have the makings of an independent filmmaking Mecca right here. It is my firm hope that Justin and people like him don't leave due to the lack of local filmmaking opportunities.
Justin and I talked about the possibility of working on some projects together in the future, including a web series. Collaboration is the key. Without the built-in framework that Hollywood and other major film production hubs have, the only way a city like Jackson can evolve into a filmmaking center is by mutual cooperation from the various talented artists residing here.
An executive producer with some money who wants to get involved with a local feature film would do well to consider backing a project by Justin and his team, or by backing a collaborative film effort by both our teams.
We are at ground zero of an exciting turning point for filmmaking in Jackson, Michigan. We even have a mayor who is a talented filmmaker in his own right, Jason C. Smith. The stars are definitely aligned.
Local filmmaker Justin Henry on the 2nd floor of the Jackson Coffee Company on Mechanic Street in Jackson, Michigan.