As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2011 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 10-13, 2011, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you.
Meet first Take 5 filmmaker, Johnson Thomasson, director of "Blood Feud," playing on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 4:45 p.m.
Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone
should see it.
A: Blood Feud is a bite-sized thriller, set in the warzone that is the U.S.-Mexico border, about a young man and his private vendetta against a ruthless drug cartel.
Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in
getting the film made?
A: Film commissions are your friend, and a good assistant director will add years to your life. Seriously though, I think a lot of us indie directors are do-it-yourself kind of people. It’s really not in our nature to ask for help, but by the time I was finished making Blood Feud, I was leaning on anyone who’d give me a shoulder. Film is a communal art, and it’s more fun and generally more successful when you share the load. In the same vein, the best part about making Blood Feud was the relationships I built, the memories that I now share with a handful of friends.
Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
A: Snapshot of my life: I recently graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Computer Science, and I’ll be marrying the love of my life in late February – life is good. I started toying with a video camera and digital editing when I was 15, making stupid videos of my friends and me. I quickly found that I experienced a deep satisfaction when I really told a story to an audience with a movie, and that unique high drove me to make more and more complex projects. I was also very interested in the computer side of things and seeing what I could create with visual effects. My first film was a quirky action-comedy short called Private Detective, and it won in the youth category at the Crossroads Film Festival in Jackson, MS in 2005. During my college years, I made a few fun shorts for a campus ministry called RUF, and I made some no-budget zombie spoofs which can be seen at www.theblackestdawn.com. I’ve also recently started a film blog called www.filmisyoung .com where I occasionally write movie reviews and responses to movie news.
Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?
A: Blood Feud is what you call a spec trailer. It will never be distributed on its own, but the dream is that a producer or studio or distributor or just somebody will see Blood Feud and think, “this would make an awesome feature,” and then provide the financial support to make it into a feature.
Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
A: Blood Feud has a web presence at www.bloodfeudthemovie.com, and I’m just going to let it go and see if it will fly. In the mean time, I’m working on the screenplay of the feature film version of Blood Feud as well as a feature film screenplay about my favorite sport: ultimate frisbee. I would love to direct a short in the next year or two, and I’m currently crafting a sci-fi story that could be the foundation of a great short film.