What started as a few high school friends shooting super low budget shorts around Conrad in their spare time has since grown into the same group of friends – with some notable additions – making slightly higher budget shorts that can now claim the distinction of being “award winning”.
“Konnecting With Kyle,” the latest creation from writer/director Dillon Jacobson, a BCLUW High School and MCC alumnus currently attending the University of Iowa, recently received the Des Moines 48-Hour Film Producer Award. Project. According to Jacobson, the award is decided independently of the jury and rewards a group that shows exponential growth or simply does something with the genre that the producer himself particularly enjoyed.
The festival had a unique twist: each competing group had to write, shoot and edit their film, which had to last between four and seven minutes, over a period of two days, as its name suggests – in this case, the last weekend. -end of July.
They also had to work within established genre boundaries – a fish out of water and a family story – and they had to incorporate a certain character, line of dialogue and prop. The story they ultimately chose to tell centers on a teenage goth named Kyle who spends a weekend with his all-American aunt and uncle and makes little to no effort to bond with them until what an unwanted intrusion compels him to act.
“We started thinking right then and there, and at some point the fish out of water was going to be this super sloppy clean guy, and he’s got a new roommate who’s a total slob,” Scaferi said. “But it evolved into an aunt and uncle having their nephew for the weekend, and it’s your stereotypical Midwestern family. And you have a city boy doing hardcore metal, and he just doesn’t belong there.
Jacobson turned to familiar faces for acting roles. Cole Scafferi, who plays the titular Kyle, and Lucas Halverson, who plays Kyle’s right-hand uncle, are both fellow BCLUW alumni and longtime collaborators, and Marshalltown’s Grant Gale, who plays a rowdy neighbor and drunk named Dwayne, connected with Jacobson through the “Reveille” World War II film project. Amy Van Holland, a former Marshalltown resident who knew Gale from a community theater production, traveled from her current home in northwest Iowa to play the character of the aunt.
By the end of the first night, the band had a rough script in place with some room for improvisation.
“I often leave that to the discretion of the team, but I’m definitely someone who sticks to specific deadlines and I think they’ve been much more refined this year,” Jacobson said. “I think it was kind of a soft stop after an hour, but after, like, half an hour more, if we hadn’t really hit one thing to really start writing, I would try to draw a hard stop and really start writing.
Starting that Saturday morning, they shot “Konnecting With Kyle” around Conrad, using Halverson’s house and a popular fishing spot just off the Comet Trail, among other things. Halverson said the ideas started flowing quickly once they were all in the creative mindset, writing them down on a whiteboard and finally deciding what would actually be part of the film.
“It worked both as a fish out of water movie and as a really good family movie, and it’s just a super cool process to see everyone being able to work together, compromise, use ideas others to create mass,” Halverson said. “They talk a lot about certain things where it’s ‘This is a hill you’re ready to die on.’ It’s not exactly a healthy thing to have in a situation like this because it all hinges on the back of compromise.
Another key, as Gale noted, was to quickly identify any issues or plot holes that could be easily identified as early as possible. And although the concept of fish out of water has been used to the point of becoming a cliché across film and television, they have tried to avoid telling the same old story. The crew said they didn’t take any specific ideas from other films, but paid homage to a shot horror master Alfred Hitchcock often used in a scene that didn’t the final cut.
Speaking of which, Jacobson and Co. are currently working on a director’s cut of “Konnecting With Kyle” which they expect to be around 8 1/2 minutes long, and they may develop the idea further if they wish to make it a long one. footage. For now, they’re happy with the recognition they’ve received and plan to take part in an upcoming 48-Hour Horror Project which will be filmed over the Halloween holiday.
Along with winning the producer’s award, “Konnecting With Kyle” was one of 12 competing shorts selected for the Best Of screening. Regardless of their future collaborations, this group can rest easy knowing that he’s already taken the effort further than most bands imagine in their wildest dreams.
“We’ve been recognized with teams that have been doing this for over 10 years and people who work professionally in video, whether it’s commercials, film or otherwise,” Gale said. “I feel like we’re punching a bit above our weight.”
“Konnecting With Kyle” can be viewed for free on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCALYKu_pIo.
Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or