DIY FILMMAKERS: JASON MARKSTROM'S "DICK JOKE" Image

[ WHAT’S YOUR STORY? ] ^ We were three students at Northern Michigan University facing graduation and we didn’t want to have to get real jobs so we made a movie. Actually, I was a film student. Rich was, but he changed to secondary education. Andy started pre-med but graduated with a degree in computer systems. Apparently Northern is the only university in North America that confers such a degree, much to Andy’s consternation at job interviews. I met Rich freshman year and Rich lived in the same hall as Andy. We all eventually ended up sharing a house together, the same house that we made the movie in.
[ WHAT’S UP WITH THAT TITLE? ] ^ I can’t remember. I think we dared ourselves to call it that. Obviously we’re going for the family audience.
[ WHAT WAS YOUR BUDGET, SCHEDULE? ] ^ We shot on Hi-8, so the biggest expense of the production was the box of tapes we used. We also had to pay for copying the script. We were lucky enough to have good friends that volunteered their time and acting. Very good friends. Our original schedule was to shoot it in a weekend, but the harsh mistress known as Reality sobered us up very quickly. We started in the fall of ’97 but had to stop because we had defective tapes. We started again in the spring with extra pages. It ended up taking two weeks, most of which were night shoots. Luckily four of the actors lived in the house, myself included, which made it a lot easier. Editing took about two weeks.
[ DID YOU SACRIFICE ANYTHING BECAUSE OF BUDGET? ] ^ No, because we knew what we had and worked with it. The only thing I would have liked to add is music. One of the original ideas was that there was another friend that couldn’t make it to the game because he got called in to work at a radio station. The other guys would listen and maybe make harassing phone calls.
[ WHY DID YOU DO IT? ] ^ The thought was that maybe somebody would pay us to make another movie, but I think the main reason was to prove to ourselves that we could do it.
[ STATUS OF THE FILM? ] ^ There are currently 50+ copies out in the world right now and we would like some feedback from people we don’t know. “Dick Joke” was just submitted to The Detroit International Festival of Film. We’ll probably search out more festivals that screen videos. We may also look into raising funds to remake it on film.
[ ANY ADVICE OR PEARLS OF FILMMAKING WISDOM? ] ^ To borrow a slogan, just do it. Also, make sure the sound is the best it can be and slate everything, even if it’s somebody holding up a piece of paper. Keep track of everything to minimize lost shots.
[ WHAT’S NEXT? ] ^ We want to see what the reaction is and see what happens on the festival front. As I said, we are looking into a remake. We may also develop some of our other scripts and probably write more.
Check out FILMTHREAT.com’s INTERVIEW ARCHIVES and read hundreds of fascinating in-depth interviews with directors, filmmakers, actors and celebrities from the world of film!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. kerbi says:

    found this movie on the street tonight, very inspiring – would really like to see more of harry, if there are any other films i would love to see them,

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon