Interview with Filmmaker Mackenzie Lee Baumert (9:02 IN OKC)

9:02 IN OKC played to rave reviews at the January 2022 MUSIC Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

My Sophomore year at Chapman University, I had the incredible opportunity as a dance major to choreograph my first piece for the school. While brainstorming for this project, I found myself discussing moments that were important in my family and I’s lives and I began to talk about the OKC bombing. Many of my friends in California had never heard of the bombing which sparked a desire inside of me to be a voice of education from my home state (Oklahoma) for the next generation.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

I got the original idea in November of 2020 and the final product was released in September of 2021.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Memorializing and Profound

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle I faced was honestly planning and storyboarding the execution of the video. Due to the emotional and historical depth of the content of the OKC bombing, I wanted to make sure that we solely brought honor and love to the people involved in the bombing making it tough to figure out how to approach the work.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

My initial reactions when watching the feedback was very shocking. I was excited to hear that everyone was inspired by the combination of artistic expressions within this film including dance, spoken word and interviews of first responders. My first thought was that I did not understand how unique this format was for a short film, and I was overall so joyed to hear everyone felt moved by this film.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Last year, during the pandemic I choreographed a piece for our student choreographed annual show. Due to the pandemic, I ended up directing the filming of the piece to be presented to the school. From planning shots to seeking filming locations to being on set, I fell in love with making my own films and decided to use my dance and choreographing experience to take a different approach to filmmaking and directing. Before this point, I had always loved to make films just for family trips and make short dance videos but now I see it as a career path I plan to pursue.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Father of the Bride. I know it may sound like a random movie, but my family and I grew up watching this way too much!

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I really enjoyed the feedback and opportunities to dive into the filmmaking process within this specific festival. I think that continuing to talk and discuss with industry professionals about how to improve our films is so useful. I am overall thankful for the exposure, and different perspectives to draw from in terms of feedback.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway was so awesome. It made things super easy and feasible to submit to various festivals all across the country. There array of festivals and opportunity is unmatchable, and it is super affordable to help grow your exposure and following.

10. What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is a classic fried chicken meal. Always a classic.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

The next goal is to graduate in May of 2022 and begin working in the entertainment industry out of California. Whether that means making films, dancing, choreographing, or creating I am excited to begin pursuing my professional arts career. I have also been brainstorming some new film ideas and I am hoping to begin making these very soon, or at least in the next few months.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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