Interview with Filmmaker Jeff Jackson (OUR G*DDAMN WEDDING)

OUR G*DDAMN WEDDING was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the June 2022 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I have a very specific mission with this film (and the feature version of it that I hope to make): To correct the unfair depiction of atheists in films and TV shows as broken, despondent people without a moral compass. Like most atheists, I am healthy, happy, quite moral, and have my life pretty much together, and I wanted to present atheism and an atheist protagonist in that realistic and favorable light.

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

This was excerpted from a feature script, so that script has been a couple of years in the making. But from the time I decided to take a chunk of it and make it into a short, I’d say only about 3-4 months from initial script draft to finished edit.

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

Hilarious blasphemy.

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

Finding the right location within our budget. The story called for a fabulous upscale home and those don’t come cheap. But I just kept digging and found the perfect one — on VRBO of all places. Everything else went very smoothly, much to my surprise.

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

It was very gratifying to see that each person picked up on something essential that I intentionally built into the film. “Yes!” I think I yelled out loud. “People get it!”

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I was about 11 or 12. That’s when I became infatuated with all things Hollywood (which can be frustrating for a kid in New Jersey).

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

I can pretty much recite the entire script of Monty Python and the Holy Grail from memory. But that can also be said of It’s a Wonderful Life and The Godfather. Three films that, as we all know, have much in common.

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 can’t think of anything off the top of my head. Which means you guys must’ve crushed it. (The festival thing, that is; not my head.)

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

I remember submitting to festivals years ago, in the pre-web days. It was an arduous chore, almost like a part-time job. Nothing could be easier than submitting via FilmFreeway. And not only does it streamline the submission process, it helps you scope out new festivals and judge their relative viability for your project. Love, love, love it!

10. What is your favorite meal?

The one that justifies the most copious application of butter.

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

I’m working diligently to try to make a full-length feature version of Our G*ddamn Wedding. So if you have a few hundred thousand extra dollars lying around, let’s talk.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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