So far, Ohio University graduate student Tim Jackson is four months and just over 10,000 miles on his car into his project, and he’s just scratching the surface.
Jackson, the film student following Creston/Orient-Macksburg senior Jake Marlin and Denver-Tripoli senior Brandon Sorensen in their quest for a fourth state championship in wrestling, said he’s been surprised at how well all the pieces are falling into place for his documentary.
“All the pieces are falling into place amazingly well,” Jackson said. “I went and interviewed all 21 of the previous four-time winners, and had no problems at all catching up with any of them. Everyone was very gracious with their time and their answers and everything.”
Jackson said while that wasn’t a major part of his project, it is nice to have that portion done so he can concentrate on the “meat” of his story – following Marlin and Sorensen and finding out who the two of them are as people.
That little side project saw Jackson take trips to New York City, Chicago, LaCrosse, Wis.; Arizona and Minnesota, along with trips across the state of Iowa.
But, he said, those 10,000 miles have all been “good, quality miles.”
Jackson said following two of the state’s top wrestlers has been a learning experience for him.
“I’m starting to understand the scoring and the basics and tendencies that happen during a wrestling meet,” Jackson said. “That’s the easy part. The hard part is finding out who these kids are. It’s not a surprise, but it’s always like something new every day. You kind of discover little things about these two guys as you go along.”
One of the most interesting things Jackson has learned so far is how different Marlin and Sorensen are, noting how Sorensen ran cross country in the fall, to help during wrestling season.
“When he was done with cross country practice, he would go do his weightlifting, and then go work in his wrestling room,” Jackson said. “Jake takes a different approach. He’s maybe a little more well-rounded, I would say. He goes out and hunts with Keaton (Hulett) and his friends. He’s got other interests going on outside of wrestling.
“Both of them end up at the same point, but it’s definitely two different routes to get there,” Jackson continued. “Which is fun for me. It’s an interesting dynamic that we get to add into the film.”
But, one similarity Jackson has found is that both are “laser-focused” when they enter the wrestling room.
Jackson said he plans to continue filming through March 1, at which time he will pack up all his things and move back to Ohio to start the editing process.
“My best guess at this point is I’ll probably have 1,000 hours, if not more, that will need to get edited down to 70 minutes,” Jackson said. “So basically 100 times more than I’ll need, when it’s all said and done.”
Jackson will spend most of the summer editing, and hopes to have a rough outline done by July 1. At that time, he hopes to bring in a composer to create a score for the documentary.
His next goal, is to have a solid cut done by September before spending the next two months doing fine cuts before burning it out to DVDs.
He hopes to have it finished by November.
“It’s like five steps down the road,” Jackson said. “The saying we have at school is ‘you have to have a miracle to get a film made.’ And, it’s not just a miracle, but like four or five or six miracles. I have to get through the shooting first and then everything else.”
It’s still a long time down the road, but Jackson said he hopes to take the film to film festivals, and also to bring it back to Denver and Creston to show the community in a sign of appreciation.
By that time, it’s hard telling how many miles he’ll have put on his car.
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