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‘Wrestling With Iowa’ documentary nearing completion

What started back in December of 2011 as research is nearing completion as a feature-length documentary looking into the quest by Creston/O-M’s Jake Marlin and Denver-Tripoli’s Brandon Sorensen last year for their fourth state wrestling titles.

Ohio filmmaker Tim Jackson released the trailer for his documentary Wednesday night. It can be viewed at wrestlingwithiowa.com.

Jackson is currently working on a master’s degree in filmmaking at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The “Wrestling With Iowa” documentary is his thesis project.

He spent six months filming during the 2012-13 wrestling season, following Marlin and Sorensen as they marched toward their fourth state wrestling championships.

He’s worked on editing the film all summer, turning 65 hours of raw footage into 1 hour, 25 minutes in the final version.

“It’s been an interesting process trying to find the story through all the footage,” Jackson said Thurday in an interview with the Creston News Advertiser. “The story was there, but having to trim it down to something that’s a movie has been an interesting challenge.”

After spending six months filming, and putting 16,000 miles on his car driving all over the state of Iowa, Jackson grew attached to certain elements he filmed, making it difficult to edit out some parts.

“It’s extremely difficult, because I’m attached to the movie,” he said. “I’m attached to the people I worked with. When it comes to trimming stuff out, it’s a hard pill to swallow some days. Spending so much time on the road to get somewhere to shoot something, it’s difficult to cut it down.”

Now that Jackson has the story ironed out, and has edited the film down to a workable 1:25, he said he has two major steps left to go through before it will be totally complete.

“It’s interesting in that when the story’s locked, I still have two big steps to do,” he said. “I still have audio mix left and the color correction on the whole movie. I still have about four weeks left until I have a finished movie.”

Once finished, Jackson will hold a screening in Athens. He plans to invite the local high school wrestling team to the screening, along with the Ohio University wrestling team.

When he first posted the trailer online Wednesday night, he included a note stating the first screening would be in Athens in December. He said that caused some confusion.

“The reason I’m showing it in Athens is the film has always been part of my thesis project for my master’s degree,” he said. “Part of the process is doing a showing here in town. That will be my graduation ceremony.”

Jackson said bringing the film to Creston and Denver, along with a few other stops in Iowa always has been, and still is, at the top of his list.

As for when, that’s still to be determined.

“I really haven’t gotten to that point,” Jackson said. “I’m looking at some dates, looking at some ideas. I’m really not looking much more beyond finishing this film at the moment. I’m going to graduate and be an unemployed filmmaker in December. If everything rolls correctly, I’ll be at the state tournament again, and we may do a screening there. January sometime, I could be swinging through Creston and showing the film in Creston.”

For now, Jackson said he’s just happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“For a first film, just to be able to get through the whole thing is a big sense of relief,” he said.”

And he can’t wait to repay the people of Iowa for the hospitality shown to him during his six-month stay here.

“I was always surprised and amazed at the hospitality I got in Iowa,” he said. “I think I owe everybody a good film, and hopefully I can deliver on this one.”

•••

Contact the writer:

Twitter: @scottvicker

Email: svicker@crestonnews.com

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