We’ve asked the filmmakers for the 11th annual Oxford Film Festival the same five questions. Meet Jonathan Hicks, co-director of Picture Show (also pictured above is co-director Robyn Young). This film will be screening Friday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8 at noon.
#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
Set in a small, Southern town, “Picture Show” observes an elderly couple facing the inevitable truth of life - That all things must come to an end. The story attempts, without any sort of irony, to examine the struggles we all face, our attempts to hold onto the past and the fear of seeing those we love the most leave their earthly existence.
#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?
The biggest lesson was the importance of, above everything else, honesty. We had to be honest to ourselves and to the lives that we were depicting. Shortly after principal photography, in the midst of post-production, I was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, just like our male character in the film. Undergoing chemotherapy while editing the final scene took on a whole new meaning for me and I learned that art is a mere fragment of time that can so easily be manipulated or full of lies. Honesty is the key.
#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design where I received my BFA in Film and Television production. At SCAD, I met my co-director and future-wife, Robyn Young. Together, we’ve been working on films ever since. After graduating, I move to New York where I worked for Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film distribution company. New York proved to not be the muse we were seeking and we returned to Georgia. Recently, I was the 1st AD on the feature film, “45 RPM.” Currently, Robyn and I live in the sustainable community of Serenbe, just south of Atlanta, where we are in pre-production for our next project.
#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description?
Though, Robyn and I are in our mid-twenties and the lead characters are in their late seventies, this is a film with universal ideas and themes that we hope will be evident and felt by the audience. We don’t wish to manipulate or dictate thoughts or emotions, but rather engage in some form of conversation that is wholly sincere.
#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
“Picture Show” is currently making the festival circuit and we hope for more screenings to be scheduled in the near future. Currently, Robyn and I are in pre-production for our next project, an intimate (semi-autobiographical) story of a young man seeking spiritual enlightenment during the early stages of a terrible illness. We are also developing our first feature about an escaped orphan journeying across the Southern states during the Great Depression in search of his birth-mother.