The Clarion-Ledger Article

Good Mornin’! Good Mornin’!

A reel-to-reel recorder was my favorite toy in my pre-teen years. I’d tape Ray Stevens songs off the radio to lip synch at recess with Robert Nelms and whoever else wanted to join in. At Christmas I got the classic Heat Meiser and Snow Meiser on tape and that became a recess favorite as well. Technology took that reel-to-reel and gave us cassettes. Late nights at our deer hunting cabin – White’s Manor – Redigo Phillips and Tommy Lister and I would sing, play guitar, drink coffee and record what we thought were funny skits and songs. I recently found one of those tapes. Yeah, there were bits and pieces of funny but not as much as I remember….lol…

I’ve always enjoyed the fruits of the Mississippi Creative Economy and am happy to promote and chat about it every chance I get. Recently, I was watching a commercial for Security Services in Cleveland and thought to myself that it had great content and was a dang skippy good advertisement. I found out the creative man behind it was Jim Burt. The film editor, writer, director and all out renaissance filmmaker was just living his dream of making creative content. The 25-year old spent time at The University of North Texas, Ole Miss and Delta State studying all the aspects of film making and editing and ended up with a degree in Communications from DSU. These days, he and business partner Cody Ballard create commercials locally and work with corporate clients creating training videos at their ColorMake Productions LLC studios.

“I shoot, write and edit them,” Burt said. “I basically take a creative approach to editing and create commercials and try to draw emotional responses out of people. Anyone can make a commercial but what’s important is how to make the message and make it desirable.”

Editing has always been his passion but he would also love to be a director.

“An editor is the one who can make a complete, creative overhaul. If a movie is flowing really good it’s because the editor made it that way,” he said. “Editors and directors usually go hand in hand. I plan to make a full feature film pretty soon and I’m working up the budget for it.”

His passion came to him early in life.

“There’s a certain flow with my films,” he said. “When I was younger, my friends and I at North Sunflower Academy would make stupid videos. Then we’d lay a music track on top of that and make it flow.”

Burt would even edit with three or more VCR’s hooked up together with a TV way before the era of computer editing. Nowadays he’s got cutting edge editing technology at his fingertips and he gathers friends to shoot and make entertaining videos ranging from bowling, being a Dallas Cowboy fan, having a dog and he’s got a gun rights video up his sleeve.

“Whenever I write something, I start from scratch and create a scenario where a lot of people can be involved. I get ideas all throughout the day and put them on my iPhone on a note pad. When I finally sit down I put them all together and write a script for it.”

Burt is raising money for his next big project – a full-length movie, so he’s out grinding commercials and making ends meet to get there. To learn more about what he’s doing, check out his Facebook page or shoot him an email to or give him a call at (662) 719-1128. The Mississippi Creative Economy is alive and well in the Mississippi Delta, thanks in part to Jimmy Burt and Cody Ballard.

And I’d always ‘preciate your comments here or over at Facebook or you can tweet me @markhstowers….see yah next week!

A Rebel, a Statesmen – or Fightin’ Okra – and even a Trojan, I’m the Sunflower County farm boy with no green thumb who longed to live in the big city and got his wish and now is working his way back to the farm.

A freelance writer, middle-of-the-road-conservative and wanna-be fry cook, I look to bring native Mississippi folks and businesses to your attention through my looking glass.

There are those of us that packed up Mississippi and took it with us to new destinations and neighbors. My area code may be 248 but my heart is all about 662 with plenty of room for the 601. Heck, we’ll even saunter into the 228 from time to time.

Read more about me at

International Movie Festival Article

International Movie Festival Article

Because music was such a big part of this film, I decided to make two separate trailers for it to present how music and cryptic images can have a huge impact on a film’s message. That said, I wanted to see what I could do with two separate genres: suspense and drama. As both trailers imply, the movie has quite a few things going on. For example, there is intense violence and vague detail in one trailer, while the other seems to have a touching story between a man and a young girl. To illustrate, let’s evaluate these two very different trailers separately:

First trailer (the violent one)


Everything that you see in this particular trailer actually appears in the film, but isn’t presented as graphic as the trailer entails. This means that the trailer can be left for interpretation; it does not give away any plot details of the film whatsoever. After I finished filming, I wanted to create a horror themed trailer to not only throw people off, but I also wanted to see the film from a different perspective myself. This is where some imagination came into play that was apart from the script. We see the man that appears sinister, as if he is a serial killer of sorts. In addition, there isn’t a connection between the little girl and the man or “glitches” from the past (seen in the official trailer). It was created to exhibit acts of horror using extreme close ups, suspenseful music, and cryptic images.


Second trailer (or OFFICIAL Trailer)


This trailer presents the idea of a “broken disk” (or disc, storage device, etc.). It primarily focuses on one man, who seems to raise the little girl over an extended period of time. We see him, from this perspective, as a gentle man who was forced to make unfortunate decisions to protect her. Moreover, we see that he holds a strong connection with the young girl through the “glitches” of his past.

Editing was a huge component of this film. As you know, a script can be taken to many different, creative ways. The Youngest One had absolutely no dialogue, but there is still a big story behind it, which becomes clearer as the film progresses.

Read More

Bolivar Commercial Article

Film is product of Clevelanders imagination

Author(s): Anne Preus    Date: April 10, 2015 Section: Lifestyles

Jim Burt filming a scene for his movie. Cleveland native Jim Burt is embarking on a creatively ambitious film project, "The Youngest One," which started as a project to present to his professor for a portfolio. Already, the trailer on Facebook has generated over a thousand likes in less than a week.

"I have created a new genre which I call 'Genuinism,'" said Burt, who is the screenwriter and director. “This term is very unique because there is no other term in theatre that I know of that can clearly define what I'm looking for.

"It involves an acting practice which is somewhat improvised, involving the willingness to undergo whatever necessary to convey the desired response in regards to the character's action likely due to an inordinate commitment toward the pursuit of realism.

"To make the film appear ‘real’ the actors are committed to their roles. One performer had a black eye, one sprained his wrist, one cut his hand and one is suffering from mild back pain. The lead also would hit himself in the face (or take a hit from the director)to get into character, particularly for the emotional scenes," said Burt.

Examples of Genuinism include: doing things spur of the moment, being the character by means of changing your appearance immediately if needed and acceptance of a discomforting situation not fully prepared for.

He said, "The entire film was shot backwards and the lead, Cody Ballard, a former Marine, shaved his head and beard during filming and wore heavy make up to appear young.

"Cody is a natural," said Burt, "He could get the scene right the first time and he really got into the character."

The film was shot in both 50 fps (frames per second) and 30 fps, and there was only one light used for artificial lighting.

The DMI at Delta State University recently recorded a track for the film called "Memories."

"My goal is to have people feel emotionally connected to the characters," said Burt.

The film opens like a broken DVD and the viewer wonders who the characters are and who the main character is protecting.

Eventually, the viewer figures it out. Burt said, "The film is post apocalyptic."

Over 20 people are involved in the film project and only three people really know what it is about. A lot of the film was shot in Cleveland and Crowder.

"The name should give a big clue as to what the film is about," he said.

Burt said he got into film because he was very interested in writing. He started as an English major in college and did slide shows for his fraternity.

He found that he was good at writing and editing and he started studying movies to see how to get the viewer connected.

Burt hopes to finish "The Youngest One" by the end of April. He will submit the film to some festivals and will release it through Kickstarter.

He will be selling DVD's and the sound track. To contact Jim, email him

"The Youngest One" will not be Jim Burt's only film. For now, it is just the first one.