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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.