Interview: Jim Higgins

This week FDTC writer Adam Holtzapfel had a chance to chat with Outpost 31 co-founder and Best of Ohio nominee at Nightmares Film Festival Jim Higgins about his history in filmmaking and upcoming projects.
Adam Holtzapfel – How did Outpost 31 come to be?
Jim Higgins - Outpost 31 started with Frank Mareno and myself getting together to make short films. So as with most endeavors it started out as fun and a nice little nod to the films that we loved. It has grown to bring in Jeff and Alucia Potts as producing partners to help me level out my duties as a director and focus on the story and the technical side of filmmaking. One of the things that was nice about bringing Jeff and Alucia on board was they believed in our storytelling and what we were doing.
AH - Being based in Columbus, OH how has that influenced your filmmaking?
JH - I wouldn’t say being in Columbus has influenced my filmmaking, as much as it has given me the opportunity to dig into the theater community for actors (which is a great thing, having experienced and trained people to call on) and network with prominent local filmmakers to share ideas and grow. Most of my filmmaking and story ideas are heavily influenced by my childhood. Oddly as much as I try to not include references to my childhood they still seem to creep in.
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AH - You just finished Mother’s Milk, when and where can fans see it? Also, do you have any new projects in the works?
JHMother’s Milk is starting to be sent out to festivals. So you can follow the film through Outpost’s Facebook page or the films Facebook page. Whenever we are selected to a festival we advertise it there.

It always seems that there is some idea percolating in the back of my head. I just finished a script for a short called “The Seed” which we are hoping to get into production before March. I am also working on a fantasy short called “The Last Pages.” This one is a little bit of a departure from the horror genre that I normally play in. Every so often I try to challenge myself to go outside of my comfort zone. So we will see how this one plays out. “The Seed” is oddly kind of a companion piece to Mother’s Milk.



AH - Your films have a Hitchcockian feel to them, usually with a twist. Was that something you always have in mind when writing?



JH - Ah, a Hitchcockian feel?! Why thank you for that amazing compliment. I only wish I could come close to Hitchcock. I don’t think I intend try to add a twist, I try to look at our shorts as this brief moment in time. When I get to the event of the story I try to think of how many different ways can this end and how can I leave the audience wanting more from these characters or wanting to know more about the situation. That is some of the fun in shorts, you don’t have to litter them with backstory or exposition. Throw the audience in at this moment and see the reaction.




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AH - Last but not least, what are your top five films of all time?



JH - Top five films of all time. Why is this always a challenging question for me?


1. Seven Samurai

2. The Thing

3. Empire Strikes Back

4. Rear Window

5. Jaws

(Images provided by Jim Higgins)