Temple FMA students create amazing films and we were so upset not to be able to celebrate them this past Spring in our annual Diamond Screen Film Festival or our BFA Master Class Showcase. Because of Covid-19 and the fact that our semester was truncated, many of the films that we would have enjoyed at the end of the semester could not be finished.
However, one example of a BFA masterclass film that was able to be fully realized this year was directed by Jake Noecker (FMA '20). Jake recently got the wonderful news that his film LOCKBOX bagged the "Best Student Short" prize at the LA Film Awards 2020.
Other Temple students who worked on it this prize-winning film include: DP: Gabby Megn (FMA '20), Editor: Wes Tebbs (current student), Producer: Madison Murphy (FMA '20).
This is an exciting moment in the trajectory of these young filmmakers and we wanted to connect with Jake to chat quickly about his film, Temple FMA, and how he feels surrounding his recent big win!
Tell us a little about Lockbox -- what was your inspiration for the project?
Lockbox is a western/thriller short film ab out a desperate man who randomly stumbles upon a life changing amount of money. He decides to leave town with his wife and the money but must make a risky stop on his way to a new life. It is very much so a passion project of mine. I really took elements from all of my favorite films and filmmakers to create a veryunique and adventurous movie.
What surprised you most about production on LockBox?
What surprised me most about the Lockbox production was how smoothly everything went. Since Lockbox was my senior thesis film, our crew was not shy to work with each other at all. This was definitely not our first movie production together and by the time the Lockbox shoot came around, everyone was really familiar with how eachother worked and we were able to hit a nice groove. I can’t thank everybody enough for all of their hard work, it really made production super fun.
What were some challenges and how did you get around them?
We definitely had some ups and downs during production, as all films do. One of our biggest challenges was filming in an unexpected snow storm. On top of keeping equipment and cast/crew safe from the elements, we also had to match snowflakes with vfx throughout the scene as the snow wasn’t steady throughout the day. I really love how the scene turned out though, so all of the hard work turned out to be a blessing. Another challenge was finishing post-production and keeping up with our goals as the COVID lockdown was underway. Even though none of the team saw it coming, we were able to work around the madness and get our film done. Zoom calls aren’t as efficient as in person meetings, but with enough determination we were able to come together and finish the film despite the circumstances.
What was the process of submission like for the LA film Awards and what were your thoughts when you learned you had won?
Just like with most award submissions the process was actually pretty easy. Filmfreeway is a great resource for submitting to festivals. As long as you put in the work to make your projects portfolio strong, it really is as simple as paying the fee and pressing submit. I was extremely surprised to hear that LOCKBOX had won. I really wasn’t expecting to get into the festival at all. I had never even submitted to a festival that big before so even being selected felt like a blessing. Thankfully I decided to listen to some professors who told me to push the film to bigger outlets. Hopefully LAFA is the first win of many.
What advice would you give to incoming or current Temple students?
My advice is simple.. Meet and work with as many people as you can. Filmmaking is all about building your network and relying on them to help 0shape your craft. Having a great network of crew and friends is what made it possible for me to finish three movies at Temple. The bigger your network the more successful you’ll be. The film industry really is all about who you know, so go meet as many people as possible!
What are you hoping to accomplish next?
As soon as the film industry returns from the COVID shutdown, I plan on returning to work producing commercials and working on union film sets. I also plan on writing/directing my first independent short film in 2021. I hope to use some award money and connections I made from LOCKBOX to secure future project funds. I have a few scripts in the works. Now it is just time to pick which one I will use to pitch at festivals.
Anything else you want to add?
If you would like to follow Lockbox’s festival run, you can follow us on Facebook/Instagram @lockboxshortfilm. We also have a website where we post updates https://www.ingemmedia.com/lockbox . Thank you so much for the time and stay healthy out there! Best of luck on your films, everyone!
It was so great to hear about Jake and we look forward to seeing his future projects!