Thanks to a meeting at a local neighborhood pub, The Jackal, was born. It goes to show you that you never know where your next project or idea will come from.
About: Joe Mitchell has directed and produced four short films. Two documentaries (including The Jackal) and two narratives.
How long have you been directing? Off and on since I was young. It just takes so long for me to get projects off the ground since I don’t really have any money. I think that’s why I like documentaries so much because most of the time they are cheap to make.
Is there any one part of the process that you enjoy more than the others? Editing. To me the edit is the most important part of the process. It’s where the feel comes from. It takes a long time for me to edit. I need the time because that's where I can get my personality across.
What drew you to wanting to tell this story? I train Muay Thai. It’s really a great form of exercise and it does help me mentally, it keeps me sharp. One night I was drinking at the bar next to my house where I met Ian (The Jackal). He lives next to me, we are both neighborhood pub guys. So we struck up a conversation about kickboxing. He began to explain his life to me. I was intrigued to say the least. But then he told me that he basically had all his fights, movies, and interviews on VHS. As a filmmaker that is what inspired me. I had access to all this great B-roll, so all I had to do was film the interview. It was a no-brainer. And Ian was down with the idea, so we starting shooting a week after.
What kind of camera did you shoot on? 5D. It proves you don’t need an Alexa or a Red to make something decent. It's what's on the other side of the lens that counts.
What were some of the challenges in getting this film made and how did you overcome them? Going through hours upon hours of VHS tape and converting it. Then putting some sort of story together. It really came together quite easily though, in terms of the subject. Ian is a great guy and gave me all the time I needed.