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Reminderville native Jeffrey James [real name Jeffrey Craine] said that as far back as he could remember, he was making movies.
"Me and my older brother [Chris Craine] have been making film since we could walk," James said. "My parents bought Chris a camera, and I would be in them. He'd shoot movies for class projects. For example, we were asked to do a history report in school on the Trojan War, and we asked if we could make a movie. We shot the movie, had cardboard swords, added music, had these battle scenes."
James, who graduated from Twinsburg High School in 2005 and from Ohio University in 2009, recently completed his first feature-length movie, "Get Serious." Brother Chris worked as producer. James said he started writing the film in 2010 and "we just finished it on Christmas Day." The film is now available to buy online through the movie's official website at www.getseriousthemovie.com. There also will be a free showing of the movie March 3 at the Twinsburg Public Library. Its run time is 82 minutes.
"Get Serious is a comedy that reflects the struggles of young people trying to get their feet wet in a dry economy, while also waking up to the 'real world' of rules and responsibility," he said. "I found getting a job and living at home were not as fun as I had remembered. I recall a friend laughing at the fact that I went through a different job every three months. I immediately recognized the potential in all this and began to create 'Get Serious.'
"I thought a comedy about job-hunting would be perfect in-light of the economic depression."
The movie's story centers on Mike Rivers (played by Joe Zamora), an average college graduate thrust into an unforgiving recessionary world. Instead of the cushy, well-paid job that every college graduate is promised to find, Rivers finds himself back at home and working menial, embarrassing jobs to make ends meet. The economy is down, but expectations from his mother and girlfriend are not. When Mike's anxiety about trying to reclaim his piece of the American dream peaks, he learns to pursue what is really important to him.
James said working on his first feature-length film was a learning experience.
"I learned so much," he said. "Before, I had friends and family members in the films. This time, we had full auditions, a casting process. Writing was probably one of the hardest parts. I knew a lot about the camera work, especially from school. But they didn't teach a lot about audio and mixing sound. Everyone worked for free on this movie. I've never directed anything of this magnitude before."
The movie was filmed in the Cleveland area, James said.
James is not resting on his laurels, however. He said he and his brother are already working on the script for their next movie, an action thriller they are thinking of setting in Cleveland. James said he and Chris also have started their own company, Dreamblind Productions.
Having the ability to entertain people is a big draw for James, when it comes to making movies.
"I consider myself an entertainer," he said. "I like to tell a story. When people leave the theater, I hope it makes a spark in them."