Desmond Jackson’s influences aren’t difficult to identify.
Click the trailer for his 2015 senior film, “Funk Force” (or watch it in its entirety at the upcoming New Filmmakers Film Festival on Aug. 15), and witness a hybrid action/anime/superhero style that is both familiar and completely original.
“As someone who had never taken any film classes before attending The Herbert School, the opportunities were limitless here.”— Desmond Jackson
Now, the film studies and production grad is taking his talents to Los Angeles. Specifically, the Chapman University M.F.A. film and TV producing program. Not a bad turnaround for someone who hadn’t taken a single film course before enrolling at Hofstra.
Like many Herbert School success stories, Jackson began his journey by taking full advantage of his surroundings.
During his first year at Hofstra, the Cedar Hill, Texas transplant supplemented course work with volunteer roles as a production assistant for his classmates’ films as well as on original HEAT Network programs such as TNL, all while completing an internship at FilmBuff.
During his next two years, Jackson went on to produce multiple senior thesis films before starting work on “Funk Force” in his final year.
“My three years at The Herbert School were very involved,” Jackson said. “I felt very supported by the professors and the dean’s office, and was really prepared to undertake my senior thesis film due to the wealth of knowledge from my classes, but also from the multitude of extracurricular activities.”
“What I really like about the festival is that it caters to new filmmakers in a cool venue, the Anthology Film Archives, which is in the center of Manhattan. The film festival is established with an 18-year run and provides a platform to showcase films from first-time and veteran filmmakers.”— Desmond Jackson on being featured at the upcoming New Filmmakers Film Festival.
Going Back to Cali
Weeks after his festival screening, Jackson will head to the west coast, where he’ll enroll in one of the most competitive graduate film programs in the nation. It’s at least Jackson’s second venture to California. The first occurring during the inaugural Hofstra in LA program in 2015.
“Participating in the first Hofstra in LA experience was an excellent program where I was able to meet a lot of successful alumni from Hofstra who paved careers for themselves in Los Angeles.”
Jackson hopes to produce his first feature film after graduating with his master’s of fine arts degree — along with a television pilot based on “Funk Force.”
Photos by fellow Herbert School film program graduate Holly Fischer ’16.
“I was really impressed with the resources provided by The Herbert School, including the three studio spaces, advanced film cameras, and classes geared toward directing and producing on a film set. I feel all of these experiences really spurred my growth into the type of filmmaker I am today.”Desmond Jackson ’15