When film-minded friends get together on a project, the results can be hilarious and a dream come true, according to Langley actor, Jason Burkart.
Burkart is known for his role as Little John in TVâ€™s Once Upon a Time, but for the newly launched feature film, Jackhammer, he played someone just a bit wilder.
â€œI had a blast playing Frederick,â€ Burkart said.
Frederick is a stripper and part of the world of egotistical colleague Jackhammer (Mike Hanus). Julius (played by Guy Christie) is a shy struggling actor who gets sucked into the male stripping industry by Jackhammer, who happens to be his brother.
â€œI just tried to play Frederick elegant,â€ noted Burkart when discussing the contrast between Burkartâ€™s own body type and the typical look of a male stripper.
â€œI just went in there owning it. I tried to own that contrast.â€
The film was released in early September and is now available through a variety of VOD (video on demand) channels including iTunes, Shaw, and Bell or visit the movieâ€™s site at https://www.reelhouse.org/feature/jackhammer.
â€œOur movie is available in everyoneâ€™s home,â€ Burkart said.
Although created in 2013, it took time to release the movie due to the teamâ€™s desire to explore distribution offers.
â€œWe made this movie on our own, with our own money,â€ said Burkart. â€œThen we went out and looked for a distributor… If we took the offers [of distributors] weâ€™d be in exactly the same place. The movie would be on iTunes. [This way] we still own the rights.â€
Hanus, Burkart, Christie, and others wrote the comedy which also offers cameos and special roles by Pamela Anderson, Jamie Kennedy (Malibuâ€™s Most Wanted), Nicole Sullivan (MADtv and King of Queens), and Robb Wells (Ricky from the Trailer Park Boys).
â€œItâ€™s kind of a dream come true,â€ commented Burkart of the process. â€œYou surround yourself with who you want to work with. We picked who we wanted to work with.â€
â€œNot bad, for a first film, to get those kinds of people in it,â€ he added.
When asked about how Anderson, another B.C. native, got into the project, Burkart explained, â€œShe was awesome and really supporting of what we were doing.â€
Mutual acquaintances connected the filmmakers with Anderson, they pitched her with the idea and she came on board during filming. It was a process Burkart says was easier because of the flexibility the group had in controlling the production.
â€œOn a bigger budget movie you donâ€™t have that freedom,â€ he said. â€œHere you have a voice.â€
Burkart has already written two other scripts, is working on two more, and noted his friends and Jackhammer co-workers are also working on scripts.
â€œBetween us all weâ€™ll have a script to work on,â€ he said. â€œWe learned a lot and came a long way with our first movie.â€
Obviously the process was enjoyable for the film crew and actors.
â€œIt was a lot of fun, weâ€™re all friends. We were able to make a film with our buddies,â€ Burkart said. â€œWe had the freedom to joke around and goof around and it was great.â€
Keep an eye on Burkart on big and small screens everywhere.