Meet Jonathan Patrick Hughes – Recent Douglas Education Graduate
Douglas Education Center Student Matters
Jonathan Patrick Hughes
Douglas Education Center – Digital Film Factory Program Graduate – January 2015
Jonathan Patrick Hughes is a director and writer, known for Empty (2014) and Apartment 1109 (2013). He is also a recent graduate of Douglas Education Center’s Digital Film Factory Program and the driving force behind the upcoming Christmas inspired horror short, “(S)aint Nick”.
Prior to enrolling to DEC, he raised $1,400 on Kickstarter and made his first movie. Jonathan wanted to see what his skills were without any formal training. He quickly realized, after coming to DEC, that he had a lot to learn and what it really meant to make a movie. His decision to come to DEC was in discovering that the program was very compatible to his way of learning. “Here at DEC you can actually touch the equipment whereas other schools may not let you do that for fear that you may break the equipment. It was also a plus that the teachers were actually filmmakers and industry professionals, and not just some person with some chalk and a board,” stated Jonathan. At DEC, he was around people that were just like him that wanted to make movies and that had a passion for it. Jonathan’s passion was born when he was four years old and his mother had bought him a copy of “The Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller”. After watching the film many times, he realized that he wanted to become a filmmaker.
Passion may drive Jonathan; however, his son Liam is one of his biggest motivators and one of the main reasons why Jonathan wanted to go to film school. He wanted to teach his son that if you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing in life, then you aren’t going to make people around you happy. Since his son is young, it’s also about having movies that he can someday sit down and watch with his son and say, “Daddy made that for you!”
Currently, Jonathan is writing that kind of movie! His first feature film, which is a kids movie entitled “Bedbugs” is based upon five kids that team up to go to a hidden underground layer beneath kids beds and to fight off the big nasty bugs that have kidnapped others in the neighborhood. Jonathan wants the movie to be an ode to movies of the 80’s such as “Goonies” and “Monster Squad”. Since his son is the only reason he wants to do a kids movie, Jonathan wants to include elements of the 80’s movies which inspired his love of film, i.e. using crafted, practical effects instead of CGI created characters. Jonathan states his struggle is in actually writing such a film, “The struggle with this film is that it is a kid’s movie and I am used to doing horror movies, so I really have to edit myself and realize that kids can’t say or do certain things.”
Also, Jonathan wants to continue to make short films. Mark Yancey, another fellow DEC Digital Film Factory Program Graduate, recommended Jonathan to independent film company, Body Bag Films. Tony Newton and Paul Wennersberg-Lovholen, the driving forces behind the film group, have since contacted Jonathan and they are working out a distribution deal to include Jonathan’s short film “(S)aint Nick” in a collection of 12 short horror films that have a Christmas theme. The title of the DVD is “12 Slays of Christmas”. He is very excited for this opportunity and also wants to say that many students contributed to his film “(S)aint Nick”. Jonathan is grateful to the whole list of them, but there several who he wanted to mention: Kyle Rosania and Becca Johnson, who graduated from DEC’s Digital Film Factory Program and Tom Savini Special Makeup Effects programs respectively, as well as sound mixer and score composer Braden Bixler, all three of whom went above, beyond, and all around for him. However, before he continues with that he wants to complete “Bedbugs” because even if he decides to do more features, this one is the most important because he promised his son the first one he did would be for him.
It takes following a passion, having a great support team and having something, or in this case, “someone” to help motivate, for success to be imminent. With all these ingredients in place, Jonathan Patrick Hughes has only one way to go….and that is up!