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Jim Killeen

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Finding Yourself and Your First Film, on Google

Posted: 09/08/09 06:08 PM ET

It seems nowadays that anyone who wants to make a movie can, and anyone who wants to make a movie has gone ahead and done it. Of course, almost all of it is unwatchable aping of "Chocolate Rain," but be that as it may, I had an idea, resources, and time. This unusual idea became my film, Google Me.

My concept was fairly novel; I "Googled" myself one night and found many other Jim Killeen's scattered across the globe. I would take a film crew with me and try and find some underlying truth between all of us. I would be a documentary filmmaker. I polled some friends in the business, and a producer friend gave me the single best piece of advice I would get: just start. Just start? Yes, just start. This missive, Yoda-like in its simplicity proved itself to be indispensable time and time again.

Hollywood is a cliché about everyone having a script or headshot in their car, but as for the actual starting? The highways out of Los Angeles are littered with the broken bodies of the never-started, limping back to Middle America. The city of Angels can be particularly unforgiving on this account. I had done many things to prepare for this moment in my 15-plus years in Hollywood: worked in television and film, ran a small post-production company, and started a successful company that provided some of the freedoms that allowed this crazy idea to germinate to the point where I found myself standing in my friends office (and later co-producer of the film) with an HD camera in hand asking which end I should point at my interview subject. After politely giving me a brief lesson on "white balance," I was off to Ireland to meet Father Jim Killeen, Catholic priest of the diocese of Cloyne in the city of Cobh. I was a perfect storm of motive, means, and opportunity.

Production began, and staff arrived one-by-one, over the next few weeks. I had chosen the Morgan (Super Size Me) Spurlock style of filmmaking: a regular guy, first person narrative. However, some Jim Killeen's would have nothing to do with me, which could have proven fatal for our little production. The entire concept hinged on the participation of my namesakes, so how do you make a film about all these Jim Killeen's if they won't be in it? My persistence prevailed and after meeting Father Jim in Ireland, I met a sexual swinger in Denver, a father of eight in St. Louis, a retired NYPD detective, a traffic engineer in Scotland, and a health care executive in Melbourne Australia. They all had interesting stories, they all invited me into their lives, and they all were just doing the best they could in life.

For the climax of the film, I had all of them travel to Killeen, Texas (where else?) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the city. I will leave any profound lesson of the film up to the viewer, but it's a fun 97 minutes that makes me proud. It would have never happened if I hadn't "just started."

Google Me is now available for rental or purchase on iTunes (here) and Amazon VOD (here).

Jim Killeen is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and businessman. Feel free to contact him at Killeen.Jim@gmail.com.