Taos Land & Film Company: Where Taos Land Sales Fund Independent Films

Jeffrey F Jackson

Director Jeff Jackson at age 10
Jeffrey F. Jackson, Writer/Producer/Director/Executive Producer is the owner of Taos Land & Film Co. which funds feature films through development of land in Taos, New Mexico. As a filmmaker Jackson's projects cover a gamut of genres and issues. He considers himself lucky to have escaped the grasp of Hollywood's soul-sucking demons and found a way to create films which are both upsetting and untainted by the crass commercial world.
His first mentors in the movie business were Stanley Kramer who he worked with at the end of his career through an American Film Institute (AFI) Internship on Kramer's The Trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Jeff Jackson's film adaptation of Flannery O'Connors Good Country People
IMAGE: Still from Jackson's film adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's Good Country People. [cropped]
Robert Wise then assisted Jackson as his executive producer on his adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's short story, GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE, which was funded through an AFI Independent Filmmaker's Grant. David Jauss of the Vermont College of Fine Arts had this to say about GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE, "I think it's terrific-one of the best adaptations of a short story I've seen. it leads to some interesting conversations about storytelling in film vs. prose."
Jackson then went on to spend a decade or so of hedonistic living in Venice Beach, California in an effort to gain some material for his life as an artist. "I think you have to have some decadence and hardships in your life to discover some purpose in your work as an artist" states Jackson.
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, by John Gray
He finally clawed his way out of his "Life Experiences" phase through working as public relations director for "Heart Seminars", a personal growth workshop developed by author John Gray ("Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus"). Jeff plunged John into places like San Quentin Prison to hone the depth of his processes with murderers and rapists and other various rejects of American society.
Gordon Kahl, Joan Kahl, and Yorie Kahl
IMAGE: Left to Right - Gordon Kahl, Joan Kahl, Yorie Kahl
At that point Jackson decided it was time to get sober and get back to his filmmaking career and he spent the next five years working as a freelance journalist for Larry Flynt researching and writing exposes about the corruption within the federal government. This led to his feature length documentary, DEATH & TAXES, the story of North Dakota farmer Gordon Kahl and his life and death struggle with the IRS.
Taos Talking Picture Festival
As the fertile land in Taos, New Mexico was funding Jackson's film efforts, he decided it was time to give back some of this good fortune to other filmmakers and he started the Taos Land Grant Award with Taos Talking Picture Festival (RIP) which involved his donating five acres of land in Taos each year to the most innovative film director with a feature film entered in that festival.
Director Jeff Jackson and actor Brad Garrett on the shoot of Postal Worker
PHOTO: Director Jeff Jackson with actor Brad Garrett on the shoot of Postal Worker
Next up was his narrative dark comedy delving into the emerging psychosis of overworked government employee Oren Starks (Brad Garrett) in POSTAL WORKER. HBO liked it enough to run it for eighteen months while Jackson discovered there were real life postal workers out there just like the ones he portrayed in his film. In fact, a surprising number of actual postal employees have confirmed the accuracy.
Indy filmmaker Jeff Jackson and his wife Jean-Marie and son Duke Jackson
PHOTO: Director Jeff Jackson with wife Jean-Marie and son Duke
Then came a late in life "Domestic Bliss" era where Jackson spawned a family and settled down to raise two children and become trained in the spiritual arts by his guru i.e. wife.
And, that brings us up to Ghost Phone (formerly Callers). This movie has a very long complicated and controversial story behind it which I explored with my audience at the film's world premiere at the Santa Fe Film Festival on Oct. 21st at the Cultural Center for the Arts. Stop back often as I'm planning my first ever Kickstarter campaign to offset production costs on the film and promote the movie in an innovative new way that I think you will find quite interesting.
The Film Director's Blog
Read the latest ranting perspectives on film and studio news from a Hollywood nemesis recharged and once again poised to apply serious nurples and wedgies to an industry perplexed by his very existence. BLOG >>
PHOTO: Jeff's cameo appearance as the truck driver in his film Postal Worker, starring Brad Garrett, which aired on HBO
Kickstarter fundraising campaigns
Times have changed.
The country is in a new Great Depression, the real estate market is down, and Jeff is currently on a low carb diet. Faced with reduced blood sugar and the challenge of raising his unique independent films above the fold, Jeff is getting ready to launch his first ever Kickstarter campaign to introduce some exciting and innovative new marketing ideas for his current film Ghost Phone (Phone Calls from the Dead) starring Melissa Ordway and Nelson Franklin.
If that goes well, our next project will be a film adaptation of Perdido, a haunting murder mystery from author Rick Collignon, followed by an edgy new project starring Taos-based actor, writer, director Arron Shiver called Everything Beautiful Is Far Away, based on the Richard Lange short story by the same title from his Dead Boys compilation.
So stay in touch and help us stand up to the Hollywood machine by supporting the efforts of indy filmmakers like Jeff around the world.
GHOST PHONE, Starring Melissa Ordway and Nelson Franklin. Everyday guy loses his beautiful fianceé (Amanda) in a car accident and then undergoes a psych evaluation to determine if he can stand trial for murder, while continuing to receive communications from Amanda and many other deceased people, including his alleged murder victim, over the cell phone Amanda left behind.
PERDIDO, Starring Arron Shiver. With signed letter of intent from Sandra Echeverria. Based on a novel by local author Rick Collignon. An old story of a hanged girl is unearthed and aggitates an otherwise sleepy nothern New Mexico mountain town. Based on a true story.
EVERYTHING BEAUTIFUL IS FAR AWAY, Starring Arron Shiver. Directed and Written by Jeff Jackson and Arron Shiver. Based on a short story by Richard Lange. A damaged 20-something newsstand attendant becomes obsessed with an attractive, manipulative teenage girl and self-destructs.
POSTAL WORKER (GOING POSTAL), Feature. 35mm. Starring Brad Garrett, Grace Cavanaugh, Richard Portnow, Paul Williams, Rob Roy Fitzgerald. Postal worker Oren Starks (Brad Garrett) is scheduled to go over the edge, and does. Film enjoyed an 18 month run on HBO. 94 min
POSTAL WORKER (SHORT), Short. 35mm. Starring Teck Murdock. Precursor to full-length feature. Brutally dark and twisted comedy short in which the shooting of an educational film called "The Journey of a Letter" is violently interrupted by a postal worker who has had enough. 5 min
DEATH & TAXES, Documentary. 35mm. Researched over nearly 10 years, the film chronicles the life story of North Dakota farmer Gordon Kahl and the unlikely battle with the IRS which lead to his violent and mysterious death in Arkansas in 1983. Top-rated documentary at the 1994 Melbourne Film Festival. 113 min
VENICE BEACH CONFIDENTIAL, Documentary. Video. Jeff immerses himself in the decadent and raucously creative city of sin during his early years as a filmmaker. Featuring reknown street musician Ted Hawkins. 45 min
ODDBALL, Experimental. S-8. Inventory of a life on the edge of insanity. 58 min
THIS IS THE END, Documentary. Video. How far will an actor go to land the "Big" part in Hollywood? 17 min
CATTLEGATE: TOO MANY DRUNK COWS, Documentary. Video. Explores the cover-up of the Michigan PBB disaster, one of the largest chemical contaminations in history. 24 min
GOOD COUNTRY PEOPLE, Fictional. 16mm. A celebrated film adaptation of the classic Flannery O'Connor short story. Supported by a grant from the American Film Institute. 32 min
THE PIGS VS. THE FREAKS, Documentary. 16mm. Local East Lansing Michigan hippies play football against the local police in the third annual Bull Bowl. 28 min
FROM DUSK, Experimental. 16mm. A youth wanders into the woods seeking the ideal woman and comes out an old man. 24 min
THE 1969 WAR MORATORIUM, Documentary. S-8. An Anarchist's view of the Viet Nam War Protests in Washington, D.C. 20 min