Roswell-based writer/producer Jason Koornick walks A MILE IN HIS SHOES
An interview with Roswell-based writer/producer Jason Koornick, whose baseball film "A Mile In His Shoes" debuts on GMC this Sunday.
- Jason Koornick
- "A Mile In His Shoes" writer/producer Jason Koornick. The River Rats are the fictional baseball team in the movie.
Writer/producer Jason Koornick grew up in Brookline outside of Boston MA, and graduated from the University of Vermont.
Before breaking into the movie industry in 2001, his career included played bluegrass mandolin professionally to creating an online community devoted to the life and work of science fiction legend Philip K. Dick at www.philipkdick.com (which he ultimately sold to the author’s estate.) His interest in the author also manifest itself in his first movie project, the feature documentary The Gospel According to Phillip K. Dick, as well as the big budget Hollywood Feature film Next.
He moved to Roswell in Jan. 2009 with his wife and son. He chose Atlanta with an eye on continuing his work in the film business, which led him to meet with Brad Siegel, Co-Chairman of Gospel Music Channel (GMC). According to Koornick, "We hit it off and he loved my script "A Mile In His Shoes". When their model expanded to include regular original movies, "Mile" was the first project he thought of. "
With the film set to air this Sunday night on GMC, we invited Koornick to discuss producing, baseball, Georgia production, autism, luck, and Dick.
Your filmography includes a Philip K. Dick doc, the Nicholas Cage (metaphysical) thriller Next, and now "A Mile In His Shoes"—a baseball film about an autistic pitcher overcoming the odds. What does this say about you, as a producer? What ties these films together? What drives your interest in films? What inspires you as a producer?
I believe my varied credits are the result of my personal taste in conjunction with opportunities that became available to me. As someone who has some experience in the media business, I've become much more selective in the type of material I'll take on as a writer and/or producer. Of course, a creative producer like myself has to be in love with the material. That's a given - whether its a short story, novel, article or life rights. But not so in love that you can't let it go if there's no deal to be made. There are a lot of reasons NOT to get involved with a project and you can't ignore them. I am always thinking of the business opportunity, what is my plan to take this out in the industry, how I can use my relationships to get to decision-makers and how to tailor a script/pitch to a company that would produce it so they can’t say “no.”. That may sound limiting, but I can find inspiration within these guidelines. Most importantly, since a producer has to live with a piece of material for many years, I always make sure its a story I can get and stay excited about.
So to answer your question more succinctly, what ties the movies I've produced together is a combination of inspiration and opportunity. A little bit of luck and timing as well.
- The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick
As for my interests in film, I've always been fascinated with non-linear storytelling. With Next we played with the idea of a man being able to see two minutes into his own future - that came right from the Philip K. Dick short story "The Golden Man." Film is uniquely suited to play with time and sequencing events to create new and powerful narratives. Even a linear movie cuts through the boring parts of life to tell a story highlighting the most interesting and relevant parts of a characters experience. I’ve always found that to be extremely powerful. I also love to be transported out of my everyday world whether its with a baseball team or to an alien world. My personal tastes are for high-concept movies that are well-executed that have some spectacle and mass appeal. Inception and Avatar are two of my recent favorites.
I also love thoughtful, well-crafted indies that lack pretense and are well-acted. I thought Win Win with Paul Giamatti was brilliant and hilarious. I hope it finds a good audience.