Inside “The Film Lounge” with Greg Best

    Greg Best
    Caption Zoom

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve been visiting with Iowa filmmakers whose work will be featured on a new Iowa Public Television program called “The Film Lounge,” which premieres at 10 p.m. on Feb. 12.

    A number of them are planning to attend preview parties on Feb. 5 in Iowa City, Feb. 9 in Des Moines and Feb. 11 in Sioux City -- and by all means, you’re free to go, too. The events are free and should be a lot of fun, thanks to the show’s producers at IPTV, Produce Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council.

    Right now, though, let’s hear from the West Des Moines filmmaker Greg Best, whose “Film Lounge” contribution is a fictional drama called  “Lost and Found,” which explores anxiety and loss by following one father’s search for his daughter.

    Greg was born in Tampa, Fla., and eventually came to Iowa -- first to Norwalk, then to West Des Moines. He’s a self-taught filmmaker whose work ranges from drama to comedy, and he’s the driving force behind the “Teen Cop” series featured on the comedy website “Funny or Die.”

    Crew on set, Lost and Found.
    Caption Zoom

    With an eye on creating full feature productions down the road, he often focuses on stories about people and their personal demons -- and who comes out on top in the end.

    “That’s the deep side,” he says. “My goal is to quietly wrap that with entertaining action, drama, comedy and adventures so you’re excited to watch, while your heartstrings are tugged.”

    So what are you currently working on right now?
    Currently, I am editing “Teen Cop 004K: The Girl Who Loved Money,” the fourth in my
    “Teen Cop” solo comedy series, which was delayed while waiting for technology to catch up with its initial design specifications: 4K video at 60 frames per second.

    I am also pecking away at feature-length screenplays, like the recent “Meeting God,” which is a philosophical action-adventure, sci-fi drama about four astronauts on a one-way mission to deep space who leave the universe and meet up with a vastly superior being. The results should be thought-provoking and “water cooler” worthy for everyone.

    Clapperboard, Lost and Found.
    Caption Zoom

    What do you enjoy about being a filmmaker in Iowa?
    There is an excitement level around everyone I have met who works on films in Iowa. It feels more like a support structure as opposed to a competition where people want others to fail. Many people are happy to volunteer their specific talents to projects to make the end result better for everyone.

    What is one thing you would like to change about the film scene in Iowa?
    We need to work on our quality-control to ensure that our final products can be globally competitive in the expanding film market. Of course, I include my productions in this also. If we are low on any of the four pillars -- story, visuals, audio, acting -- we should step back, re-evaluate and perhaps find people who can help improve whatever needs fixed.

    Everyone has a camera equal to the professional cinema cameras of just 10 years ago, so we have to make sure we make something unique and worth watching. Story first. If the story isn’t dynamic and mentally attractive, there is no reason for the visuals, the audio or acting. I think as everyone’s skills grow, we will be seeing more amazing films coming out of Iowa.

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