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Sioux Falls Woman Takes Swing At Action Movies

Desire Jansen
Desire Jansen

Desire Jansen will see her hard work, determination, and dream chasing hit the big screen this weekend as part of the Sioux Empire Film Festival.

I asked Desire about how the pursuit of her dream unfolded, and what the process was like for her.

What are your credits in The Throwaways? Did you act and write?
I produced, co-wrote, and starred in The Throwaways.

Have you always wanted to write a script?
Yes! I’ve always wanted to write a script.  After working on a film with cinematographer/editor/all-things-movie extraordinaire, Shaun O’Connell of Labyrinth Films, back in 2011 and again in a few other film projects throughout the years since, we’ve had numerous conversations about filming a project together. I just needed to sit down and start dreaming…and finally I did!  That’s how The Throwaways came to fruition.

Is this the first film you’ve been apart of?
I’ve acted since the age of 11, but this was the first time producing and writing.

Was the process of writing and acting what you expected?
That’s funny. Great question. No! The answer is absolutely no. The writing was not what I expected.  I came up with the first draft of the script in a matter of hours.  It’s a 9 minute short film, which equates to roughly a 9 page script.  I thought I had a pretty great thing going in the first draft.  I sent it to Shaun and he gave me some great things to consider to add more momentum to the story.  I asked him to come on as a co-writer with me at that point.  9 EDITS later, we had our final script.
The acting part was awesome! I wrote The Throwaways because I always wanted to play a kick-ass action star…who doesn’t, right?  But there weren’t many people in this area making action movies. So, I decided to take it into my own hands. After the script was written, we found a stunt team and fight choreographers out of Minneapolis (two of the other actors of the movie, Terra Michelot and Dan Larson-Fine), hired them and had stunt training the day before we shot the big action sequence. It was as awesome as it sounds.

How long was the writing process?
The writing process took a few months probably.  The initial first draft of the script was done in a few hours, but all the rewrites took probably 2 months.

How long did it take you to film?
2 days.  We hammered out a lot of action and a lot of comedy in one weekend.

What category is your movie in this weekend at the Sioux Empire Film Festival?
Short film

If people want to come and see it what day and time slot is The Throwaways?
Come to the third session of the Film Festival on Saturday evening at the Belbas Theater inside the Washington Pavilion.  Get there before 6pm.  Our film will premier with a few other short films that evening and will show right before the feature length film “Wild Prairie Rose,” which is getting rave reviews. (I highly recommend attending as much of the Film Festival as possible though. 42 Films being shown this Fridayand Saturday) www.siouxempirefilmfestival.com for tickets and schedule information.

Would you like to do any more film projects?
Yes! We’re in the early stages of writing the sequel to The Throwaways. I also love character-driven dramas, so I’m always thinking about writing a script for something in that genre.  As far as acting goes,  I’ll be starring in Carlos De’Leon’s next horror film titled, “For We Are Many.”  We start filming that next weekend in Minneapolis. Any time I get the chance to work with Carlos, I jump because he loves a strong female lead role. He writes roles that demand boldness, an edge to the character, and fierce confidence in a woman.  Those are the roles I want to sink my teeth into.  Any chance I get to encourage or empower another woman to step out boldly, be courageous, and believe in herself, I take! That’s what strong female lead characters in movies do so well. That’s why I want to continue writing, producing, and acting.

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