PREMIERES AT 7PM ON THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7TH AT THE LYRIC THEATRE IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THACKER. Jimbeau will perform on the Thacker Mountain Radio Show (begins at 6) and we will screen the movie immediately following the show. Come for Thacker and stay for the movie! It’s all FREE!!!
I’ve always been a believer in serendipity, especially when it comes to filmmaking. The origin of BEAUTIFUL JIM, my latest documentary film with Media and Documentary Projects, validates that belief once again.
As a young boy growing up on a farm in Hickory, Mississippi, one of my favorite pastimes was seeking out and digging through the junk piles of old abandoned home places. These rural archeological digs yielded all sorts of fascinating treasures, the most frequent of which were soda bottles from the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Newton, eight miles down the road.
I recently rediscovered those bottles and wanted to know more about them, so I turned to Google for answers. One of the first hits returned a blog entry from a Newton native who, as a child, collected Coke bottles from the roadside ditches and sold them back to the bottling plant for a nickel apiece. As I explored this man’s website and read more of his story, I knew I had just found the subject of my next film. As he would later say, “it was kismet,” and the result is BEAUTIFUL JIM .
Jimbeau Hinson is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter living in Nashville, Tennessee, who has been HIV positive for over 30 years. He was also the first openly bisexual singer-songwriter in country music and has been married to his wife, Brenda Fielder, for 33 years. Jimbeau has almost died from AIDS twice, although he is now HIV-undetectable. He recently received a record deal and released a new album at age 62.
Like every project, BEAUTIFUL JIM has presented me with some interesting learning opportunities. Obviously a movie about a songwriter is going to have a few songs, so I’ve spent a lot of time navigating the Byzantine complexity of music licensing. It’s not my favorite aspect of filmmaking!
Field production is always a concern as a “one-man band,” so I’ve been relying heavily upon our GoPro video camera as a stationary master shot during both live musical performances and sit-down interviews. Another benefit of the GoPro is its capability to be mounted in unusual places for unique perspectives, such as the opening lid of a chest full of HIV medicine.
One of the greatest pleasures—and challenges—of documentary filmmaking is the opportunity to gain a relatively quick intimacy with people. The time I spent with Jimbeau and Brenda was among my most rewarding ever, in both the professional and personal senses. I believe we came away with a powerful film, and I know I came away with two new friends.
You can view the trailer for BEAUTIFUL JIM here: