Monday, 8 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Jim Hoffmann

     Best Evidence will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

*How did you get into making films? 
Our school, Shadow Ridge (, is an Independent Study program outside of Los Angeles. We seek to create projects that are "real world" (5 Cs) and bring the students in contact with people and events that are significant. We want our students to be able to "make a dent in the universe" as Steve Jobs used to say.  Our YouTube Channel, "Shadow Ridge School: The Idea Factory" ( includes many of our video projects. Our students have also participated in children's book projects such as Pancho Claus: Mario From the Barrio and Face and Heart. Canyon Ridge High School is our sister school and we have done several projects together. Mr. Romero, the SPED Teacher at Canyon, is considered the "father of our two film programs."

*What inspired you to make your movie?
Our teachers, Mr. Hoffmann and Mr. Romero, are students of Mr. David S. Lifton's work, and when they presented the idea to the students, they all were excited to interview him. Though about 20 students were involved in the various pre-production meetings held at Canyon Ridge HS - which is huge, only seven made the trip to Mr. Lifton's home in Dana Point, CA.

*How has your style evolved?
The students normally do NOT spend much time prepping for their films, but in this case, we did hold three pre-production meetings. We knew Mr. Lifton had been interviewed literally hundreds of times and was well adept at such things, and we did not want to disappoint him, or appear unprofessional. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film?
Mr. Lifton kept calling our interviewer, Chelisa Rivas, "Chili," which was pretty funny. Also, and it made us all feel really good, Mr. Lifton had just been interviewed by a Japanese film crew the week before, and he told us that we were as professional as any film crew he had ever encountered. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind?
I honestly have never heard of these terms. After looking them up, I see the connection to our topic through the Misrule Film Movement which, though the "official government position" is one line of thinking, the average American has a different line of thinking about what really happened to JFK. As to the Pink8 Manifesto, we definitely are not professional film makers. Further, we have little time to prep. 

*What can we expect from your next film?
Something which addresses social consciousness, say homelessness in the community.