Young Filmmaker Prepares to Direct First Feature-Length Film

Harrison-directing-on-UJ-set-NEW Harrison Sissel is a new father who is proud of his new baby boy, but the other “child” in development bears the name, Unfortunately, Jack.

“Currently we are in pre-production, working on storyboards and casting and such, and about to launch an IndieGoGo campaign soon,” he says. “If the crowdfunding goes well, we could start shooting at the beginning of 2015.”

Initially, the film started as three shorts. The first fell flat, Sissel says. “We changed some of the comedy, the drama and character development. Now I have Will Buntin as actor and producer. The three shorts have been fused together to create a three-act film.”

Before the move into adulthood and parenthood, Sissel was a high school student who grabbed his stepfather’s camera and made films for fun. “It didn’t matter what. I made a lot of vampire films. I got into a bit of comedy and realized I wanted to be in film.” He currently works as a video production specialist at PlattForm Advertising.

UJ-3-NEWUnfortunately, Jack came from a kernel of an idea. “I was sitting at a stoplight in my mom’s car. I started thinking about why a person would jump from one car to the next. That thought stuck with me for a long time. I started thinking about this guy who has been kidnapped and from that single idea, I started building characters. I thought of the actions.”

Through the first attempt and the current revisions, Sissel expects to shoot in late winter. “It will be nicer as far as temperatures go,” he explains. “I am aiming to get this completed and ready for the 2016 Kansas City Film Festival.” He has also worked on other films including Adira and the 48-Hour Film Fest.

While the stops and starts have been trying as well as raising funds, Sissel is proud that he plans on keeping the film in Kansas City. “The storyboards are in development. I am giving up sleep to help figure out how the wrong guy in the wrong place and the wrong time can figure out who he is. I like the films of Edgar Wright who directed Scott Pilgrim and Shaun of the Dead. I appreciate his dark and sometimes uncomfortable humor. Jack is going to be similar.”

Of course, the similarity might also be staring in the mirror. “Jack is a little bit of me and it will be fun to share him with moviegoers.” As for the future, he will continue working with Buntin. “I have a superhero script created. It probably needs to be rewritten, but it will be revisited.”

To learn more, see the trailer for Unfortunately, Jack at

About The Author: Kellie Houx

Kellie Houx

Kellie Houx is a writer and photographer. A graduate of Park University, she has 20 years of experience as a journalist. As a writer, wife and mom, she values education, arts, family and togetherness.


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