Jon Macht: From Hagerstown to Hollywood
Hagerstown native Jon Macht started his career in newspapers before going to TV, radio and eventually film. (Submitted photo / January 25, 2013)
After that job, he left Universal and went into visual effects and animation for the next two years with Keefer, moving from shooting to actual hiring. One man he hired was Jerry Kitz, whose wife, Ellen Kitz, was a producer in visual effects and needed an visual effects cameraman and editor on 1998's "Rambo III."
Working with IntroVision, Macht worked along Sylvester Stallone, who opted to do some of the special effects on a soundstage in California instead of shooting in Afghanistan.
Macht's job was to edit the special effects scenes together. He worked alongside director Peter MacDonald and Stallone.
"While working there, it was one of my greatest fun experiences," Macht said, noting he remembers seeing "Rocky" at Leitersburg Cinemas.
Macht continues to work in the industry. In late 2012, "Teenage Bank Heist" was shown on Lifetime, on which Macht was the second unit director.
"I did direct actors in some of the scenes," he said.
Macht was hired by the same producers of the movie to write another TV movie for them, "Sugarbabies," which hopefully will be made this year.
In 2010, by longtime Lucasfilm producer Lope Yap Jr. to write the football drama, "Hit the Gap," which is based on a true life story.
Macht has written two other scripts, one of which is "Best Interest of the Child," which is in development. He also has several projects in the works, but because they are still in the early stages, he can't talk about the projects in specifics. One is a project he's working on with Mark Rains, which is a music competition show.
"I am writing a television pilot for a former television executive who developed the shows ‘Will & Grace,' 'Profiler' and 'The Sopranos,'" he said, noting that it's a one-hour legal thriller drama series.
He is also working on a television project with Sir Richard Branson's company.
As the projects get sold and become a project, there is a chance that one of Macht's pieces might be part of the new fall lineup come September.
"It's going to be the most amazing thing," Macht said. "I'm very excited about it."
Being a filmmaker
Macht's journey had led him to fulfill his dream: to be a filmmaker.
"I think that I really love being a filmmaker," Macht said. "I think I was really influenced also by the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. And I was influenced by Stanley Kubrick because Stanley Kubrick started his career in journalism as a still photographer. Then he became a writer, then he became a director and editor, then a cinematographer, so he did all the different capacities. What he always said was that he liked all these different things — being a writer, director, cinematographer, editor — because he was a complete filmmaker."
It's the complete vision that Macht to enjoy. Macht said he enjoys working alongside cineomotographers, including David West, who has been his director of photography on many projects. However, he said he likes to set up his shots behind the camera.
Macht also understands that films can't be made without the written word. And that is why he loves screenwriting — "because you are telling the entire story," he said.