In this episode of the Banowetz Podcast, Sarah and Jim of The Iowa Motion Picture Association share about following your passions and describe why it’s so rewarding to do what you love.
*NOTE: The 29th Annual Iowa Motion Picture Awards have been moved to 08.08.2020 and will be held virtually this year.
Sarah: Welcome back to the Banowetz Marketing podcast. We’re glad you’re here today. I have a special guest. This is Jim. Hi, Jim, how are you?
Jim: Good, doing good!
Sarah: So your last name is Brocken right?
Jim: Brockhohn. It’s like rock-on with a b.
Sarah: Perfect. Tell us a little bit about who you are.
Jim: Okay, I’m from Four City Iowa. I was actually born here in Cedar Rapids.
Then I moved to Whittier about six years old and went to Springfield high school and grade school. I’m in Four City right now. I’ve been there for about 30 years and I’m a chiropractor and I specialize in sports medicine. So that means I’ve traveled different professional teams. I was with the professional rodeo circuit for 16 years, then ’96 I joined the Olympic team. So I’ve been with them off and on.
Sarah: That is really cool. And you have something else that you do, also.
Jim: I’m also an actor.
Sarah: You’re also an actor.
Jim: You could say that I’m an actor but I play a doctor in real life.
Sarah: I love it. Okay, so, and you’re president of the Iowa Motion Picture Association, correct?
Jim: That’s correct. Yes. I’ve been with the Iowa Motion Picture Association for about 16 years and president for the last six.
Sarah: Very cool, very cool.
So tell us a little bit about your acting. That’s very intriguing to me.
Jim: I started in 1994, about 25 years ago. I’ve done about 90 projects as far as movies, TV shows, commercials.
I started out with an industrial film called The Goal, and it’s really weird because the title was The Goal. And I had a goal to be an actor and, you know, I’ve read Zig Ziglar and I’ve learned how to set goals and stuff. So I set up a goal, like, I didn’t know why I’m being the Olympic doctor.
I set up a goal and I figured it’d be the year, 2000 before I became that, but I got 96, which is good. I follow goals and I write them down and stuff. So everybody should do that.
Sarah: I want to hear more about that. So you set you set goals and then your first video was the goal.
Jim: Yeah. Yeah. And my goal was to become an actor and to be in a major motion picture for about six seconds. Just long enough so people know it’s me. So I can say, yeah, that’s me in the background over there. Yay.
But now it’s 25 years later and I’ve gotten starring roles and supporting roles and so forth. So it’s done better than my first goal. Yeah. Once you reach a goal, you got to keep going, keep going, keep growing.
Sarah: So what is your secret to actually accomplishing the goals besides writing them down?
Is it taking like small, actionable steps?
Jim: Yeah, it is. You do a longterm, short term, extended term goals. They’re not any particular number of years, you make them up yourself. Whether if it’s short term three years or five years, depending what you want to accomplish, and you just write down how to get there, different steps you have to do to get there.
And that’s why I did become an Olympic team doctor and also acting, too. And as far as acting all you need to do is start out with your mindset. Like, I want to be an extra, or if somebody calls you up and say, hey, You know, a bunch of us guys are filming this movie in our backyard. You know, we just got this camera for my birthday. You want to be in stuff like that.
So start out like that and get all the work you can, don’t be too picky if somebody wants you to be an extra and there’s no pay. You have to travel three hours to get there, you know? No, they might feed you and that’s all you get. They’ll do it. Just keep going.
It builds up your resume. Yeah. Yeah. And even to this day, if it’s a good movie and somebody wants me to do a small role, I’ll do that. Yeah. If it’s a good movie, I’ll do it.
Sarah: Like when a friend of yours says you should travel three hours to Cedar Rapids to be on the Banowetz Marketing podcast. You’re like, yeah.
Jim: Yeah, I’m here! Next spring I’ll be traveling back to Cedar Rapids and doing a movie too.
Sarah: What are you doing? Can you talk about it?
Jim: I don’t think so.
Sarah: keep it secret then. What is your favorite? Can you say what your favorite piece was that you’ve done?
Jim: I’ve done quite a few. I really liked working with the Cohen brothers.
Yeah. I auditioned for the Cohen brothers, many years ago for A Serious Man. And I went up there to Minneapolis to audition for it? This lady took us to this room and started talking about what it’s like to be an extra, the ettiquet and all this stuff, to be an extra. And I’m thinking… this is weird. I thought we were coming there for a particular role. So I brought headshots and our demo reel and all that.
And so they said, if you have headshot and you’re leaving, go ahead and put them in this basket where we have files. And I put a headshot in for a police officer and one for a detective.
I thought, you know, maybe they like me if they see my pictures and my resume and so forth. And then I was sitting at a little league baseball game once in the summer. And I got this call on my cell phone, it was a lady from the Cohen brothers. And she said the Cohen brothers want you to be in this movie. And we want you to be the Red Owl store manager.
And I knew they get credits and kickbacks, if you live in Minnesota, you know, so I said, well, I want to tell you right off the bat, I’m about a half hour away from Minnesota. I don’t live in Minnesota. So I want to tell you that right off the bat.
And she says, and her exact words, I’ll never forget, she says, “Honey, you don’t understand. The Cohen brothers hand picked you. So you can live anywhere in the world and you’re in if you want it.”, so I said I’ll take it.
And then a few years later, I got a call from them, they wanted me to be John provided double-sided that? So I did nine scenes.
Sarah: So did you get to meet John Goodman?
Jim: No, they kept John Goodman in New York City, paid him the big bucks, kept me and two other people in Minnesota for two days. And I did nine scenes for John Goodwin, which was Inside Llewyn Davis, was the movie, and he played Rolin. And so, what was really cool about that film is that I was at home, during the golden Globes award, and I was sitting there in my La Z Boy, my wife was right next to me, and we’re looking up the screen and that film was nominated for three things for director, best movie and best actor. So I was sitting there and they showed, supposed to be John Goodman in the background, it was me! I said, look, Cindy, there’s me!
That’s my scene. I made the Golden Globes, but nobody’s going to know it. They think it’s going to be John Goodman playing Rolin, and it’s actually me. I said, so. I’m getting closer.
Sarah: Yeah. That is really cool though.
Jim: So I made it to the Golden Globes, but nobody knows it.
Sarah: Nobody knows, but now they do because you just said it!
That is really, really cool. D do you have any other stories?
Jim: Yeah, I did one called Best Man Down. And Tyler Labine was in it. I love Tyler Labine, and I was there for two days. And, Justin Long and Shelley Long were in it, but they weren’t related and aren’t related. Anyway, I was doing the scene and the gentlemen that, it was, I think it was Ted Colin or something like that, who’s a director and we’d be there and it would take him many, many hours just do one scene. He did it over and over again, different angles, like how the producers would do and directors would do. So I was there with Tyler Labine, and it was supposed to be called Lumpy, but they changed it to Best Man Down.
So Tyler Labine played Lumpy, who is the best man of the bride and groom, and the groom was Justin Long. And so, I was on the dance floor with my movie wife and so we were dancing and Tyler Labine came up to me, Lumpy, came up to me and started picking me up on the dance floor and started saying, “Hey buddy, how’s it going?” and so forth. So I pushed him away.
Sarah: Cause he wasn’t supposed to do that?
Jim: No, he’s supposed to lift me up and say, “Hey buddy, how you doing?”, cause we’re good friends in this movie.
And so he did that in the movie. And I said, “Oh, pretty good Lumpy. How are you? How are you doing?” I was just going on and on, ad libbing.
The director says, cut. No, you’re supposed to, you’re one of his best friends. You’re supposed to push him away cause he’s drunk. And he was, he was spilling wine on the bride and he ruined the wedding cake. It was a wedding reception is what we were doing, that scene. And so I said, okay, so I pushed him away, I said get out of here Lumpy. Leave me alone.
They went over and Shelly was dancing right next to me, Shelley Long and Lumpy went up and grabbed her. And she looked at me about this far away from each other says “help me.” so Justin Long, we went over there, pulled Lumpy off. Then we put Lumpy down at this table and the director says our goal is to keep Lumpy at that table. Don’t let him up.
So I was a big man, you know, and I had his left shoulder and I had another guy on his right shoulder. Lumpy put his head down, then he would get up. And he’d get about halfway up, then he goes back down, put his head down on the table, gets back up about three quarters of the way. Then he was supposed to lay his head down and then cut.
Now, remember this director would do things over and over again. So, my goal was to make sure Lumpy stays down at the table. So when Lumpy got up, and when he went down for a second time, put his head down, and he looked up and I thought what’s he up to? Tyler Labine got up and started running. I thought, crap, I’m supposed to not let him leave his table.
So I went running after him. To tackle him. And as soon as I got up and started running, the director said cut, and everybody started laughing as he says that’s it. We’re not doing anymore. You know?
And then a friend come up to me and said, hey, I saw you in the movie on TV. I said, which one is that? It’s the Best Man Down.
He said, you’re throwing chairs all over the place. And I said, no, I was, I haven’t seen the movie. And he says, yeah.
So I watched it, it’s on Netflix, so I watched it and yeah. My guy would chase Lumpy, I was throwing chairs all over the room just so I could get through. Because there were chairs and tables, because it was a wedding reception.
Sarah: And you didn’t even notice?
Jim: I was so much into the character that I didn’t know I was throwing chairs.
My goal was, Lumpy cannot move. And when he got up, I think I might have said, Oh crap or something. I just took off running. I didn’t know I threw chairs until after I saw it. I was so into it. So those were really good films.
Sarah: So is this one reason why you like making films, being in films?
Jim: It’s the stories. It’s not the money. I mean, you’d be starving, you know, being an actor here in Iowa. But I do it because I love it. It’s fun. I can do different characters. I even did a character, I co-starred in this movie where I was mentally challenged. So I told this director, I want to be in the movie where I’m mentally challenged, so he wrote this movie for me. We filmed in Wisconsin. I was the only Iowa actor and I’ve won a lot of awards with that.
Sarah: I saw your your demo reel. So I saw the clip, one of the clips from that.
Jim: Yeah. And the lady that played my mother is still alive and she’s 102 right now. Yeah. Yeah.
So that’s why I do it. It’s the stories and, you know, it’s how people get into the characters, too.
There was one, Wind Talkers, Nicholas Cage is in that. I was supposed to be in that movie, but I had to fly back to Iowa because I was in LA in the year, 2000, October, 2000, taking an acting class from this teacher, Joan Darling, who was an award winning director. She directed Mash, Mary Tyler Moore and different shows like that. Yeah.
So I took an acting class with Joan Darling. She saw my work, year 2000. She asked me to come out there to LA and take some classes with her, so I did, and that was a good time. That was the best thing I ever did in my life, spent a whole month there in LA. And then when I got to LA, I also did a couple movies as an extra. And Simone, in Evolution.
So I was background in that, which is, you know, worked with David Connie, Orlando Jones, and a lot of different people there. Yeah. So it’s fun.
Sarah: Very cool.
Jim: It’s the stories I like about it. You know, when I do a movie, I like to come back and share the stories. Oh, Nicholas Cage. I saw him. Nicholas Cage, too.
Sarah: So have you met Nicholas Cage?
Jim: No, cause I didn’t, I couldn’t go to that. When I was in LA, I auditioned for a movie called the Wind Talkers and I was supposed to get a part in there, but I had to come back to Iowa. And so with Nicholas Cage, what I learned from him, well actually I didn’t get the job but a friend of mine in LA got the job, too. We were both supposed to be extras in the background.
In this scene, in Wind Talkers, and that’s the Navajo Indians, you know, language as far as world war one or two. But anyway, there’s a scene where Nick Cage was in this hospital, and it was like a park or something like that.
So we’re outside the hospital. They have their own yard, and you see people walking around with limbs cut off or on crutches, wheelchairs and heads bandaged and all this stuff. And arms had slings. And I was supposed to be just sitting in one of the chairs as one of the patients, but a friend of mine did it and he called me back and told me about the scene, what I missed out on.
And he said, well, Nicholas Cage, when he did his part, he’s supposed to get up. He was talking to a nurse at a table about this far, apart from each other here, you and I, and so he was supposed to get up and then get dizzy and then walk into a cement wall that was like five feet away.
So, you know, we use method acting, which is realism.
You know, I don’t, when I’m acting, I’m not Jim Brockon, I’m actually the character. So what he did was he told the director, he says, well, what I want you to do is since I gotta get up and be dizzy, I want you to get a broom handle. What I’m gonna do is go right here and wait, stand up, and spin around the broom handle five or six times. And he knows which way to spin on handle so he could walk this way and fall against the wall. So he spun and he says, he looks at a director and he says, as soon as I get done with this, I’m gonna throw the broom handle out of the scene.
And we sit down, yell action. So he’s spinning around like this and he was getting dizzy. He threw the broom handle out and the director says action. He got up and he was dizzy. He walked right into the wall and they said, cut.
So that’s what you gotta do when you’re a method actor, you know, it’s, it’s like, Alan Young, do you know Alan Young?
Jim: You’re too young for Alan Young. But, you know, back when the TVs were black and white, you had to turn the channels and you only got three channels. Well, that’s what I grew up with. Sorry, but yeah. But anyway, Alan Young, he was Mr.Ed.
Sarah: Oh yeah. I know Mr.Ed.
Jim: He was Wilber. He was my acting coach and he passed away a few years ago, about 97 years old, but he was my acting coach and he told me, he said, Jim, if you want to be funny, or if you want to do comedy, try not to be funny.
Jim: And he was right. Do you ever watch these movies where, you know, these method actors that do something as soon as they come in the room, people in the audience start getting a smile, you know something funny is going to happen. It’s so easy to laugh at these characters that come on screen.
And so what you do is like he says, for instance, if you do a scene, Jim, you’re drunk, don’t put on a shade, you know, from a lamp and walk around and act goofy and dance on tables. That’s not what people do when they’re drunk. He says what you do, you’re sitting at a table, you’re at a bar, and you have to go to the restroom and the bathroom’s right down over there.
And so you think, Oh my God, I don’t know if I can walk. So you get up, you stand up. You hold yourself straight up, you have a tie on, you straighten it, you do something. You look around, make sure that you’re stable. Cause you don’t want people to know you’re drunk. And so you look around and you think, okay, which path can I make it to the bathroom?
I go around this table, that table. So he’d get up and start walking and take a few steps. You stop, take a few more steps. So that’s how you do it. You know, just don’t go over the top. Be real. And so when I was mentally challenged in that one movie, the star, you know, I’ve worked with people that had problems like that were a challenge, mentally challenged and physically challenged.
And so I worked with those people, my whole life pretty much. And so I just pulled characters like the movie Radio, you know, I pulled a character from that and that’s how I got my for the star. And I was staying in character, too. And one of the actors said to the director, can you get Jim out of that character? It’s freaking me out.
Sarah: Because when they would cut, you would still stay in the character.
Jim: I would stay in character for a little while. It was freaking this one guy out so much that he asked the director. So I said, okay sure, I can come in and out of that character real easy.
So I did. Yeah. And matter of fact, I was even watching that movie and a friend of mine was sitting next to me, he was watching it. He was looking at that character and he looked at me, he looked at The Star again. A little bit later he says, is that you? I said, yeah, people didn’t know it was me, which is cool. Yeah.
And one guy came to the premiere and he said to the director, how’d you find a mentally challenged adult to act so well? He says, he’s not mentally challenged. He’s a chiropractor. He’s like, you know he’s an actor and a chiropractor. The guy wouldn’t believe him. He thought, no, no, he’s really mentally challenged. And he’s just acting that way. He’s not really a mentally challenged at all.
Sarah: That’s gotta be a nice compliment to you.
Jim: When I heard that, i thought that was weird, but then I thought that is a compliment.
Yeah. My wife says it doesn’t take me long to get there, so yeah.
Sarah: of your wife, you have four children?
Jim: Yes, and eight grandchildren, and one on the way.
Sarah: Congratulations. And then how long have you guys been married?
Jim: Ah, next spring, it’ll be 40 years. Four, zero. Yeah. And we work together in the chiropractic office. It’s just Cindy and I. So we’ve worked together for 30 years.
So we’re together 24-7 until I do my acting, then I might be on the road for a day or something like that. But no, we’re together all the time. I’m still married after 40 years almost.
Sarah: That’s very cool.
Jim: I challenge people to work 30 years with your spouse and see if you can still handle it. I let her think she’s the boss.
She’s out there listening to me.
Sarah: She’s off camera right now. I saw that face.
Jim: Yeah. Yeah.
Sarah: Very cool. Well, I grew up in an entrepreneurial family too, so my parents worked together, but not that closely. I mean, they’ve worked together, but my mom also did her own thing, too. Yeah, but it’s really cool. I wish my husband and I could do that, but he says I’m too hard to work with and I don’t disagree.
Jim: She’s sitting over there. So yeah. She’s great to work with.
Sarah: She looks great to work with.
Maybe she holds everything together, right?
Jim: Yeah, yeah.
Sarah: So, president of the Iowa Motion Picture Association. So as president, you probably work with a lot of people in the industry, I’m assuming.
Jim: Oh yeah, we have about 170 members and they’re anything from directors, actors, producers, they work the crew, anything with the production and what the Motion Picture Association does is, we help enhance and promote filmmaking in a digital or any kind of video production, so forth, in the state of Iowa, you don’t even have to live in Iowa to be a member. We have some people that are outside of Iowa. They just wanted to be a member so they can learn more about it. Cause we have workshops. And then every year we have the Iowa Motion Picture Association Awards.
It’s like the Academy Awards of Iowa and this coming season, it’ll be on april 4th, 04.04.2020. Remember that? 04.04.2020. Yeah. That’ll be in Ottumwa, Iowa. Yup. It’s going to be nice. Yeah.
Sarah: So what kind of off camera marketing do you guys do? Live streaming has worked really well for you?
Jim: The vice president of the Iowa Motion Picture Association, Michael Hitchins, and I, we do live streaming. So when I get done with this interview, he’s here in Cedar Rapids, so we’ll get together and do some live streaming.
We have a Golden Globes party, too, at the Fleur in Des Moines. And that’s going to be on January 5th. You should come to these events because it’s great for, you know, marketing plus meeting other people. If you’re a director and actor, want to get more involved, you know, you’re there networking with other people and that’s what we’re all about.
It’s networking, helping each other. You know, there’s so many people I’ve gotten involved into the movie industry and help them out and get them to reach their goal too. If they want to be an actor, I try to get them parts in different movies and stuff too.
Sarah: How do they find you guys?
Jim: Yes. If you go to our website, www.IMPA.tv, so that’s IMPA for Iowa Motion Picture Association dot TV, and you’d go there and you’ll learn all about us. And the membership is really low. If your student, high school or college, it’s only $10 a year. If you’re like you and I, a professional, it’s $25 a year, which is not bad at all.
And I also have, there’s a small business I have, which you can have three of your employees or anybody you want you and then two other people. And I always include my wife too. Yeah. You can buy three memberships, $50. A big corporation could pay $125 and have five people under them.
So when you go to the workshops, or the Iowa Motion Picture Association awards or the Golden Globe, anything that we offer, it could be free to the membership or a reduced price. But the best thing is, you get to mingle and meet other people in the industry. And that’s what’s all about.
Very good organization.
Sarah: Well, thank you for being on Jim. I really appreciate it. I loved watching. Well, I love watching your demo reel, which I’ll link to this video too. So I’ll link below in the information here.
Jim: There’s another organization I belong to. It’s the Iowa Independent Film Festival in Mason City, and we’re a film festival of course. I t’s been growing every year. I judge about 164 movies. It’ll be in September, around that area.
People can submit films to that. Just go the Iowa Independent Film Festival and you’ll find it and you’ll see that it’s in Mason City.
Yeah. But then submission for the Iowa Motion Picture Association for the Academy Awards of Iowa, the submission due date is February 2nd. So it’s 02.02.2020.
Sarah: And you help with the judging of that?
Jim: I don’t, no, since I’m the president. I don’t even know who the judges are.
We have a committee that selects judges. And since I’m the president, I do not want to know who the judges are. I’m not the judge. I don’t know until after the show is there. Then it’s written in our programs and who the judges are, but we have professional judges. We have two tier judging. So we have professionals doing it, but we have a good committee that selects them from all over the country.
Sarah: Very cool. That is very cool. Ah, social media channels for these. Do you have Instagram or Facebook?
Sarah: Okay. I will link these websites and your Facebook profile with this video.
Jim: I do have a website, myself, too.
Sarah: What’s your website?
Jim: Oh my gosh. It’s so long. It’s Agency.Pro.Talent.com/JimB
Sarah: I will also link that. Well, thanks for being on Jim. Is there anything else that you want to mention?
Jim: I could go on for hours, but no, I guess that’s it for now.
Sarah: Perfect. Perfect. Well, thanks. for coming on. This was, this is a joy and it was neat to see your demo reel and I’ll also have to link that so everyone watching can see that, also.
Jim: Yeah. So keep acting. It’s all about the stories. I love telling stories and what I see.
Sarah: I love it. I will have to mention to everybody watching. So the cameras that we use, we break it up. We break our scenes up every 10 minutes. And I had said to Jim, I said, hold it right there. And like, you’re the only person who ever actually held even your facial expression at that moment.
Jim: Well, when the director says hold it, you hold it.
Sarah: So, very professional.
Well, thank you, Jim. I appreciate it. Thanks for watching. If you have any questions about marketing or want to get in touch with Jim, feel free to follow the links below and we will see you later. Thank you very much. Have a great day. Bye.