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KU alumni developing feature-length film

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

'Follow the Leader'The limitations of living in small-town Kansas jumpstarted Ben and Jacob Burghart's interest in filmmaking. That, and a little nudge from their mother.

"It was mostly boredom," Ben said. "Plus our mom would lock us outside to get us away from video games."

This drove the Burghart brothers, both University alumni, to create their own short action films, and will culminate with the production of "Follow the Leader," the duo's first feature-length film.

Even at the ages of eight and ten, the Burgharts had to figure out how to think on their feet. When friends couldn't show up to film or didn't want to play that day, Ben and Jacob would use action figures, or themselves, as stand-ins. Doing this opened up their understanding of decision-making not just from behind the camera, but from the actor's side as well, they said.

Originally conceived in 2009, "Follow the Leader" was a project that the Burgharts shelved, knowing there was some potential in the idea.

When they came to the University, Ben and Jacob began entering short films in the Wild West Film Fest, a local biannual short film contest. They especially enjoyed the horror-themed competition in the fall. This is where they met Josh Doke, now a collaborator on “Follow the Leader.” Read more

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