Film Extern Keith Huff Is Done Playing It Safe
Nearing age 30, Keith Huff enrolled in the Film Connection because he was tired of playing it safe with his career. “I’m kind of at the stage and part of my life where I’m like, ‘Okay, I really want a good career,” he says. “I really want to do something that I love. I’m tired of doing jobs that I don’t like…Even though I was playing it safe, I could still fail. So why not go after what I want?”
When Keith was placed as an extern with filmmaker Herschel Zahnd of American Film Co. in Louisville, KY, he found himself immersed in the filmmaking process almost immediately, and ended up being integrally involved in several of Herschel’s film projects. But the real education, Keith says, came when he wrote and directed his first short film under Herschel’s guidance—a project that turned into something of a crash course in problem-solving on the fly.
In the few days he and his team shot the film, Keith said the shoot was beset with everything from locations falling through to firing actors to bad weather destroying the set. “Herschel told me, ‘I can’t believe this. You’re probably getting 10 years’ worth of experience just in three days!’” says Keith. “Just because of all the crazy stuff we had.”
Of particular interest in the project was the role of the weather.
“It was mid-July, 100-degree weather,” Keith recalls. “Thunderstorms every single day would just come in right at the end. We would finish a scene and then dark clouds: something out of Poltergeist or Ghost Busters came out of nowhere and destroyed our set. We actually lost our set on the third day…But we just kind of rolled with it and made it work.”
The struggle paid off, though, and Keith’s film, For Sale By Owner, is soon to be released. Did the difficulty weaken his resolve to pursue a career in film? Not in the least: if anything, it’s taught him to relish the challenge. Keith tells us that he not only has several more personal projects in the pipeline, but he also has plans to continue collaborating with his mentor after graduation.
Like we said—Keith is done playing it safe.