“Through his company, KRL Metals, Kelly Ludeking has participated in, facilitated, and hosted over one hundred iron pours since graduating from Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a B.F.A in sculpture and furniture design,” Johnson says. “Most important to the film, Ludeking is the founder of the Down on the Farm Iron Pour, a collaborative gathering of local, regional, and international artists held annually at his family farm near Decorah.”
“The most challenging aspect of this project was setting aside my own personal storytelling desires and working in collaboration with another filmmaker,” Abbott says. “It’s difficult to let moments you’ve shot and edited be deemed unworthy of the final cut, but it’s necessary in that it makes for a stronger piece as a whole in the end. Letting go of those pieces was the biggest challenge for me, but I know I grew as a filmmaker because of my willingness to put the project and the end goal first.”
“Before this project, I had no idea that something like an iron pour community existed,” Abbott says. “I found that the beauty was not only in the finished piece but the process itself was inspiring and exciting to witness firsthand.”
“I’ve done a lot of filmmaking in my last few years at Luther and this was a really tremendous opportunity for me to focus solely on producing a film over the summer,” Abbott says. “It gave me the chance to produce a movie with a professor who has inspired me and proved to be a great mentor.”
“I learned a lot about my ability to collaborate with others for the production of something greater than I could achieve by myself,” Abbott says. “With the resources Luther provided and the collaboration with numerous faculty and staff here, I was able to help put together a film that means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. The experience of being able to work on this project with others who are just as passionate for filmmaking was incredibly rewarding."
“Absolutely do it!” Abbott says. ”Find something you’re passionate about and do a research project so you can really gauge what your life could be like to be doing what you love full time.“
“While the creation of the film itself is the most obvious part of the filmmaking process, screening and discussion provides opportunities for critical public engagement,” says Johnson. “When this happens, a film is transformed from passive text to a communal, meaning-making event.”
Fresh off earning honorable mention for the Walter Ordway Best of Fest Award at this year’s Oneota Film Festival, our next step with Ironhead is to submit it to film festivals around the globe.
—Thomas C. Johnson
Because filmmaking demands teamwork.
—Thomas C. Johnson