Adrian Jackson is a young man on the run – literally.
On April 1, Jackson began running. He’s started on Main Street in Fort Mill and he’s headed to Los Angeles. As of mid-May, he was in Texas.
“I want to bring awareness to the film industry in our area,” Jackson said before he began his roughly 2,300-mile run. “I also want to raise money for my company, Black Forest Films, so I can work on projects and open doors for other people like me.”
Jackson, 24, was born in Fort Mill and graduated from Nations Ford High School. While in high school, he took some film classes and ran track and cross country.
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“I began making music videos and loved it,” Jackson said. He took communications classes at York Tech in Rock Hill before moving on to The Art Institute of Charlotte. It was at the Art Institute that Jackson began his studies in earnest.
He credits two teachers, Rusty Sheridan (an actor, writer and educator) and Wil Davis (William Davis of Small Creatures Productions), with “really getting me going into films.”
Jackson received his associate’s degree in film and video production in December 2014 and was ready to work. He co-wrote “Charlotte Bound” and began working on another project.
He discovered there wasn’t much interest in a newly-minted filmmaker with big dreams. And big dreams take capital.
“I realized that the other thing in life that I really enjoy is running, and perhaps I could marry my two passions and get something good out of them,” Jackson said.
He came up with a plan for “Running Across America” to raise awareness for the film industry and show that fledgling filmmakers need help getting started. He pitched his idea to friends and family and found they were supportive.
Jackson began training last October and worked with a running coach at Fort Mill CrossFit. He planned his route and expected to run 25 to 30 miles a day.
A friend is following in a car and the two camp out at night, stay with friends when possible, or sleep in the car.
Jackson said he is going to make a documentary “Running For Film” that he will put on the YouTube Channel. He also started a Go Fund Me page so those interested in helping could donate.
He said he needs several thousand dollars to get his projects off the ground and he isn’t afraid of hard work.
Jackson also spoke with U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Wes Brady Jr., a retired veteran who walked from Charlotte to San Diego last year to raise money for wounded veterans.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Jackson said during a recent interview from the road. As of May 2, Jackson was in Oklahoma and on his second pair of shoes.
“We slept in a tent one night and heard some crazy stuff in the woods, but we’re doing OK. We’ve met some really interesting people along the way, too,” Jackson said.
Karen Scioscia is a freelance writer: email@example.com.
To follow Jackson and get updates on his progress, go to Black Forest Films on Facebook or gofundme.com/blackforestfilms.