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Grade School Filmmaker Scores Big Debut

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ASHLAND, Ore. – The zombie apocalypse is hitting Ashland, and it’s all thanks to the town’s youngest star filmmaker.

Ten year old Jack Murphy already won an Ashland Independent Film Festival award with the trailer to his film, Z-Minus, and now he’s preparing to debut the Kickstarter-backed project this week.

On Saturday morning, a nervous but composed Jack Murphy scoped out the spot of his big premier at the science works museum. It’s just four days away.

“A year and a half ago I was just coming up with the idea, and now it’s four days from the big premier, it’s pretty exciting,” said Murphy.

The movie trailer, an award winner at this year’s Ashland Independent Film Festival, is a gritty portrayal of zombies attacking Ashland.

Jack wrote, directed, and starred, and all but four of the actors are grade school friends.

“I just thought it would be fun,” said Murphy. “Having all of my friends and classmates doing one big movie.”

The money for equipment, makeup, and props – that was also Jack, thanks to a bit of saved-up allowance and a wildly successful donation drive on Kickstarter.com.

“I thought, ‘oh, I bet I could get something for $80,’” said Murphy. “Then I got over $80… actually a lot over, I got $1,511.”

Jack’s mom, Delaine Due, says it was supposed to be a small project, but Jack was determined.

Although he had never made a film before, she says he showed hints of directing talent ever since he started taking acting classes at three years old.

“He was always directing more than he was acting, really,” said Due. “He would interrupt the teacher and say ‘no, no, no, the story doesn’t go like that!’”

And after seeing her son at the film festival, she says he might be onto something.

“He soaked it up, he was in his element,” said Due. “He was really comfortable in meeting all of those people from all over the nation and the world who were other filmmakers.”

And even though his first film hasn’t yet premiered, Jack is already thinking about the sequel:  V-Minus – for vampires.