From directing and shooting films or documentaries, to singing or playing the guitar, senior Jackson Kottkamp has a unique array of talents in the arts.
“[Singing and film] has really been a great outlet and fantastic or different way to express myself creatively,” Kottkamp said.
Kottkamp picked up music midway through his highschool experience, but he’s had a love for film for many years of his young life.
“I feel like it [film] has always been a part of me for my whole life, I mean when I was three years old I would bring my dad over with his camcorder and make up little stories about toy trains or something,” Kottkamp said. “In lower school I was already getting into stop motion animation.”
Out of the many film projects that Kottkamp has worked on, one of his favorites has been the project he’s currently helping out with, which is an eight episode documentary on the Maclay School varsity basketball team.
“Even though I don’t play basketball anymore, I still have a love for the sport and it’s something I respect, so being able to be a part of the team’s journey and this season has been so much fun for me,” Kottkamp said.
Not only does Kottkamp love creating visuals and working with cameras, he also spends lots of his time watching several different styles and elements of cinema.
“It [his love for film] has evolved over time into studying and getting more and more information about the art of film, and as I’ve seen more and more different kinds of films it’s kind of helped create a path into my own work,” Kottkamp said. “Its [film] really always felt integral to me and it’s always felt in one way or another my purpose.”
On the music side of his life, Kottkamp started out playing the guitar around two years ago and shortly after started to introduce singing. After he joined the upper school’s music club, he had his first live performance at last year’s Maclay Dance Marathon event and has been performing at many other school events since then.
“Jackson’s interest in music has really inspired me to work harder to try to jam more with people and get more determined about organizing bands,” senior music club member Vic Vickers said. “And overall he’s inspired me as a songwriter to write more. In class we’ll sometimes stop from our personal projects to do a back and forth and write a little riff in the middle of class and he’s been a great person to rock out with.”
Outside of playing actual instruments, Kottkamp has also found a love for listening and enjoying several types of music, which has further expanded his horizons as a musician.
“Just over time as my taste in music has grown and I’ve spent more time listening to all the types of music that my dad has introduced me to or that I’ve discovered on my own, my appetite for all kinds of music has certainly expanded,” Kottkamp said.
Kottkamp believes he would not have had as much love for both film and music by his own self interest, as some of the people around him have influenced him and helped him grow into a dual-threat artist.
“A friend of mine named Cory that I’ve gotten to know through family and my interest in film has kind of opened me up to the possibility of being both a filmmaker and musician, as he also has had a love for both aspects for a much longer time than I have,” Kottkamp said.
Although Kottkamp has a special place for both music and film throughout his life, he plans on taking the art of film to the next level when he graduates from Maclay, where he is hopeful to be a part of Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts.
“I get that sense with Tallahassee that it’s a place that I have a familiarity with in my bones, and it’s an integral place to me so I hope to stay here and continue to work with my love for film at FSU,” Kottkamp said.