Be Positive

Donald G. Jackson: Diary of a Michigan Migrant Film Worker

By Scott Shaw

There have been a lot of negative things said and written about Donald G. Jackson. When he was alive, I too spoke a few negative words about the man as he was a troubled, frustrated, and very egocentric individual. He possessed what I call, “The Elvis Complex,” as he thought he was the center of the universe. But, in the later years of his life, I was probably his best friend and he was a true friend to me.

When Don lay dying from leukemia at U.C.L.A. Medical Center, I visited him almost every day. Sometimes he would discuss that he hoped a true documentary would be made about his filmmaking, as the one that was created about his first feature film, “Demon Lover,” titled, “Demon Lover Diary,” was so slanted and such a rip on his filmmaking ability and ideologies. I told him, I would be happy to take on that responsibility. 

Since his passing, I have released a few films that have peered into his life, his mindset, our filmmaking interactions and experiences, and the style of filmmaking that may have never been created if we had not worked together; Zen Filmmaking. These titles include:
DGJ Q and A, Frogtown News, Cinematografia Obsesion, A Drive with Linnea and Donald, Donald G. Jackson: Confessions, and A Little Bit About What Is Going On among others. Though each of these films is a unique and interesting piece of cinema, these were never the full-on documentary I planned to make.

Recently, I was looking through some behind-the-scenes footage and I began to edit it. What has emerged is the documentary I promise Don I would make. I have titled it, “Diary of a Michigan Migrant Film Worker.” This is title that he had come up with and actually spoke into the camera. I have used that segment in the opening footage.

So, for all you fans of Donald G. Jackson and his filmmaking, for those of you who liked, Demon Lover Diary, for those of you have wondered about the filmmaking chaos that revolved around the man, you can witness Donald G. Jackson as he created his last and final feature film.

Diary of a Michigan Migrant Film Worker was released in May 2011. 

You can order a copy of the movie by clicking on the title below.

Diary of a Michigan Migrant Film Worker

Film Trailer: