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Film Minor Finds Major Success

Critics described the film as “a brilliant example of how good band documentaries can be” (Classic Rock) and “a truly vibrant and exciting slice of virtuoso filmmaking” (Record Collector). The rockumentary The Fearless Freaks, 2006 recipient of the Mojo Vision Award, was a film editor’s biggest challenge–it required 400 hours of footage following rock band The Flaming Lips spanning over 30 years to be edited into a 90 minute film.

Augsburg graduate and film minor JoLynn Garnes ’02 was up for the challenge.

At Augsburg, JoLynn studied studio art and film before film was a major. She got to know 16mm film teacher Phil Harder very well, who is also a well-known music video director. This relationship would prove integral to JoLynn’s future projects.

JoLynn also actively participated in Augsburg’s Film Club, making short films with full crews of some Twin Cities professionals. On one of the shoots, JoLynn met film editor Joe Martin, who later hired her as an assistant editor.

Her connections with Twin Cities filmmakers led to editing music videos for Harder Fuller Films, which in turn led to her name being recommended to director Bradley Beesley who was searching for an editor to edit his 30 years of footage into a documentary.

“Without ever meeting the director, or even really knowing what I was doing on that level of editing, I got the job,” remembers JoLynn. “They had a lot of trust in me, which was great. But, it was also the scariest and most difficult thing in my life. I was basically thrown into a sink or swim situation, and I swam furiously… Once I got into it, it became obsessive for me. A year and a half later, I had finished editing my first feature film.”

JoLynn’s résumé also includes music videos for artists such as Liz Phair, Prince, and Hilary Duff, commercials for Target, and another feature documentary called Summercamp!, which screened at the Toronto Film Festival. She is currently working on the backing video visuals for Beyoncé’s 2007 world tour.

“My best experience so far is a tie between both of the premiers for The Fearless Freaks and Summercamp!,” states JoLynn. “There’s nothing quite like being in a sold out cinema and watching your film alongside of hundreds of others for the first time… I love what I do, and working so hard for it is worth it.”

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