Doc to watch for: Louder Than a Bomb

Chicago-based Siskel/Jacobs Productions found the subject of their first doc, currently in production, in the unlikeliest place. Louder Than a Bomb follows a hugely popular poetry slam competition.
October 15, 2008

It’s true that you’ll never know where the next great idea will come from. Chicago-based Siskel/Jacobs Productions is a company that has worked for Discovery, National Geographic and History. Co-founders Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel were quite content producing for the big American non-fiction outlets, but always had their eyes open for a great feature documentary topic – and they found it by driving past a marquee.

Three years ago while Jacobs was driving in Chicago, he noticed kids lined up around the block of a concert venue and discovered that the title on the marquee, Louder Than a Bomb, was a hugely popular poetry slam competition among Chicago high schools. After investigating, Siskel and Jacobs knew they had their first documentary project right there.

Louder Than A Bomb follows four teams as they prepare for the 2008 slam competition. Jacobs says that by attending the event the year prior and talking to coaches, they pinpointed the standout kids to film. He says the combination of chance and geography whittled down their choices to four school teams.

The schools and subjects were very open to being filmed, which saved Siskel and Jacobs precious time, but money is always a little trickier to come by. They are now financing the film via private investors, donors and grants.

Siskel and Jacobs have been filming since September 2007 and are currently in the editing stage. They estimate a cut will be done in early 2009 and plan to circulate the film at festivals. Siskel also hopes for a distribution deal and a country-wide theatrical release.

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About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.