Oct. 11, 2011
Success in athletics is almost always the result of the work that is done behind the scenes, whether in the weight room, watching video or through an individual workout.
In the film world, nothing could be more similar. Few movies are built solely on the power of a star actor or a creative script. Success emanates from a relentless attention to detail from those behind the camera and from the decisions made in pre-production.
For DePaul soccer alumnus David Kabbe, all the long hours and diligent preparation came to a head with the premiere of his short film, Hack, which debuted Thursday night in Santa Monica, Calif.
Hack is a dark comedy loosely based on Rudyard Kipling’s Finest Story in the World. It tells of a hack Hollywood writer and his struggles to find his story for an original screenplay. The writer makes that discovery through interactions with his shrink, his agent and a dim-whit Malibu surfer.
“Hack is a family project,” Kabbe said. “It was written and directed by my brother, and my sister is part of the cast.”
Kabbe, born to missionary parents in Kabul, Afghanistan, brought the movie to life through his role as producer. Kabbe’s role in the film’s production came without the glamour and glitz of Hollywood and was more about paying close attention to details.
“My role with Hack is as a line producer,” Kabbe said. “That means that I was basically like a contractor in the building world.”
“I needed to come up with the financing. Once that was done, I had to begin building a crew and making all the arrangements from staging to lighting, basically all the behind-the-scene details.”
The way Kabbe entered the world of film producing draws a parallel to his arrival at DePaul to play soccer and become a letterman in 1999.
“I was an accomplished wrestler, but I went through a number surgeries that eventually led me to giving up wrestling,” Kabbe said. “That opened the door for coming to DePaul as a soccer player.
“Unfortunately, the injuries ultimately led to playing just one year.”
Those injuries have also impacted his career choices in film.
“I was capable of working as stunt man and as an actor, but really in the long term, I wanted to make sure I chose a path that I could sustain,” Kabbe said. “My strength is in the creative field finding untold stories and bringing them from script to screen, so getting involved in production made the most sense.”
Kabbe is hopeful that Hack can be the vehicle to reach his goals as a producer. Hack is a 30-minute film which will be entered into the festival circuit. Among those entries will be the Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes Film Festivals.
“As we take it through the film festival circuit, we will try to also take it out for screenings---some personal and some public,” Kabbe said. “The goal is present it to financiers as an embodiment of our talents to prove we can produce viable content for distribution in diverse global markets.”
“Production work is tough. It is all about your effort. As in sports, no one is just going to invite you in. You have to be aggressive and mentally tough. You have to believe that all your work and talents will get you to your goal or its just fantasy. It’s the difference between visualizing victory while you train as an athlete and visualizing victory as a spectator. One might happen and the other never will.”
“I brought Hack from an idea to a reality. Hack is the embodiment of my ability and my potential.”
In a world of Hollywood dreams, Kabbe is hopeful that Hack will be the start of a beautiful friendship between him and the silver screen.
David Kabbe attended a DePaul Athletics alumni gathering at the August 25 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim game against the Chicago White Sox. Among the alumni in attendance were Dan Evans, Ira Green, Kevin Holland, Dana Kenney, Julie Luna Henriquez, Kristina Luna, Molly Sircher and former volleyball assistant coach Patti Culloton Gasparian.