Future screenwriter: Meet Jack Rourke Film aficionado and daily hallway performer

While at homecoming, senior Jack Rourke dances in front of the crowd. Homecoming took place, earlier this school year. "Exposing [my peers] to some frat music is apart of my life, for now at least," Rourke said. Photo Credit: Russel Valdez

‘Didn’t know what time it was and the lights were low/ I leaned back on my radio,’ blasts down the hallways as senior Jack Rourke sings along to Starman by David Bowie. Ignoring all of the students around him, he imagines himself in the music video.

Rourke has been playing music down the halls since he was a freshman, and he has no shame in singing along. With his mini hallway performances, he believes he can share his favorite songs with his peers and possibly spark the same passion in music as his peers.

“I’ve been [playing music down the halls] for so long, I’ve forgotten the exact reason why,” Rourke said. “Part of it is because I think music can really inject a room with energy and vitality. I view it as a smart way of introducing my peers to some frat music they might not have heard without me.”

While many students know Rourke as the familiar face dancing around campus, most don’t know that he has recently been accepted into the Savannah College of Art and Design, planning to pursue a major in film. He wants to create movies that not only make people happy, but also have a positive impact on others’ lives.

“If I make at least one person happy with a good time at the cinema or challenged whatever preconceived notions they’ve had about a given idea through the raw power of filmmaking, then I’ve done my job pretty well,” Rourke said.

Rourke’s interest in screenwriting began with the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” The artistic aspects in it, such as the mix of live action and animation, inspired him to pursue film.

“His work is authentic and unlike everything you see in a normal day because of how outrageous and unique his personality is,” senior Jenna Dickensheets said. “I can only imagine that his personality will have the same effect in his professional [film] career.”

Rourke has not only researched screenwriting for hours, but he has also taken a year long video production course in school to expand his knowledge on film. In his free time, he has written screenplays and created action short films, but he is currently keeping them private. To write his scripts, he begins by creating an outline, then writing in-depth details for scenes or characters and finally writes the screenplay on the app Fade In.

“Ideas can come from anywhere, sometimes, I have so many that I end up with entire pages worth of potential screenplays,” Rourke said. “Other days, I’m left with mixed feelings of boredom, panic,  and existential horror and sometimes, they can even be inspired by other movies. It can even depend on my mood at a given moment.”

As an 80s enthusiast, he loves the films from that decade because of the new cinematic experiments taken at the time, especially in movies like “Thief,” “Blade Runner” and “They Live.” These movies convinced him to hone in on science fiction, romance-crime and fantasy films. 

“A lot of it comes down to the aesthetics of that decade and how artists persevered with the then-current technology,” Rourke said. “Sure, all those neon lights and synth-pop tracks were and still are pretty cool, but that’s just scratching the surface of what made that era great. In fields of entertainment, it was a time for artistic experimentation of a vastly commercial scale that has yet to be matched.”

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