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Oconomowoc High School grad screens third film at Theatre on Main

Oconomowoc community helped with film

Zachary Woods, 22, from Oconomowoc wants to be a director.

He graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a bachelors degree in fine arts for acting in May of 2012 but he's been working on his cinematic career long before than that.

About seven years ago, he began a parody film series with his Oconomowoc High School friends. It's an action-comedy film series named after "Mortal Kombat" but Woods said that it has "very little or nothing at all" to do with the original Mortal Kombat concept.

Woods came up with the idea alongside Andy McCain and Peter Hargarten (both also from Oconomowoc). Another local, Hanna Gaffne, was also an executive producer and costume/makeup designer.

The first spoof, "Mortal Kombat, A Christmas Story," was made using borrowed equipment and homemade costumes. It still sold out where it was shown, at Oconomowoc High School, and a standing ovation wrapped up the night. The second film, "Mortal Kombat, The Musical" was filmed using better equipment and an original score.

"The last time we showed (Mortal Kombat) at the Theatre on Main, in 2008, we sold out and there was standing-room- only," said Woods.

He's been working on the last installment of the trilogy since winter of 2008 and around 60 people are involved with the production. From background acting to costume design and makeup, the Oconomowoc community and Stevens Point community have been working toward the third and final film.

"For me, I want my focus to be on directing and it was a really excellent workshop experience … The programs across the country really neglect the acting-for-film aspect. I think the project really gave people the opportunity to do that," he said.

The feature-length film will be played at the Theatre on Main, 25 S. Main St. at 7:30 p.m. this Saturday. Tickets will be sold at the doors for $5 and all proceeds will go back to the theater. It should be noted that there is some violence and strong language.

"It's really a great example of what artists can do when they get an idea and just run with it," Woods said.

If you go

What: Mortal Kombat III created by Oconomowoc High School graduate Zachary Woods

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5

Where: Theatre on Main, 25 S. Main St., Oconomowoc

Cost: $5; proceeds benefit the theater

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