A $5 box of popcorn and movie ticket to The Grand Theater launched young Garrett Sheeks into another world, even if it was only for 90 minutes. Kids movies such as the Ninja Turtles marked the beginning stages of Sheeks’ love for film, entertainment and life lessons.
“Everyone has something growing up that they want answered,” Sheeks said. “Movies, to me, were just windows into different lives.”
Sheeks, a filmmaker who grew up in Grand Island until he moved to Arcadia after junior high, now lives in Omaha. He produced, starred and wrote his first full feature film in 2016, “Black Luck.” The film was recently picked up by Indie Rights, an independent film distribution company, and is now available on Amazon and Amazon Prime.
He was active in theater, sports and band when he attended Seedling Mile, Gates and Barr Junior High. He graduated from Arcadia in 2005. Sheeks attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney as a theater arts major for one year before moving to California for 6 1/2 years to pursue a film career. He then worked at a small production company that filmed old westerns before moving back to Nebraska.
“A film, if done correctly, can be very healing and can teach you a lot at the same time,” Sheeks said, adding that it offers a separation while taking the viewer on an adventure. “It teaches you a lot about yourself.”
In “Black Luck,” Sheeks plays Hagen, a hitman who takes no prisoners while looking for his brother. The film is filled with dark, unlovable yet loveable characters, with a twisted ending.
“I wanted to tell this story of the character we follow who’s not a good person,” Sheeks said, adding that viewers still tend to take Hagen’s side despite his evil ways.
Sheeks collaborated with David Weiss of Omaha who filmed, directed and edited “Black Luck,” and Jason Levering, a Hastings native who directed, assisted in the screenplay and was a key actor in the film.
“Black Luck” was shown at the Action on Film Festival in Las Vegas, Film Invasion in Los Angeles, Buffalo Niagra Film Festival in New York, Underground International film festival in Europe, the Omaha Film Festival and the Prairie Lights film festival along with others.
The opening scene of the movie depicts Sheeks’ character, shirtless, hanging upside-down in a basement. That scene, Sheeks…