The Ken Heckmann Film Collection

The G. William Jones Film & Video Collection is pleased to announce the acquisition of The Ken Heckmann Film Collection, an eclectic cross-section of Dallas media and local filmmaking spanning 30-plus years.

After graduating from film school in Southern California, Heckmann’s career began in Los Angeles, California, working on aKen Heckmann collection of reel films and video tapes number of CBS productions including “The Smothers Brothers Show,” “The Glen Campbell Show,” and “Bonanza.”  Following an offer by the Southland Corporation (parent company to the 7-Eleven convenience store chain based out of Dallas), Heckmann moved his family to the Metroplex, where he began his life as an esteemed commercial filmmaker, developing several prominent advertising campaigns, including the legendary “Pepsi Challenge” series. He eventually founded Ken Heckmann Productions, which operated in Dallas for decades.

Some highlights of this donation include Heckmann’s commercial work with the Southland Corporation, Xerox, the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the City of Irving, the American Heart Association, Hope Cottage, City of Hope, Home Interiors, and Weed Eater, just to name a few.
Media in the Ken Heckmann collection

Not just known for his work in advertising, Heckmann was also an esteemed independent filmmaker in his own right, and this donation includes Heckmann’s entire oeuvre.  These locally shot films include A FATHER A SON AND A THREE-MILE RUN, LIKE A ROARING LION, THE LEGACY OF MARY C. CROWLEY, HANK’S JOURNEY, and POWER, PASSION & GLORY: THE REAL STORY OF TEXAS FOOTBALL MADNESS.

Complimenting other works by local commercial filmmakers in the archive, including Lloyd B. Abernathy, Jr. and Patricia & Jim Martin (another recent acquisition) as well as the works of regional directors such as Mark Birnbaum, Joe Camp, and Larry Buchanan, the Jones Collection is continuing its mission to preserve local films and the story of the oft-forgotten Dallas film industry.


Blog post: Scott Martin, Moving Image Curatorial Assistant, Jones Film & Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library