Member spotlight: Dr. Jim Kreutzer of Kenosha

Jim Kreutzer Headshot

How did you become interested in dentistry?

I was always focused on dentistry. I majored in pre-dentistry in college and had no real desire to be a physician. I chose dentistry as a means to give care to people.

I was a lieutenant in the Navy and attended the University of Maryland School of Endodontics. I ended up in Madison working as an associate in an endodontics practice. The original location of my dental practice is in Kenosha, then I expanded into Racine and Burlington. I am lucky to have two partners that support my schedule, Dr. Mark Buratti (Kenosha) and Dr. Nader Gill (Chicago Dental Society).

Dentistry has allowed me to raise a family and filmmaking has allowed me to do something special and creative. I’ve been given a gift. I’m 66-years-old with energy and in good health. I have the ability to pick and choose the projects that I like now, it’s not my livelihood anymore.

To you, what is the most important member benefit the WDA offers?

Years ago, I had medical insurance through the Wisconsin Dental Association and I have recently come back into the plan.

Why is organized dentistry important to you?
I believe there is safety in numbers – not everyone can be everything to everybody. I believe the association has my best interests in mind.

How did you get into film producing?

I bought my wife a walk-on-role to “Cheers” as a Christmas present 20 years ago and we flew to California. It was two days of sitting in the bleachers and there were lots of rehearsals. I was reading and my wife, who is a social butterfly, called me to the bar where she was talking to Ted Danson about his root canal next week. He asked me what to expect.

There was a young man from Wisconsin there who was an extra that introduced us to film producers. I got involved in producing for purely financial reasons.

What’s your favorite movie?

Movies that make me laugh and cry at the same time. Do you remember the movie called the “Panic Room”? I tell people, “I’ve got the panic room in my office every single day!” I don’t like horror movies. I enjoy comedies.

In honor of your newest movie (“Tommy’s Honour”), I have to ask, do you golf?

I play just for fun. I enjoy it and play with friends.

Tell me about “Tommy’s Honour”.

I once took a trip to St. Andrews, a historical golf course in Scotland, with a friend who has ALS. We went on a bucket list trip. I bought the book “Tommy’s Honour” to read. It was such a great book that I wondered why no one ever made the book into a movie. Tommy Morris was the first pro-athlete of all time.

I contacted the author of the book, Kevin Koch, for the book and film rights in 2012. Then, I hired Jason Connery to direct. Kevin Koch and his wife wrote the script for the movie, “Tommy’s Honour”. We had a guy from Chicago finance the film. We made the film in 33 days in 2014 in Scotland. Post-production took six months in London. Jason and I had the same vision for the film — that it was about life, death, tragedy and a story about golf. I had a friend tell Jason and me that there shouldn’t be a lot of golf in the movie; that the story is better.

“Tommy’s Honour” premiered on the opening night of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. There were 1,500 attendees and people paid attention to the movie and were laughing and crying at the appropriate parts. It was a pinch-me moment.

The movie was nominated for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award for best feature film (British version of the Oscars).

“Tommy’s Honour” premieres in U.S. theatres on April 14.

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“Tommy’s Honour” is based on the powerfully moving, true story of the challenging relationship between “old” Tom and “young” Tommy Morris, the dynamic father-son team who ushered in the modern game of golf. As their fame grew, Tom and Tommy, Scotland’s golf royalty, were touched by drama and personal tragedy. At first matching his father’s success, Tommy’s talent and fame grew to outshine his father’s accomplishments and respect as founder of the Open Championship in 1860 with a series of his own triumphs. But in contrast to Tommy’s public persona, his personal turmoil ultimately led him to rebel against both the aristocracy who gave him opportunity and the parents who shunned his passionate relationship with his wife.

The film is directed by Jason Connery. It stars Peter Mullan (War Horse), Jack Lowden (’71), Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park). http://www.tommyshonour.com