Creeeeepy, very creepy indeed. You’ve encapsulated a universal childhood horror and told it in a very filmic way. How did the narrative come about and how did you evolve it?
Jumby is a character that I have been working on for some time. There’s the obvious Slenderman influence, but he’s a different animal. In the end he’s really a type of anti-hero.
The short was basically just a proof of concept… seeing what we could and couldn’t pull off with the costume, mechanics and kids. It helped give me a good sense as to what was possible, and behind the scenes allowed me to figure out the drive for the character.
Did the story change much in the edit?
It didn’t change too much although we had to chop it up quite a bit. We were dealing with very tiered kids who I forced to be up past their bedtime on a cold and rainy night.
The best ally here was their mom… she was one one of the best ADs I’ve ever worked with.
Sustaining suspense is tricky. What were the key lessons you learnt for creating tension?
Yes… and I feel that’s something I could have done better.
Coming from a commercial background I’m use to shoehorning a story into a nice :30 or :60. Here things could play out more… It involves a different approach to shooting.
How did you go about casting for the roles? And were you able to rehearse considerably before the shoot?
I cast two real sisters because I wanted that dynamic….They have a history and know what buttons to push. Unfortunately there was no rehearsal due to conflicting schedules (something I don’t recommend)… but I did take a day beforehand to go through the script with the girls, explain everything on their level, ask questions, and practice acting exercises. The two girls were close and had a great relationship so it took some coaching to get them in their characters (bossy older sister / whiney younger sister).
Was the shoot straightforward – any major challenges?
Yup… lots of challanges. We had rain (and no rain date), no crew, and as I mentioned…. we were fighting The Sandman.
There’s animation, graphics and live action on your reel. Where does your heart lie?
My heart is scattered and smeared across all three. I feel fortunate that I can hop between different disciplines…. It keeps things fresh.
I usually work on an animated and live action project at the same time…they use different parts of the brain, but at the end of the day…storytelling is storytelling.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I only buy one type of sock so I never have to worry about matching.