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Could you tell me what inspired you to make this movie? How did you come up with the idea?
I wanted to create a film with real stakes. Not some cutesy indie thing about a quirky family. Mostly it was a thought experiment for a version of myself in the moments of writing it about how I might face my own end, realistically. About what an end that would be, and what dramatic goodness I could capture from it. How this would reflect my perspective and voice as a filmmaker. Ultimately it’s a film about the duality of the universe as a thing of uncaring chaos and as a means to experience beauty and joy at the same time.
Why did you choose to star in your own film?
I really enjoy performing as an actor and decided to use this film as a vehicle for myself, making the role a character I could hit out of the park (or attempt to).
Is there a meaning behind the title ‘everything’s gonna be okay’? If so, what kind of message you’ve tried to deliver. Why did you choose such an abrupt ending?
The meaning behind the title is that everything is most definitely NOT gonna be okay. Yes, there is beauty in the world (why I featured such pretty cinematography) and “Alex” is right when she says that his life has meaning, but also sometimes shit happens. The universe is simultaneously a font of chaos and indiscriminate violence, terror, confusion. We are worlds unto ourselves and bumbling ants. The ending supports this idea, as well as reflects the world I see around me and my voice as a filmmaker. The environment is experiencing exponential degradation, our social systems are breaking down, Trump gets elected etc.
You were a writer, director and even actor for this short. Did you find it hard/easy to have so many roles at once?
It was my first time doing this, and it was definitely a challenge. Especially doing it under such tight time constraints. But it was exciting as well and forced us to focus only on the task at hand, trust each other, and make decisions quickly and with confidence. Sometimes having the time to think and not just follow all the prep work you’ve done can be its own curse.
The majority of your films are dark comedy or horror, why this genre?
In my favorite pieces of art, each of these elements feeds the other. Having a film that has comedy as well as drama increases the potency of both through a larger scale of emotional truths that the film presents. Plus it makes the world of the film more full, more real. Even in the darkest moments, it’s possible to mine delight. I pursue dark comedy specifically because it seems like magic when executed well. I play with horror a lot because of my love of science fiction and fantasy, having found great solace in such works as a child, and because horror allows me to most directly play with the audience’s expectations.
Is it challenging to tell the whole story in only 15 minutes?
I wrote this story for this length, specifically, I think it would be a little overwrought if I extended it much longer, unless I expanded on the story as well. Of course, I’m always open to thinking about what a feature of it would look like.
What part of making this short-film did you enjoy the most?
Being on set, in the fire, tired, having a team around me, all working together to create. Nothing better. I also loved the process of song-hunting. It was exhaustive but when I found the song, the satisfaction of it clicking into place was pretty great.