Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Jeffrey P Nesker 'Apocalypse story' Filmmaker

Short film premiered Sunday 14th August 230pm

Interview by Jasmina Nevada

-Would you like to tell me a little bit more about the short movie you have entered into the Festival?

Apocalypse story is my 2nd short film and it's about the end of the world and a boy and a girl meet mid to late teens and have an awkward sleepover at the end of the world sort of thing.

There is only one line of dialogue in the whole film. Its funny as I don’t like to give context to one film by talking about another. My plan was always to make 2 shorts and then segway into features and the idea was is that the 1st short which was called Nightclub Story and just loosely the plot is a boy and a girl meet in a line up to a night club and have an entire relationship before they get inside. Very much a dialogue heavy piece,tight shots in a single location. So for this short I wanted to do something more expansive and visual and a lot less reliant on dialogue and in addition I am a huge sci fi freak so I really wanted to try my hand at a sci-fi film but essentially they are both stories about relationships - boy meets girl kinda thing and it's a little bit over 10 minutes long it's proudly Canadian. The first shot in the film is a street sign for Toronto

Just to confirm you are from Toronto?

Yes, Toronto Canada

We are easily over 20 festivals for Apocalypse story. We have won quite a few awards and we will keep it going. Club story did the same

Having a great time here at Hollyshorts the quality of the program has been absolutely fantastic its hard to watch so many short films as they are all little worlds and you literally are flipping dimension to dimension, every 15 to 20 minutes but I found that that easy because of the strength of the overall films.

-So did you find overall that the shorts program was generally of good caliber?

Different strokes for different folks! There were some that I thought were just 'flipping' fantastic!

-I am curious to know why did you decide or want the film to be more expressive in terms of not having much dialogue? Is that the reason for not putting dialogue in?

That's a very good question.. the first answer is that when I was at film school, one of the 1st lessons that was hammered home at screenwriting and production classes is that dialogue is the least important aspect of film that it's all about structure.

Additional to that I don’t know if they do this anymore because the technology has increased exponentially,but when I went to film school in our 1st year we were shooting on a Super 8 Canon. Canon cameras don’t have the sound unless you get a Super 8 camera with sound in which case the sound is recorded on a feeble little magnetic stripe. In a way it was very much like shooting proper movies where you have a guy with a boom and the separate sound equipment ,the camera department but as a consequence of this most of our films were silent.

-Now you have told me about the silent aspects of film which you admire I wonder whether you were inspired from silent films from the past? Did this influence you in any way?

It did absolutely as I said before I wanted to make something that was less dialogue based and in this instance this is the most important everything is rooted in story. These 2 characters are nomads,they have been wandering around alone so it felt very dis-ingenious to me that they would be speaking English all the time. In the world of my story I would expect that if you don’t have to use a skill it sort of disappears

-Where did the concept or idea come from?

I think it has been in my head for a very long time,in different ways. I knew that I wanted to make 2 shorts and originally I wanted to make this one first but I talked to a lot of mentors and colleagues that I really respect and they said no this one is a lot bigger make nightclub story. First to get that out of your system and then approach this one and they were absolutely right I knew that I had them both on deck and ready to go and would say that I had the initial idea from the mid to late 90's

-When you decided to pin the nail down and decide that you were going to do this right now... how long did it take from the initial step to the final product?

Writing did not take very long pre-prroduction I had a great crew and many people invested in the project

-How many did your crew consist of?

Probably about 30

We shot for 3 days and the edit and post production is the longest process between 5-6 months from wrapping to printing the tapes

-What expectations did you have from the audience? And were your expectations met?

Absolutely every festival is worth attending. Personally there is always a moment where I would hope to hear laughs then I know that I have achieved my tone that I am going for and I got that at this screening and I haven’t at other ones where I thought people are still a lot on the fence I thought people were in to it and was well received,I am certainly proud of it. I thought the Q and A went well.

We are all sensitive artists we can all live in our head and scratch that itch of self reflexivity......

-a message to other artists that we are humble at the end of the day and have feelings about everything....

Or completely self obsessed and can fall into the pit of despair and dis-illusion

Fantastic experience and was great that it screened here

Thank you for your time...

*and thank you for the DVD copies I look forward to seeing them at home in my personal cinema- appreciated- note by Jasmina Nevada*

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