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Matt Jackson, Director: LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS

February 17, 2014
Matt Jackson, Director

Matt Jackson, Director

1Q: Tell us a little about the origins of LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS, from concept to financing.

I started working on LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS sometime in 2008.  Andy Gunn and I were just finishing a festival run with our previous short film, Background(ed), and were looking for something fun to follow it up with.  So, we put out the call for scripts and Mike, who has been a friend of mine for years, answered with the craziest, most awesome script I’d read in a long time.  By page three I knew it was the movie we had to make.

From there began the arduous process of notes, planning, funding, and more notes.  It was a constant fixture in my life, even when there were times that it didn’t seem like it was going to happen.  But through it all, we stuck to it, refining the draft into something that was both exciting and viable for us to shoot.

Our first step into actual preproduction began in December 2010, when we got a collection of actors together for a read through.  Because it had been such an insular project up until that point, we just wanted to make sure that it was as funny to other people as it was to us.  Clearly, it was a big hit and starting in 2011, LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS went from this back burner idea to something that we were really working on.

Things were moving at a pretty decent clip, but ultimately we hit a bit of a setback in August of that year, as we weren’t able to secure all the funding that we needed to pull the movie off.  At the time I was devastated, but ultimately it was the best thing for us because, in retrospect, we weren’t nearly as ready as we thought we were to shoot.

We pushed our shooting dates back six months and re-attacked the movie with a newfound vigor.  The following six months was a blur of producing fund raising tools, taking meetings, and generally spreading the gospel of LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS everywhere we could.  Ultimately, we ended up shooting LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS over the course of three weeks in May of 2012 with a third of the original budget we thought we needed.

It was a certifiably insane idea, one that we never should have been able to pull off, but by the time we hit Memorial Day 2012, we had shot the craziest horror-comedy that we could imagine.

Then we started on the hard part.

2Q: Cinequest is hosting the World Premiere of LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS. Explain to us how it feels to bring this film before audiences for the first time, and what do you think their reaction will be to your film? 

I am SO STOKED to finally get this beast out in front of people!  And I’m so excited for Cinequest to be our world premiere venue.

It’s been such a journey from script to screen that I can’t wait for people to experience it.  And I think the audience is gonna love it!  It’s funny, brash, scary, exciting, with a dance of romance: It’s got something for everyone!

I have a good feeling about our screening.

3Q: What was your best and/or worst experience while making LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS?

Well, the worst experience was either our setback before we shot (which ended up being a major positive for us) or the massive rainstorm that hit us during our last few days of shooting…  the days where all the action took place outdoors.

While we all pulled through as a group (the crew was especially great rushing equipment in and out of the rain during the small shooting windows we had), to be honest, there was a span I was really worried we’d end up with a movie without an ending.  Ultimately, we shot the last chunk of the movie over the course of 4 days crazy out of order with me keeping track of everything in my head and ended up with my favorite sequence in the entire film.

My best experience though was either the first day of shooting or the last.  Our first day was at the Trees of Mystery, where the producers surprised me by securing a 30 foot jib so I could get the opening shot I had wanted since our first scout up there.  Initially it became a sacrifice to the budget, but the guys figured something out and sprung it on me over breakfast.  It was the perfect way to start the journey.

And then the last day should be pretty obvious.  After years of work, setbacks, and triumphs, I had finally achieved my goal of directing my first feature.  It was a little overwhelming, but calling cut on that last shot and knowing that no matter what else happened, I had made a movie was the best feeling in the world.  Definitely a lifetime highlight.

4Q: Festival audiences often have to make hard decisions about what to see, and the catalog descriptions sometimes run together. In your own words, why should people see your film?

Because it’s the best!

I might be a little biased though.

When we set about making LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS, it was with a simple goal in mind to make the most awesome love letter to the movies that we loved so much while we were growing up.  We wanted something with that was as big on crazy action as it was on heart, that’s fun to watch over and over again.  And I promise that you’ll never see another movie quite like it.

5Q: Time to pre-plan: You just won an Oscar for LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS. Give us your acceptance speech.

Clearly all my bribes have paid off.

I’d like to thank everyone involved, from our crazy dedicated production crew and everyone in the Crescent City/Gasquet area who helped us out to everyone in post who opened their living rooms up to me to hang out in for months, for making the movie possible.  Andy, Allison, Rob, and Mike, without you guys there’d be nothing for us all to work on, so thanks for that.  And finally, I’d like to thank my wife, Katrina, who has been the absolute best for putting up with the movie for the duration of it’s journey, allowed it to take me away from our wedding planning (we were married in March 2012, 5 weeks before we went to go shoot) and kept things rolling through the post process as our Pos Supervisor.  She’s everything!

Now, let’s go see how much we can pawn this thing for!

See LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONSTERS at Cinequest!
“Like” them on Facebook!

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From → Interviews

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