Interview with Animator/Filmmaker Joe Greenwell (YOU MAY FEEL)

YOU MAY FEEL played to rave reviews at the April 2021 CHICAGO Feedback Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this . What motivated you to make this film?

This all started at the funeral of a friend of mine. I was sitting in a row with some of my friends. I looked around the room and took in the emotions and actions going around the room. I took out my phone and wrote down a note for myself. I noted the different feelings people were having, but how there also ways people were belonging each other through this. Later on I revisited that note and reworked it into a short script. I felt like animation was the perfect medium for this concept. Then, I paused the production of this short for other work from my classes. Senior year though, the perfect opportunity presented itself. COVID-19 affected a lot of shoots and the amount of people allowed on set and the like, so for my project that semester I returned to my old script, wrote a new draft and started sketches for the designs. I was able to work alone as I went frame by frame, day by day to bring this to life.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I started the original note this was based on a few years ago. But when I came back to the idea to finally animate, the process of rewriting, designing scenes and characters, and animating at the Tom Hanks Center for Motion Pictures, the process was lasted about 5 months while I animated frame by frame. I was excited once I finished the rough cut and then it lasted about a month longer as I cleaned up the lines and added color to everything.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

The two words, I would call my film are “open and accepting.”

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I think time was my biggest challenge in making You May Feel. I had planned on wrapping mid December, but the animation process expanded that to January. I constantly wanted to be constantly animating, but that wasn’t possible balancing my film with work, school, and my personal life. I knew going frame by frame would be time consuming, but I put in the work. When my fiancée would get up for her job I got up with her and after she left I would go to the Tom Hanks Center on campus and animate ad much as I could. There were so many moments where I would just go to draw a single line, but I would have to redraw it until it really fit in the picture and looking at the final result I’m glad I took the time to fix the details.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Before starting the video, I was initially nervous. I put myself out there with this video, but it was quickly clear that people really connected with it. I was so happy seeing that people took note of different choices I made in production. It was great getting instant reactions.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I always had an interest in movies that started with my brothers. In high school, while I tried to choose what I would do after graduation, I took two classes that answered that question. My film analysis class made me think about the movies we were watching and how they all relate to each other. Then, my videography class really got me into making videos. No matter which part we were doing, writing, storyboarding, filming, or editing I was having a great time working.

It was in that class that I really started looking at filmmaking as an actual possible career.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Honestly, I think that is between Shrek and The Breakfast Club. Those two are like comfort food to me (in different ways).

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I love using FilmFreeway. I think it organizes everything really well for me as I can see when status changes happen. I was able to find a large variety of festivals to submit to.

9. What is your favorite meal?

I would say a good steak and baked sweet potato is the best way to go.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Both of my current projects are very different from You May Feel. I love horror comedies among many other types of films. I plan to keep writing and exploring different genres.

I’m currently in production on a short film called “Two Cons & a Body” about two goofy friends who are tasked with removing a dead body from an apartment, but then a problem arises when the pair lose the body and have to figure something out before their boss meets them for the pick up. Additionally, I am creating a feature script at the moment.
“Here Comes Trouble” is about a teenage cheerleader who is hired to babysit, but the night takes a turn when the parents who hired her tie her up and try to kill her. Sarah must survive and manage to escape the murderous couple.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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