Interview with Filmmaker/Animator Milo Ferguson (JUPITER & EUROPA)

JUPITER & EUROPA was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the November 2021 LGBTQ+ Shorts Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to make something that would make being stuck in quarantine suck less, which surprisingly worked! I also had to make this form for a grade, since Jupiter & Europa was technically my sophomore year final.

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

The world the film takes place in and the characters have been marinating in my head for about three years or so, but the film itself took 8 months from start to finish. I probably could have pulled it off faster, but I made the whole thing myself during an already work-intensive year of remote learning.

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

Gay astronauts!

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

My biggest obstacle was the workload. I loved the concept and world, and I could spend forever in it, but the animation is a mind-bogglingly time-consuming task sometimes. I would’ve killed for an assistant to help out with cleaning up the line-art or filling in the colors when I was under a real crunch. It was nice to work alone though, and I don’t know how many times I’ll ever be able to do it again.

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

It felt really great. I’m currently going through a bit of an artistic plateau and creative block, so just hearing people appreciate my work uplifted me. Not gonna lie, I laughed when one of the guys said something about the “animators”, in a plural sense. Even if it was a slip-up, I’d like to believe I can manage to make something that looks like it was done by a team. I’m also very glad everyone loved the score, Zee Yuen did an absolutely tremendous job on it and I can’t wait to work with them again and to see their music in so many more projects!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I realized I wanted to make films when I discovered it was the best way to directly communicate how I felt to others. In the most abstract, unapologetic, gay, and beautiful way possible. I prefer animation because I don’t have to let reality restrict me in that respect, but also just because drawing stuff and making stuff up is really fun and everyone should do it a little more

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

It’s probably a three-way tie between Wall-E, Ratatouille, and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

Totally painless and easy, no problems there.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Really tough choice, but KBBQ with friends is a top contender.

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

Two actually! My animation directorial debut will be wrapping production in about a month, it’s called Sky Vandal and so far I’m really excited to share it. My next solo film will be wrapping June 2022 but I can’t say much about it yet. It would be an absolute dream to turn Jupiter & Europa into it’s own series one day, but that’s for a bit further in the future. In any case, I want to keep making cool stuff like this for as long as I physically can.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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