Interview with Filmmaker/Animator Jonathan Gibney (THE BOY)

THE BOY was the winner of BEST FILM at the July 2022 FEEDBACK ANIMATION Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

During the writing process, I was motivated by the challenge to tell a story through action alone. Once my team was formed my motivation changed to wanting to make something we’d all be proud of.

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

The film was in development for two years. The first year was dedicated to writing and pitching the project to my peers. Despite the length, it almost feels like yesterday we began.

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

Moving forward.

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

In every production there are daily obstacles to overcome in all forms. Throughout the year-long endeavor of creating a short film, we collectively tackled any issue that arose as a team to build camaraderie and ensure a strong final product. Reflecting on the difficulties we faced, our biggest challenge was constructing a large-scale environment. Through creating maps and terrain in a 2D and 3D space we crafted a 200-mile-long island that received the same thought and care our characters were given. Each aspect was meticulously planned out from the types of greenery to the assembly of manmade structures. Final touches were added well into post-production to ensure an immersive experience to aid storytelling.

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

From a literary perspective there is quite a bit of symbolism to be unearthed in our film through a multitude of areas from the play of light to prop design and setting. We put our all into crafting an experience that can be viewed without the constraints of any one language. As filmmakers witnessing the audience’s reaction and hearing their takeaways was an unforgettable and visceral moment for the whole team. There is no greater gratification. We were both humbled and motivated to hear their experiences and takeaways.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

Throughout my childhood, I was awestruck by the storytelling process. I’d read tons of books a year and far more films than I can count. At 8 years old, I started coming up with my own stories. From that, I decided I would study animation and film. So in short, I’ve been drawn to film for as long as I can remember and I hope to be a part of the creation process for much longer.

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

I think I have seen Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash the most.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

I think it’d be great to have industry professionals give feedback and network with upcoming artists.

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

The FilmFreeway site has been an incredible resource, having all the records and information in one location is the most effective way to make sure your film is being seen.

10. What is your favorite meal?

My favorite meal is New York-style pizza.

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

I’m not entirely sure what’s next. I have several scripts in development so I’ll leave it at that.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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