Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Walk Home Alone: Andrew J.D. Robinson



A Walk Home Alone (2017) is a short film directed by Andrew J.D. Robinson that will be released this fall. We spoke with Robinson about the film, and many of his other on-going projects...

Q: A Walk Home Alone is a very dramatic short horror film. What motivated you to make it?

A: When I was writing A Walk Home Alone, it was a ‘chicken or egg’ question whether the horror was driving the drama or if the drama was driving the horror, and that paradox attracted me to commit to seeing this idea on paper through. Myself, I’m compelled by characters in horror films that deviate from being ‘dead-as-meat’ pawns that ultimately take up screen-time just for us to wonder how they’ll die and what’ll be the look on their face when it happens. I wanted to explore doing a slasher film ‘with no slashing’ and instead have ‘context’ be the cause of all the mixed emotions for the audience.


Q: Tell us a little about the production of A Walk Home Alone...

A: I was privileged to work with the local Ottawa film community: from Patrick Andrew Murray offering his apartment to be the scene of the crime, to Maura Stephens and I breaking a glass ceiling to our craft as we explored more dramatic work together, and through cosmic coincidence having my last opportunity to work with Jurgen Vollrath before he moved outside of the city. For anyone who has had or hopefully will have the opportunity to work with everyone involved: they’re class acts and great company. Despite the film’s impending doom tone, we were a happy family, for many of us, finally working together after being long-time admirers of each other’s work.

Q: When will you be releasing A Walk Home Alone?

A: Early October online. This film was always intended to share with our extended international film community asap.


Q: Tell us about your other projects like Placebo and Found Her from Workobey Films...

A: Placebo is a spiritual remake of my debut surreal horror film Beauty Marks back in late 2010. I find Beauty Marks had the idea, but seven years later, I look back and continued to feel compelled to remake the film because in my guts I felt my technique at the time couldn’t do it justice. The film premieres at 2017’s local Monster Pool before publishing online soon after.

A: Found Her is one of our recently produced entries into a nonprofit international filmmaking contest I founded and program called the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge. The story is a tidbit from a feature-length paranormal film I’ve been working on and I felt it’d work great as a one-off in the tradition of two-sentence horror stories.


Q: Gives us some background on the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge...

A: The 15 Second Horror Film Challenge has been a nonprofit entrepreneurial passion of mine since launching in 2015 that was built to provide value to filmmakers worldwide, whether its through centralizing artists many of us would not had befriended prior, minimalizing production costs, and championing their creative efforts. The arts can be one of the most healing venues for us—I know it has been for me since I was a kid – and I hope others continue to discover how the arts could enliven their lives. The festival is also a love letter to the horror genre where our judges are a combination of old school icons to new wave voices.


A: I never knew that the one thing I’d love more than horror films was falling head over heels for the evergreen international horror community. Its philosophy is quantity is quality because people forget that ‘there is someone’ on the other end of the internet -- someone’s mom or dad, or sibling, boyfriend, girlfriend, someone’s kid even – our youngest filmmaker was nine-years-old! – someone real got together who pulled in some people over a weekend to have fun creating something they believed in that could mean something to someone they’ll never meet.

A: It humbles me when someone tells me that the ‘Challenge’ sparked them out of a creative dry spell or that their entries were their first-times making films. Filmmakers experience so much rejection and in the arts what’s harder to see than someone hurting for money or time to execute their ideas, is to see them hurt spiritually. Spiritual pain breaks someone down in time to even participate, rooted in humiliation and self-doubt. “The scariest thing in this world is not knowing if you have a place in it.” – Unbreakable (2000)


Q: Anything else coming up that you want to talk about?

A: I have a few more film projects on their way and then I’ll be taking a 2018 detour into developing a handful of graphic novels actually! Comics have always been the foundation of my filmmaking sensibilities, and there’s a lot of ideas I have that I can’t have in the vault for much longer. Some logistically just cannot be executed unless I have substantial funds for a crew, locations, FX, and time. I know for myself, I’m scared that some of my ideas won’t ‘come to be’ before my time, so I want to produce them into graphic novels at least. And if there’s interest, I’ll consider raising funds to produce certain stories into films and license rights to filmmakers worldwide. There’s so much talent out there I would love to see their interpretation and handle of my material. When I was younger, I had a tight-grip on my material and would never think my material could be in the hands of another artist, but it’s all art at the end of the day, and what’s most important is that art was created with the opportunity to mean something to someone.

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