Written by Luke Barnes
Hey Everyone! I recently had the chance to chat to Andrew J.D Robinson, the writer director behind Confessions Of A Haunting, a short film wherein a grieving character receives a message from the other side. We talk, ghosts, ghouls and of course David Lynch, I hope you like it.
Q: If you had to sum the film up in one word what would it be?
Q: Who is your filmmaking inspiration?
A: Cinema is a powerful medium that’s both provocative and a rewarding trade to create in. It brings in all of my passions with the arts, and any project can demand different elements. When it comes to what inspires me to have storytelling be one of my callings in life, I’m inspired by the need to reach others whether it’s to arrive to some nuanced deeper feelings together or simply to entertain (which the horror genre has been a lot of fun to dedicate to) as if these stories are little amusement park rides. There’s been many filmmakers who’ve inspired me or helped me find my voice, but pound-for-pound David Lynch’s work, despite how many times I continue to revisit them, continues to fan that ember in me to want to take something familiar and twist it; to in a sense boil it down to its roots, in an attempt to really connect something for the viewer that they perhaps may not arrive to with your regular scheduled programming.
Q: What was your catalyst for making this film?
A: I certainly strived to create an inner dialogue for viewers who could see themselves relating to this push-pull angst experienced between loved ones, but also in hopes they receive to its bottom line message.
Q: What was your message with this film?
A: Its bottom line message is ‘Don’t become the evil that this world gave you and give it to someone else’. In this case it’s those feelings of neglect, abandonment etc that our protagonist expresses that her late father caused her; how it’s haunted her up until this point in her life despite, yet her daughter tries to play with her and she sidelines, implying his ‘cycle’ of a lack of expressed and attentive love is generational, which many can relate to. Its supernatural twist, that her father tells her to break the cycle, is his way of wishing better for her and hers.
Q: Do you have any funny on set stories from the production?
A: Hehe well this film was produced remotely so there was no face-to-face anecdotes. Julie, however, is a great personality, but we executed the project virtually via text where we carved it out and after some back-and-forth she went ahead and recorded what is the only take she sent me. She killed it and then I handled the rest in post-production.
Q: How much is your film a comment on grief and coping?
A: The film is absolutely a commentary on grief and coping; a showcase of it. I find too there’s people I’ve met in my life who aren’t as upfront or confronting with ‘how they feel’; they’re more lost in subtext, which always motivates me to write characters who get right to it and ‘let you in’, especially about grief which permeates through everything. It’s almost the elephant in the room.
Q: How did you decide to include the supernatural twist in the film?
A: To have the father’s ghost tell her to ‘break the cycle’ is a paradox where (1) if you believe in ghosts, then this is a lovely ‘arrival’ for the protagonist in her life, but (2) I’m certain many of us feel that life won’t work out this way like it does in the movies where we may catch onto having a second chance… so for those who receive to it, they can reflect how ‘they themselves’ have to recognize they need to understand the past in order to not repeat it.
Q: If you could go back in time to when you were a novice filmmaker first starting out what advice would you give yourself?
A: For one, where I am now is one of the most happiest places I’ve been with filmmaking where I know my ‘why’. My why isn’t to turn profit, to chase Hollyweird, or to ‘prove something’, rather, I just enjoy doing it. I enjoy the people I can meet. Naturally you’ll run into all sorts of ‘characters’, but for the most part I can say with a straight face that I’ve collaborated with some of the most genuine people who love stories, love becoming part of stories, just as much as I am. The fact we can ‘create art’ and not just be machines or something is wonderful, and it doesn’t have to take a lot to make a project. So what I’d tell myself back then would be that the enjoyment won’t come at the ‘destination’, but in ‘the journey’; the journey shared with your peers and viewers who receive to your weird little movies lol. Nevermind about trying to be ‘the best’ or if you have the right gear etc etc… find out asap ‘why’ you even do this just like when you were younger when you’d draw ‘just because you enjoyed to; absent of any well if you’re going to spend so much time on something, you better be making money from it’ mentality so rampant. ‘Passion’ should always be Plan A with our limited time here. That’s what I would remind the very stressed, hyper, and insecure past filmmaker I was coming up lol.
Q: If you ever won an Oscar or other award who would you thank in your acceptance speech?
A: I’d have to thank my family for always telling me they just want me to be happy with whatever I do in life, with never expecting me to go to University and become a doctor or something. I’d thank everyone who not only ‘believed in me’, but invested their dreams into me, entrusting themselves in me to lead them through the unknown and these ‘visions’, these projects together. For everyone inside and outside of filmmaking who give me their time and energy, that’s the most valuable thing you can give to someone: their time. Let alone finding people along this adventure who wish to ‘share time’ with you, I owe everything to them, because it’s immeasurable how much and how far that can take someone.
If you would like to check out Confessions Of A Haunting you can find it on Youtube now, and as always I have a review of the film up of site now!