We thought it would be a good idea to help you get to know some of our fantastic filmmakers.  So, borrowing an idea from LA Weekly’s Karina Longworth (the Bernard Pivot to our James Lipton), we submitted four questions to each filmmaker about and themselves and their films.  We’ll be randomly posting as many responses as we can fit in between now and the kick-off.

Today we hear from Jake Armstrong, creator of The Terrible Thing of Alpha 9, which screens a whopping four times as part of the Comedy Shorts and Animation Shorts programs.

1. Tell us about your movie. Give us the reductive, 25-word or less, “It’s like [pop culture reference a] meets [pop culture reference b]!” pitch, then explain what the quick and dirty sell leaves out.

“A space bounty-hunter travels to a lonely planet to kill a terrible monster.”   That’s pretty much the long and short of it.  I’ve found that in 6 minutes, that’s about all the story I’m allowed, unless I want to
give away the ending.

2. Are you a full-time filmmaker?  If not, tell us how you get by while raising money for your films.

I am full-time, in that I work in the industry.  I am currently working as a storyboard artist on TV productions in NY, and sometimes freelance with advertising.  Now aside from taking out a crapload of loans to make a movie, I’m not sure if I’ve ever raised money for a production.  Though since I worked alone on this, all I need is time.

3. Have you been to deadCENTER before?  What’s something you look forward to discovering (or re-living) at the festival and/or in Oklahoma City?

I grew up in Norman, and I always knew about the festival, but unfortunately never attended.  I, to this day, kick myself for never going, and now that I’m actually in the festival, I live too far away to make it down right now.  I am really excited to show my film at this festival, and can’t wait to tell all my friends back home to go.

4. Every filmmaker has influences and cinematic heroes.  Name one of yours, and while you’re at it, tell us one film (or scene) in history that you wish you had directed.

I know this can be an unpopular choice because he’s such a cultish director, but I’ve always loved Tarantino movies.  In particular, the opening scene from Reservoir Dogs, where they’re sitting at the table talking about “Like a Virgin,” tipping a waitress, and everything else that has nothing to do with the story.  It was a total piece: written well, shot well, acted well.  Most importantly, it’s exactly how you pull people into a movie right.

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