Filmmaker David Jenny and “Rupert”
How did you get inspired to become a filmmaker?
I have wanted to be a filmmaker since I was 9. As a child I always loved listening to my family tell stories and I really enjoyed reading. Like most children, I think 1977’s Star Wars was my gateway drug into the film world. I really related to Luke Skywalker as a protagonist, I too wanted to do something interesting with my life. I would often pick up my dad’s Panasonic Camcorder and I would recruit kids from my neighborhood to act in films I would write. At this embryonic stage in my career, none of my films were of any substance. However, it sparked the passion I had for film making even further.
What is your favorite part about the short film form?
My favorite part of making a short is thinking outside the box as how to tell the most with your story in such a small time frame. This type of storytelling should show the audience as much about your characters and story visually without exposition. There is very little room for exposition in short films. I also believe a good short film should leave some ambiguity to the audience. You come in late and you leave early.
Who were the people that supported the making of this film?
Right now we have an Indiegogo page we are using to raise funds for our film. Since we are all college students it is hard for us to find the budget to get our projects into festivals. If you would like to donate please see the link at the bottom.
What resources do you use as a filmmaker?
Since we are lucky enough to go to DePaul’s film school there is a good crew of our classmates we recruit while filming. Since DePaul has connections throughout Chicago were lucky enough to rent our equipment from Cinespace. As far as locations go, we used Airbnb to try and find an apartment building. We went to thrift stores to find our costumes and props.
What is your next project?
My next project is one I have written and co-directed along with Joey Travero. Rupert is the story of a android designed for companionship. He is in the ownership of Karen, a widow still reeling from the loss of her husband, working towards channeling her sorrow in alternative methods. When an anomaly in Rupert’s system causes him to develop deep feelings for Karen, their relationship is strained and they must figure out where to go.
The independent film business is a difficult one. What keeps you motivated? Where do you see the industry going in the future?
I keep motivated because you need to be as a director. Keeping a positive and encouraging atmosphere on set is important when it comes to letting the cast and crew reach their creative peaks. I feel a lot of directors make the mistake of not trusting their crew. The dedicated cast and crew I have around me keeps me motivated.
Which filmmakers, artists or individuals have most influenced your work?
I love Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze! The way they used science fiction in subtle ways to speak about the human condition really inspired me when it came to Rupert.
What advice would you give new filmmakers?
Write and shoot as much as you can and don’t be afraid of constructive criticism.
It is still not too late to donate! Every donation no matter how small is appreciated! All our funds go to making the best film possible! Thank you for all the support, The Rupert Crew.
Check out Rupert‘s Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign.