On a ranch in the 1880's, two idiot cowboys argue about the existence of the mythical creature known as the Jackalope. Red, a boisterous roping expert, thinks the path to wealth and fame is through capturing the fearsome critter. His reluctant companion, Bat, would rather get drunk on whiskey and mock Red's skills. When Bat is knocked unconscious by a flying bucket, his spilled whiskey attracts the attention of a mysterious creature, answering the debate once and for all.
Produced by: Daryl Della, Michael Martin, Ray Revello, Chris Cairo, Mitchell Martin
5 questions with After The Jack director, Daryl Della at the half-way mark.
Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
1Hey Daryl! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, what was the initial seed that inspired you to make After The Jack? Thank you, we're honored to be included! My friend Becker Von Felsburg had been learning how to throw a lasso and was showing it off at his birthday party. Watching him try to rope his barbecue in his backyard made me laugh, and it got me thinking about how my producing partners: Michael Martin and Ray Revello, and I had talked about someday making a Western. Another friend at the party, Jared Coons, reminded me that he owned a ranch out in the middle of California, and suddenly I could start to see how a comedy western could be possible.
2You co-wrote this film with your brother Hank Della. What was that process like and how difficult was it to tackle the script? Hank Della is actually my father, and he's written most of the scripts that our team, Dollars & Donuts Productions, has produced. The process started as simply as me telling him the basic idea of "Becker teaches Mitch how to lasso", since the thought of Michael's brother Mitchell Martin arguing with Becker seemed like a funny pairing to me. My dad came up with the story and set out to write the script, adding the Jackalope as a callback to a previous film we made. The only difference was he set the story in modern times with references to things like Facebook. So, I took what he had written and begun "translating" it into western slang, setting it in the year 1886. Afterwards, my dad, who is a big fan of Clint Eastwood and westerns in general, scolded me, "Why didn't you tell me you wanted a Western? I would've written it that way!" I apparently never bothered to mention it and just assumed he would write it that way, but I guess that's the kind of communication issues you run into making films with your dad.
3This film reminded me of almost a live action version of a Bugs Bunny cartoon. What were the comedies that inspired you to capture that tone? I've always been inspired by Looney Tunes and animation in general, and try to bring that to every film we make. This is the most overt live-action cartoon we've made though, and I'm really happy that it comes across that way. Specifically the cast watched "Drip-Along Daffy" for the way Daffy Duck and Porky Pig play off each other in a western landscape. One of my favorite movies that inspired a lot of the tone and look is "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". The madcap comedy mixed with the beautiful widescreen vistas of the 1960's Southern California desert was something we definitely tried to replicate. Another film our cinematographer, Daniel Cruz, referenced was "The Searchers" for that brilliant technicolor look. We even dressed our main character in the same shirt as John Wayne in that film.
4What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? Back to the Future Part II. The future scenes captivated my young imagination, but what really blew my mind was when Marty and Doc go back in time to the events from the first movie. Something so purely cinematic as revisiting familiar scenes from a new perspective made me realize the endless possibilities of making movies.
5What's next? The team at Dollars & Donuts Productions has been hard at work since January on four short films. The first, "No Pill For Regret", is completely done and is a black & white pastiche of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the Twilight Zone. The second is "The Meet-Up", a comedy about a frustrated waiter tired of all the detectives using his diner as a place for secret meetings. The third is "Shadows in the Snow", a thriller about three criminals double-crossing each other during a freezing Lake Tahoe winter. Both of those are in post-production. The fourth that we are shooting right now is a parody of long-running cop shows called "Night Dicks". The plan is to premiere them all in a San Francisco theater in December in what we're calling the "Dollars & Donuts Showcase". So, we're definitely keeping busy. Keep an eye on http://www.dollarsanddonuts.com/ to see all our past and future films.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time. The film is about the evolution of a couple's relationship, and was shot in three different countries over the course of a decade.
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