SHORTS…and to the point! Chad Jackson (HUNGER)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on March 26, 2009

Chad Jackson’s horror short HUNGER is as direct a shot to the solar plexus of our national political malaise as it gets. Placing you alongside a corrupt politician who has found himself chained to a log in the middle of a field – confused, scared and being descended upon by a hoard of yes, hungry country folk, it effectively disorients and frightens the viewer as much as it’s politician/prey. But the thing that is striking about the film is the populist anger it taps into – the feeling that as things go from bad to worse, that we are still somehow beholden to professional politicians who can’t see the country from beyond the end of their own desks and offices. Like the farm hands after this politician, the longer you aren’t “fed”, the more frightening that “hunger” can become.

You have cited corrupt politicians, Chinese imports and global climate change as inspirations behind HUNGER. Could you give us a little more detail as to where it really came from?
I wrote the script for HUNGER in the summer of 2007.  We were still deep in the age of Bush.  The war was not going well from our perspective here at home, gas prices were high, there was talk of several new cement plants and coal plants being built in Texas, It was generally very miserable. Then, there was the whole lead paint toy debacle from China, as well as some sketchy dog food, yet it was almost impossible to find anything not Made In China. When my wife, Linda came home with an American flag and we realized it too was made in China – that was it – that was what my movie was going to be about. It’s a cautionary tale.

Do you believe we need to look below the surface “monsters” of horror films to find what is truly frightening us?

In the good ones, there is always something more being said below the surface.  That goes for action movies too.  If that element isn’t there, the films typically aren’t very memorable.

After making a living for a period as a storyboard artist, do you think it’s necessary to completely storyboard a film before you shoot?
Storyboards are very helpful when you don’t have much time or money. You always know what shots you need to make the edit work. They are also helpful when doing intricate action sequences. But, you always have to be open to things changing. Films tend to take on a life of their own once you start shooting.

Your main location was a farm used in the film PLACES IN THE HEART. How would HUNGER have been different with Sally Field playing the politician?
If you watch the movie, there is a cemetery sequence. The cemetery is surrounded by scarecrows made up of other politicians that were killed and eaten. One of them is a woman. That would have been Sally Field. If the movie had been about her, overall it wouldn’t be that different. Perhaps instead of shackling her to a log they would have locked her in a metal oil drum and left her in the sun to cook slowly. It’s all a game to them. Each victim gets is put in a situation that suits their corrupt sensibilities.

Politicians – taste like chicken or tender like veal?

The more evil and corrupt they are the more sinfully tender and delicious they taste.

What will happen in the feature-length sequel to HUNGER?

There will be no feature length version of HUNGER. Moving on. Next project.

HUNGER screens as part of MIDNIGHT SHORTS Saturday, March 28 at 10:00PM @ Magnolia 4 and Sunday, March 29 at 10:15PM @ Magnolia 4.

Chad Jackson will be attending both screenings and will participate in the Q&A afterwards.

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