Interview with 'My Imaginary Friend director - Marcus January
How did you first break into the industry?
I got my start almost one year ago (July 2019) with my first film titled "Draw Your Weapon". Ive always studied the way films were made but I never thought about making my own until last year. I was under the impression that you needed a big crew and expensive cameras to make them come to life but I wanted to challenge myself to see if it was possible to make one on my own. So I decided to shoot a short film with my iPhone. Turns out, its very much possible and it was one of the best decisions ive ever made. Making films is so much fun and highly addictive. Its totally high jacked my mind and the way that I think about movies. I just love being behind the camera and seeing stories come to life!
Who/What inspires you as a director?
David Sandberg has been my biggest influence when it comes to short filmmaking and learning the tricks of the trade. He is really great at doing so much with so little, while still being effective. He and his wife went from creating no budget short films in their home to directing some of hollywoods biggest films! Jordan Peele is also a huge inspiration to me especially with me being African American. We don't have much presence in the horror world of film, thats a big reason why I've decided to learn that Genre first. What also inspires me is that fact that I've received so much support from so many people. It makes me want to do more and continue to improve!
What was your best set moment on ‘My Imaginary Friend’?
Thats an easy one, the best set moment for me is the recording the scene where the main characters "Imaginary Friend" comes to life under the sheet. It looks exactly how I imagined it would look before shooting. I was extremely excited about the way it turned out!
What sort of person is going to love this short?
I think if you like bazaar ideas and concepts in horror/thriller films then this is for you. Its not a typical "bump in the night" style short film that we are used to watching. Not that there is anything wrong with those films but I wanted to change it up a bit and shoot this during the daytime. Also, if you like the Goosebumps content from the 90s, you may like it as well!
What advice would you give aspiring directors?
The best advice I can give is to not worry too much about gear so soon. If you have a camera or even a phone nowadays, you can make a movie. This is the time where you should focus on how to tell your st
ory affectively with the tools you have at your disposal. Also, don't shy too for away from the ideas that you may consider "weird", sometimes those make for very interesting and unpredictable films!
Where can we find more of your work?
You can find my films primarily on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/c/marcusjay
You can also watch them on my instagram @MarcusJay__