Jug Face, starring Lauren Ashley Carter (The Woman), Sean Bridgers (HBO's Deadwood), Larry Fessenden (I Sell The Dead), and Sean Young (Blade Runner), will be available via VOD July 8th, and released theatrically August 9th. The film's wildly imaginative and creepy story centers on a pregnant young woman trying to save herself after she discovers she's been selected for sacrifice. Director Chad Crawford Kinkle generously spent some time with FEARnet discussing his debut feature film.
FEARnet: What films inspired you to become a filmmaker?
CHAD CRAWFORD KINKLE: All movies really. But my favorite film is It's a Wonderful Life, followed by the original Texas Chainsaw and Rosemary's Baby.
How many unproduced feature screenplays had you written before Jug Face, and are there themes in Jug Face that you explored in these previous screenplays?
I guess six. They all died at different stages. But during that time, I wrote the script for a short that taught me a lot. It was actually a feature screenplay that was so broken that I shrunk it down to thirty pages and won a competition with it. It was the first story that I really finished. It sounds simple, but it was such an important thing to learn. Then a little later, I wrote a script for a graphic novel called Harpe: America’s First Serial Killers. That was the first time I used a full outline to develop a story. Both of those things and the thousands of hours writing helped me to finally write Jug Face. While all those stories are different, they definitely do share themes and ideas that interest me.
How important was shooting Jug Face in Tennessee? Would you have felt comfortable shooting this film anywhere else?
The story was set in Tennessee. It would have made it different to shoot it anywhere else.
Your outstanding cast brought sincerity and maximum dramatic punch to Jug Face. Not an easy task considering the bizarre subject matter. Did you have actors in mind to play certain parts when you wrote the script, or did you leave that a blank slate... permitting the casting process to match the right actors with each part?
I really didn’t have anyone in mind because I initially thought I would be making Jug Face with all unknown actors, with money that I would raise locally. The casting process was a real learning opportunity. I knew that the story was rewritten three times; the screenplay, by the director’s vision, and in the editing. But what I didn’t know was how the cast would impact the story. You can’t force an actor to play a character in a certain way that they can’t actually understand, otherwise it would create a false performance. You just have to feel your way through the character with the actor and that changes things.
How much rehearsal came before the shoot? Did you have a certain technique when it came to working with the actors in this film? Or did each actor develop a separate and unique style of communication with you?
We didn’t have any rehearsals. We did talk over Skype, where we worked on the accents. But that was it besides one table read the day before shooting. On set, I let the actors bring whatever their interpretation of the scene was, then we would work from there. That’s basically the way I treated everyone.
Jug Face explores a sinister blend of alarming concepts - some based in the supernatural, some not. Which element of the film do you find most disturbing?
To tell you the truth, it’s hard for me to point out what’s disturbing. It’s fairly calm to me at this point because I’ve spent so much time with it. But if I had to pick, the way the parents dominate their children is really sickening.
Are you now a face jug aficionado? Perhaps collector? Or has your movie given you your fill of this form of folk pottery for awhile?
I have over twenty face jugs now. I started collecting them once I was writing the screenplay. I’ve slowed down a bit because I don’t have any more room left in my office and my wife won’t let me populate the house with them. But I do attend a face jug festival on labor day every year in Georgia where I will generally buy another one.
The "star" face jug in the movie is the one that looks like Lauren Ashley Carter. Did she get to keep her face jug as a souvenir after the film wrapped?
Ah... no, I was greedy and kept all the face jugs from the movie. We had duplicates of all of them, but the potter got those back. Sorry, Lauren!
Chad Crawford Kinkle, having just completed his short film Organ Grinder... and a more experienced Chad Crawford Kinkle, having just completed Jug Face, his first feature. In what ways are these two versions, or phases of you as a filmmaker different?
It’s hard to compare the two even though I made those films about five months apart. I had made shorts before but it had been eight years since the last, and the shoot for Organ Grinder was my first semi-professional one. But after making Jug Face, I feel like a different person/filmmaker. You learn so much from making your first feature. I could write an entire book on it!
You shot Jug Face in how many days? Did you feel the time you had was luxurious, too short, or just right?
The shoot was seventeen days. Every film maker wants more time, but that did make it extremely hard. Particularly for a first feature.
The music score is outstanding. Describe your collaboration with composer Sean Spillane.
Sean is a creative guy and we hit it off the first time we met. Once we got on the same page as far as the tone was concerned, he wrote the theme track and based the rest of the music off of that. It really was the type of creative collaboration that you look for.
Can you tell us what you are currently working on as a potential follow-up to Jug Face?
I can’t go into specifics, but it’s another southern gothic horror story that’s set in a modern city with some interesting history.