All this month, 20th Digital Studio has been premiering a wild selection of genre-bending short films for Halloween 2020. Ranging from horror comedy to psychological thrillers and everything in between, these films were created by a diverse group of 30 exciting new filmmakers from different countries, identities, and backgrounds. 20th Digital Studio’s continuing mission is to guide and finance the growth of these filmmakers’ careers beyond this program, and in this weekly series, we’re introduced to the artists behind these scaretacular shorts. Today we get to know Alexis Jacknow, whose film CLOCK is now screening across digital and broadcast platforms, via Freeform, FX, and Hulu’s Huluween platform hub and YouTube channel.
What draws you to the horror genre?
It might take a few viewings for a drama or comedy to leave a lasting impact. But a moment in great horror? One scene, one shot, and it’s burned into your memory forever. That stuff will keep you up at night years later even if you swore off watching it ever again.
Who or what are your biggest influences as a filmmaker?
Love me some Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Johan Renck, and Paolo Sorrentino. They’re all such imaginative truth-tellers. I have a background in theater, where your imagination is meant to fill in for what isn’t on stage, and I love trying to bring those elements into filmmaking as well.
What do you hope viewers take away from your film?
I think it’s my job and mission as a filmmaker to create empathy. My hope for CLOCK is that people will get a glimpse into the societal and corporeal pressure cooker of having a biological clock. I think a lot of women experience the dilemma of “having it all” and the more we talk about it and show it, the sooner we’ll get to a better place when it comes to maternity leave, job security, and re-defining gender roles.
Stay tuned for more mini interviews with Bite Size Halloween filmmakers every week this month!