We played email tag with Andrea and chatted up her new film and all fun things shorts.
WSFF: Was the material for BIG MOUTH based on personal experience from when you were growing up?/What inspired the story?
AD: I think there were two parts to the inspiration for BIG MOUTH. The first was based on my own experience as a kid. When I was around 5 years old, I asked an older man who had a big stomach if he was going to have a baby. It must've been around the time I encountered pregnant women clearly I was a little confused about such things... (it was pre knowing about 'the birds and the bees') and I got in a lot of trouble. It took me a while before I realized I had made a major faux pas but it was a totally innocent mistake. The second place of inspiration came from my friend, Seana's, daughter Sarah. When she was around 6 she said, 'Andrea, you have a big nose!' and her mortified mother turned around and told her, 'Sarah, you have a big mouth!'. Really, that's where the film idea of BIG MOUTH was born - I thanked them both in the credits of the film.
WSFF: Live actions and animated, features and shorts – you like to mix things up. Do you have a favourite?
AD: I've thought about this a lot, actually, because I sometimes wonder why I don't just do one thing. I think I'd get bored. I've been loving learning about animation and incorporating it into my work. It's inexpensive, do-able and doesn't require hiring a big crew but I also love working with actors and working in longer form. Currently I'm working on a documentary with the NFB. I think, at the end of the day, they're all stories and that's what I'm interested in. Whatever form the story takes - whether it's animation, live action, short or long - is dictated by what my resources are but also by what format makes the most sense to tell that story.
WSFF: Do you have any advice for budding filmmakers?
AD: We're in a really exciting time for people who want to tell stories through moving images. The technology is getting more and more accessible and there are more films from all over the world than ever before. So, this means, that lots of people can make films but that doesn't mean that they'll make good films that people will want to see. My advice would be to learn how to tell a good story. Not every filmmaker knows how to do this but, really, this is what film is about. The other advice I'd give is don't go into debt for your film. Work within whatever the budget is that you have. Being an artist means being resourceful and amazing things often come out of this.
WSFF: What is your favourite short film?
AD: That is SUCH a hard question!! There are a few Kids in the Hall sketches that I love. Do they count? (Editor's note: We vote yes.) And a zillion animated films. Even music videos can be beautiful works of art. But, if I had to pick one film that made a huge impression on me, I'd choose Paddle to the Sea, an NFB film about a little wood carving that gets dropped into the snow and slides through the wintry landscape to the ocean. I saw it way back before YouTube in elementary school on a reel-to-reel projector in a dark room with a flickering light bulb and it was magical.