She first came to prominence as the Editor-in-Chief of the brilliant Rue Morgue Magazine, but before that she was an award winning visual effects artist.
She loves horror so much she has tattoo’s of (amongst others) Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff adorning her body.
In front of the camera she has been a zombie in Zakk Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead AND George Romero’s Land of the Dead.
Now she is trying her hand at life BEHIND the camera, and her new project ‘The Captured Bird’ is an insight into the whole movie making process and a great resource for young film directors. Whats more there is a chance for you to become involved!
Flush the Fashion spoke to Jovanka to find out more…
How did you come up with the idea for The Captured Bird?
It was initially conceived a couple of years back. My partner and I were on a long flight and we were discussing these black figures that appear in the waking dreams of dreamers all over the world – a paranormal phenomenon known as The Shadow People.
As it turns out, my partner, as well as my twin brother and several other people I know, have had experiences with these beings at some point in their lives. And when you have these experiences as a child, they seem all the more real. It gave me an idea so when I got home, I started writing.
What kind of a production will it be? Will it be suitable for children to watch?
The Captured Bird is not a childrens film. It’s a little too grim for little ones. But I expect older kids could watch it and be just fine since there’s no nudity or blood. But like a lot of classic fairy tales, there is no happy ending here. No emotional resolution. So I’m not sure how children would respond to it.
Has it been easy stepping into the role of filmmaker?
Calling yourself a filmmaker is easy, actually making films isn’t. But the first step is making that change in your mind and your heart.
I like to quote Robert Rodriguez who in his book “Ten-Minute Film School” says, “So you want to be a filmmaker? First step to being a filmmaker is to stop saying you want to be a filmmaker… So you don’t want to be a filmmaker, you are a filmmaker. Go make yourself a business card.”
I like this line of reasoning because it eschews fear, your internal critic – and in my case, gender – as well as every other obstacle that typically prevents people from achieving their goals.
Here in one of the videos Jovanka has made to document her journey making the film, Captured Bird’s cinematographer Karim Hussain discusses the storyboards and the shooting style for the film.
Have you been enjoying the experience?
What I’ve learned from other successful filmmakers directly is that you don’t need to go to film school to become a filmmaker. In fact, one director in particular told me that I should forget about everything I ever read in those “How to Write a Screenplay” books as well as anything a film school teacher has told me. He said the best work comes out of you when you aren’t trying to play by the rules and write conventional stories.
This made a lot of sense to me. So since I have never been to film school, I decided this film would be my film school. I’ve been documenting the entire experience – including interviews with horror directors and my crew members – on the film’s website: www.thecapturedbird.com. I figured it would be a cool experience to share with people. I fully expect to make mistakes and learn from them. But I have also surrounded myself with some really experienced people, who are going to help me get the most out of my “film school” experience. And I have been very much enjoying that.
I love learning and I love new challenges and making my first short film is definitely a challenge.
Do you have a production start date yet?
We should be shooting by May or June if all goes well. The short is very ambitious in terms of visual and practical effects, so we are still raising the last of the funds we need. There are some great donation incentives so if you’re reading this and you’re interested in helping us make our movie, please check out www.thecapturedbird.com.
Where do you plan to show the finished movie?
We’ll send it in to the film festivals and hope it’s good enough to compete. Several international film festivals have accepted it sight unseen – which is amazing incentive to make the best six-minute horror-fantasy that I can.