The internet is an unforgiving place at the best of times. For every person championing a new film there seems to be five others intent on pulling it down. Nowhere is more toxic than ‘#filmtwitter’, but it has to be said that some critics don’t exactly cover themselves in glory. It’s easy just to pick fault and some seem to revel in it. Making a movie involves a diverse range of people, amateur or professional. Not to mention the blood, sweat and tears of the people trying to bring a project to fruition.
Clapboard Jungle is the new documentary from writer, director, cinematographer, editor, producer, sound engineer (you get the gist) Justin McConnell. He, in many ways, personifies the struggling independent genre filmmaker. Driven by an obsession, he has spent his adult life in the working in film. Since the release of his first feature in the early 2000s, he has been juggling a number of projects. Over a five-year period, he tracks his process, offering up a unique insight into the business.
Clapboard Jungle is a no holds barred glimpse into the life of someone trying to be successful within the film industry. Along the way, McConnell interviews a number of professionals to elicit a wide range of perspectives. This ‘cast’ is impressive, not just in terms of what they’ve done but in the relevance of their insights. Clapboard Jungle is a timely reminder that there are thousands of people out there simply trying to bring their visions to life. Maybe it’s time to try and be more of a positive influence and less of a negative force?
Clapboard Jungles screens at Fantasia Festival.