SHORT FILMS SPOTLIGHT: Exclusive Interview with PATCH TOWN director Craig Goodwill!
Time to give some love to our incredible short films! This year we have 12, count 'em, 12 astonishing shorts programs for you to choose from. ¡Ay, carumba! So what should you see? Why, everything, of course! Seriously, we have so many amazing and wonderful short films even I hardly know where to start. So I'm going to dig in with one chosen by our illustrious programmer Magida as one of her favorites.
Patch Town is part of our Shorts 3: Misleading Appearances collection. It was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and will soon be a full-length feature. Check out the film's trailer!
I had the pleasure of chatting with Craig Goodwill, the film's director and co-writer, and this is what he had to say!
THE INSIDER: Please tell us the story of Patch Town.
CRAIG: Patch Town tells the story of an abandoned child whose adult dream is to be reunited with his long lost adoptive mother. After years in a loving home, Jon was forgotten, abandoned and ultimately betrayed by his adoptive mother. He returns to live a sad life as a Patch Town Enterprise worker; a life of factory work and oppression in a place where hundreds of cabbage babies are born every day. The thankless task of shucking, picking, and processing these newborns to go out into the world has taken its toll on Jon. With each new birth, Jon slips deeper into sadness, lamenting the days when life was good and he was loved.
But Jon has a secret, and he soon finds himself in a life or death struggle with the Patch Town underworld lead by the notorious Child Catcher who stalks the factory and streets sniffing out those "rotten cabbage" who don't abide by the company's rules. Jon soon realizes that if he and his family are to survive, they need to flee. But, where is Jon to go? With his family by his side, they escape to find the answers from a mother he has never forgotten.
INSIDER: What inspired you to tell this story?
CRAIG: I was really interested in the idea of love and abandonment. How could someone love something so much and then discard it as if it meant nothing? The juxtaposition between Western consumer culture in relation to the '80s phenomenon and the cabbage children folklore was very eye opening and nostalgic for many of us who grew up in that time period. The story allowed me to explore these very different worlds and the inherent tragedy that is born from them.
INSIDER: Are you influenced or inspired by any particular directors?
CRAIG: The films of Terry Gilliam. I grew up in a time where Gilliam's films (Time Bandits, Brazil) created wonderful worlds. City of Lost Children directed by Marc Caro and Jeane-Pierre Jeunet was also an influence. I was inspired by movies that revolved around the idea of children and allowed us to dream and be a part of something that was uniquely odd and mysterious. I'd also note that composer Greg Johnston did an incredible job blending the surreal qualities of Patch Town with the harsh realities of our Eastern European influences.
INSIDER: Would you say that Patch Town is a fairy tale?
CRAIG: It is a fairy tale, but with real world implications and meaning. In Eastern Europe when children ask their parents where babies come from, they are told they are born in the cabbage patch. In North America the stork delivers us. I combined the two fairy tales in Patch Town. We also wanted to stay true to the Eastern European folklore the story was born from. In sets, music, casting, and overall feel we were interested in showing that Soviet era feel, and all the pre-conceived ideas that came with it. The setting allowed us to show the brutality of these peoples' experience, and provided the audience a context for the sadness they lived with, and their hope that one day they will have a better life. The brutality of Patch Town also provided great opportunities of hope for the story and the characters.
INSIDER: I've read that Patch Town is going to be turned into a feature. Can you tell us anything about that?
CRAIG: I'll be working with Montreal-based Suki Films to co-produce the feature version. We had always envisioned Patch Town as a feature film, but until people saw the world we wanted to create, we decided to start with a short to whet the public's appetite for more. Now that the short has been seen, audiences are demanding to see more of Patch Town and the journey our characters take to find their way home. Many of those involved from the short will now find themselves working on the feature, including writers Christopher Bond and Trevor Martin, and producers Catherine Gourdier and David Sparkes. The film is slated to go into production November 2012.
THE INSIDER: What's next for you?
CRAIG: I just finished production on my recent film Artist: Unknown. It tells the story of the unsolved murder of one of Canada's most famous artists, Tom Thomson. Murder Lake is slated to go into feature production in late 2013. I am currently based in LA and in development with 3 feature films with various studios and hope to share the Patch Town feature at next year's Sarasota Film Festival.
Here is the trailer for Artist: Unknown!
For a final treat, take a look at the making of Patch Town!
Wanted by motion picture executives for revealing industry secrets to a public with the Right to Know, "The Insider" has spent over 15 years working behind the scenes in almost every aspect of "The Biz" developing a secret network of contacts, spies, moles, and highly trained counter-intelligence operatives and movie ninjas whose only goal is to inform and entertain you-and help you make this the best year of the Sarasota Film Festival ever!