Andrew J.D. Robinson Reveals His Vision to Horror, Thriller Storytelling.
Andrew J.D. Robinson is a Flmmaker, Founder of production company; WORKOBEY FILMS and Co-Founder for The Monster Pool. Robinson’s notable project is the 15 Second Horror Film Challenge, a competition open to filmmakers of various experience levels. As the title states, entrants are to present a fifteen (15) second film that conveys true fear.
Robinson set time aside to answer questions regarding his latest Horror, Thriller short films; Placebo and A Walk Home Alone.
DecayMag: Tell us more about your background and how you became a filmmaker.
Andrew J.D. Robinson: As a kid, my earliest beginnings in storytelling was producing comic books. During recess when I was in elementary school, I would sell comics to fellow third-grade classmates for $1 and the “limited editions” for $1.25. Throughout school, I was the cartoonist of my classes, but all of it unknowingly was pre-requisite towards falling in love with filmmaking during my teenagehood.
Once I was old enough to be allowed to use the family camcorder, my little sister and friends would come together and produce our first short films; an amalgamation of our favorite movies at the time. I was able to convince school teachers to have my oral presentations become video projects instead. Before there was Facebook, YouTube etc, showing your work before classmates with VCR were my first ‘film festivals’.
Filmmaking not only is a passion, but it’s an extension to how I communicate and reach out.
DecayMag: Any horror legend or film that inspires you to work on horror?
Andrew J.D. Robinson: Out of the numerous legends that inspire me, John Carpenter, Polanski, David Lynch, and Cronenberg have been the most influential towards my craft, aesthetic, and aspirations towards continual growth as a storyteller.
DecayMag: I reviewed two of your short films: Placebo and A Walk Home Alone here on DecayMag.com. I was astonished by Placebo and how in such a limited period of time you actually did surprise me… Amazing cinematography and acting. How did you come up with the idea of body dysmorphia?
Andrew J.D. Robinson: On a thematic level, Placebo roots from having empathy for anyone who experiences spiritual pain due to body image. I’ve been exposed to others’ experiences with suffering from various facets of body dysmorphia; a complex topic that I find myself inspired to approach from different creative angles.
It’s a theme I gravitate towards because people face spiritual wars, wrestling with their own value, in secret.
DecayMag: Do you still think our society is invested in being perfect? I actually think being imperfect and different is the new “now”.
Andrew J.D. Robinson: I find there’s a pronounced battle between those who value ‘imperfection’ with those who are double-edged swords towards boxing in what ‘value’ is in a human being. Men are not invulnerable to this, in fact, we have our yin-yang parallels, however, concerning “Placebo” which is female-centric, that’s where I pull my examples pull from.
Whether it’s airbrushed magazine covers, Instagram hashtags, or the age of the Kardashians, one doesn’t have to go far to see toxic representations of women in media.
DecayMag: I wrote my review for Placebo that at some point when the clinical operation is about to start, the patient is portrayed like a clown. Was it my imagination or did it actually came up on pre-production how the character on screen would turn out with lipstick on her face?
Andrew J.D. Robinson: It actually came up during pre-production, on paper. With my approach to surrealism, I premeditate as many symbols as possible that serve the theme for the audience to have the opportunity to interpret. Everyone takes something different from it, so it’s always great to see others such as yourself pick up on certain symbols sooner than others have.
DecayMag: Did you film Placebo before or after A Walk Home Alone? Can you tell us why you decided to go full black and white for the latest? Was it planned from the beginning or the idea came upon post-production?
Andrew J.D. Robinson: I filmed Placebo two months prior to A Walk Home Alone, in conjunction to a blitzkrieg of producing new work. I also produced two fifteen second horror films, an additional short film that’s currently in post-production, and 80% of another that will wrap shooting this year. A Walk Home Alone’s decision to be black and white was made during post-production after being on the fence whether to do so as early as pre-production.
With Placebo, we start black and white and then transition into color to pronounce that there has been a switch– that our protagonist has been ‘lifted’, but then once the protagonist’s second-guessing creeps in, the film returns to black and white, as if it were a force of nature in itself.
I found it fit that story’s tone. Most of my films are black & white because, for me, black and white is the absence of ‘something’– used as a narrative subtext.
DecayMag: You seem to keep working with the same actors and has a filmmaker myself I do love to experience new things with the same faces. Did you write each story for Maura Stephens beforehand or did she went through the process of casting for both roles?
Andrew J.D. Robinson: Although I’m passionate to always discovering new talent, I love to invest in a film family of muses that have a dynamic range to embody a number of incarnations. Maura Stephens certainly is one of them– someone who In the grand scheme of our catalogue as it unfolds in the next few years, will assume the role of increasingly complex portraits and characters to lose herself in.
A Walk Home Alone was our first entry into more dramatic terrain amidst our previous on-the-nose horror endeavors. Asides from having the technical capacity to explore new shades of her craft, Those are the actors I pull in the soonest and won’t shy from offering multiple roles in advance with. Placebo and A Walk Home Alone were her vehicles from the get-go.
I recognize in actors when they have an instinctual urgency to find beauty in dark, honest places.