A daughter thinks her mother is a real life super hero - and she might be right.
Interview with Writer/Director Jason Honeycutt
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Thank you! I made "Supermom" for a variety of reasons, but primarily it is rooted in the theme that a woman can do anything a man can do. Also, I am a father of two daughters and I always tell them how strong they can be, how they can do anything and I wanted them to see that heroes can look like them - so I made a film they can hopefully be proud of.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
"Supermom" truly has something for everyone. It is a 'family' film while still being dramatic enough for adults and it avoids the festival cliche of being a depressing film. While looking as 'commercial' as it can for an out of pocket budget, it has a big score, fire effects, etc. But, underneath, it tackles some very real issues with families who have a parent with a job where they might not come home at night.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
On a personal level, the inspiration for this film hit me because my two daughters went to school with my co-producer's (Nick Pellegrini) children and both he and his wife are firefighters. My 'day job' as an editor at FX Network is very safe, the riskiest part is driving to and from work, theirs, however, are beyond risky. I walk into my office, they run... and it's on fire. Now, imagine their kids thinking about their parents' line of work compared to other kids.
Also, living in the West Valley, you see a variety of mothers while dropping off kids at school... some wearing business suits, some wearing yoga pants, all about to start their days. However, how many mothers are about to go fight fires? To me, that was an amazing and equally scary thought as an adult -- but imagine her child thinking about that. In this film, the daughter isn't too clear on what her mother does for a living but knows she wears a uniform and saves lives so, of course, to her, that means she is a super hero.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The theme actually never changed, a daughter thinking of her parent as a super hero, as a metaphor for being a firefighter, however, originally it was "Superdad." While working with the Los Angeles Fire Department, Battalion Chief, Alicia Welch, had the most amazing and obvious idea - why not have it be about the mother instead of the father? I wish I could take credit for it but that was the best idea. I changed nothing from the original script, which I'm proud of... I just changed the character names. What was good enough for the male character is the same for the female character.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
We're still starting on the festival circuit but the reception's been surprisingly-good, especially the international festivals where it's played, like in Germany and Romania, apparently the crowd really responded well to it. We've been accepted at nine festivals so far and nominated for eight awards at Idyllwild, including "Best Short Film," so that's a great start.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The positive response affirmed doing this type of film, that isn't the typical festival type of film. Of course, some festivals will balk at a title like, "Supermom," thinking it might not sound like something too serious -- but it's great that other festivals have the courage to program a film like this. One festival in which I've had movies screen said, "It's like nothing we've ever seen," yet, they didn't program it because it was too different - but I think being different is a good thing. It keeps me looking for the 'right' festivals for the film, and Idyllwild was one of the firsts so I'm very proud to return to such an amazing festival.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I want this film to inspire people, as many as possible. I'd love for people to hopefully be encouraged to support the film by seeing it at an upcoming festival or when it comes out on iTunes and Amazon in a year. Indie filmmaking is never about money - it's about getting people to see the work. This was made 100% by a great team of artists, from the actors to the composer to the mixer and especially from the help of the Los Angeles Fire Department, orchestrated by the co-producer, Captain Nick Pellegrini. We all worked together for a common goal, all believing in the message of this film.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Being a short film, journalists and film festival directors are the primary lifeline to a film like this as well as giving you credibility for bigger projects in the future. Short films never make money so it's always a passion project and it's about getting as many people seeing its message as possible. Festival acceptances open door for other festivals, then it snowballs into more and more. And, of course, any story about it in the press crosses it into new audiences who might, otherwise, not have heard about it. After a year on the circuit, if there is interest into turning it into a feature, I'll have a feature treatment ready. My last film, "Intersection," did better than I expected and surprisingly, a couple producers have approached me to turn it into a feature so I had to scramble to get a feature together. By the way, that all started to snowball starting at Idyllwild two years ago, when they were the first bigger festival to give it a shot and it won an award... then other festivals opened their doors.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would love for kids to see this film, boys and girls alike, and for women too, to see it and believe they can do or be anything they'd like to be, to break the mold of what society says a "mother" should be.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What is a mother "supposed" to be? What does a hero look like?
Would you like to add anything else?
Something always overlooked, with myself too, is the diversity in this film - it truly is a modern family and we purposely don't go down the road of justifying it with some backstory. They're just a couple - period. To me, it is completely normal, especially in the Los Angeles area where we are all a melting pot. My kids are bi-racial, so that will always be the "normal" in my life and in my films, having couples and characters of multi-ethnic backgrounds. The funny thing is, our stars are multi-ethnic and come from diverse families and not a single person on set even asked or commented on the family dynamic of having an African-American mother and white father. It was normal to all of us.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I'm pretty much a one-man-band (write/direct/edit/DP), but I just was the Director of Photography and one of the editors on the upcoming feature, "Secret Santa," (written/directed by Adam Marcus, "Final Friday: Jason Goes to Hell," "Texas Chainsaw 3D"), which is obviously a completely different genre than "Supermom." I'm also in talks with producers to turn my last short, "Intersection," into a feature, as well as finishing a number of other feature scripts. Writing and directing my first feature is my primary goal for 2017. With my 'day job' at FX Network, we're all very proud of the content we have been creating, shows like "Atlanta" that change the way television is being made... I hope to carry that over into my indie work.
Interview: January 2017
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
A daughter thinks her mother is a real life super hero - and she might be right.
Director: Jason Honeycutt
Producer: Jason Honeycutt, Nick Pellegrini
Writer: Jason Honeycutt
About the writer, director and producer:
Jason Honeycutt is an award-winning director who has also has directed and/or edited content for Disney, Dreamworks, FX Network, FOX, CBS, Universal Republic, Sony Music, TNT, AT&T, T-Mobile, Motorola and others.
Justine Herron ("Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain"), John Hensley ("Nip/Tuck," "Hostel: Part III", "Sons of Anarachy," "Teeth"), Kaylee Dennis, Garret Sato ("The Wolverine," "Pearl Harbor"), Olivia Honeycutt ("Returning Home"), and A Leslie Kies ("Criminal Minds: Beyond Boarder," "Stalker," "Secret Santa")
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Journalists, Festival Directors, Distributors... would love to hear from them all [🙂]
The 'Bank of Jason Honeycutt', haha -- just out of pocket, zero crowdfunding, I don't believe in asking others for money.
Made in association with:
The Los Angeles Fire Department and Action VFX (both donated assets to make this happen)
First public screening was October 2016 in Bucharest, Romania. I am hitting the international festivals hard because in some countries, the message of equality for women, unfortunately, isn't where it should be and I hope to do what little I can to change public opinion of equality for everyone.
Where will it screen in the next month?
Here is the upcoming screening schedule for the month;
Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema -- 1/7-1/9, 14
Apex Film Festival (Tuscon, AZ) -- 1/15
International Children's Film Festival (Bangladesh) -- 1/24-1/30