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GS: What was the inspiration for your film?
DN: Parental Guidance Suggested is a very different kind of film than I’ve made in the past; structurally, tonally, and thematically. But, like all serious filmmakers, I felt that this was the time to mature and evolve.
It is my hope that Parental Guidance Suggested initiates a sense of relief to some and a sense of clarity to others, all while combating a fear that could ultimately destroy families.
GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?
DN: I’ve wanted to make a film like this for a long time where puppets are used as audience surrogates, taking an outsider’s glimpse into a world that is not quite fully understood or accepted by some. I decided to start production on this film in the summer of 2019. The building of the puppets and the recording of the puppets’ voices were unique aspects of preproduction that took place in October. Filming the interviews of the guest stars occurred from November 2019 through February 2020. The edit was completed in March 2020.
GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?
DN: The guest stars in this film had hours worth of valuable words of wisdom. However, since this film was always intended to be a short, a lot of great content had to be left on the cutting room floor.
GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?
DN: The most challenging aspect of the production was actually filming the puppets. It takes a great deal of arm/shoulder strength and hand-eye coordination to elicit a believable performance while lipsyncing the puppets’ mouths to pre-recorded dialogue.
GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?
DN: Find your unique style and trademark and run with it. Make a film that only YOU can make.