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Once I placed all those shots in, it really felt right, for whatever reason. And then our sound designer Danny Bowersox added his effects and really got it there. 

What were some of the special effects challenges?

I think with that stuff, it was again more just time-consuming. Not just time-consuming, but that was usually the toughest factor we’d be up against. 

There’s a part where Jenny imagines herself in this sort of marshmallow room, and herself as covered with marshmallows. That was an all-day thing, and Andreina sat for hours in a chair as our production designer Sinjun Strom adhered marshmallows to her. I really like the way it looks, and we did what we could. But, you know, sometimes I watch it and can’t help but think “wish the walls had marshmallows too”. So I guess that’s my ambition for the future: to be in a position where I can have entire walls covered with marshmallows. 

We blew up a cardboard box at one point, that’s always fun. This fellow Tim McGill, he’s been doing movie explosions for decades, and he was kind enough to drive from Wichita up to Lawrence to do that for us. Some people’s passions in life, it’s like you can respect them even if you don’t totally understand them. But wanting to blow things up for the movies? That one, I 100% understand. And Tim’s a real sweetheart besides. 

What has the response to the film been like?

Certainly to me it’s been pretty wild, the mileage we’ve gotten out of “Crude Oil.” It toured with the 2019 Sundance Shorts Tour, which plays at theaters all over the U.S. and Canada and some other countries. So essentially we had theatrical distribution for a short film, which was incredible. One thing that sort of blew my mind was American Cinematographer magazine doing a feature and interview with our director of photography Jeremy Osbern. With that it was just like … they’re going to talk about “Crude Oil” in print? It was exciting. And very well-deserved for Jeremy!

Audience-reaction-wise, it’s a wide range. Like the people who come up to me or write to me about it are enthusiastic. But you know, it’s probably a pretty different film, if not just straight-up aggressive. So I can see where if it’s not your cup of tea, it might feel aggressively not your cup of tea.

What’s next for you?

Time to make a feature. Obviously it might be a while. I’ve got a couple scripts in different stages of completion. But yeah- we’ll see when it’s even possible. 

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