An exclusive interview with the directors of the film; Randall Rubin and Jon Schroder.
Jimmy and Judy is a new film that stars Edward Furlong as a disenfranchised youth. Struggling to come to terms with who he is and his place in society, bouncing in and out of prison, he finds a girl who helps change his life. They take off together, Bonnie and Clyde style, to see the world, and escape from it. The story takes us through the White-Trash world of Kentucky, filled with alcohol, drugs, violence and death.
independent film - How did your film come to be?
Randall - Well I would say that one thing that's really cool about how our film came to be had a lot to do with the fact that we really wanted to make the movie that we wanted to make and we managed to do it. Which there were a lot of obstacles to that. You know most of the times you hear about all of the obsticles to just get the film made but also you know you have to get a lot of people involved. That can interfere with your vision, but we managed to pull off our vision even though that a lot of ney sayers telling us that we weren't going to be able to do it.
Jon - There's no cuts in our film. And people would read the script and say OK what about shooting coverage? It is a P.O.V. movie so our entire movie is shot, master shots. And I remember we were interviewing a line producer for the job and this person was like "So your gonna... there's no cuts, So what are you going to do if they mess up?" I was like, I don't know. Yell at him or, have him do it again or, I don't know... So there was just a lot of people out there thought we were crazy for doing a movie and our shooting schedule was in 15 days and it was all master shots and so on and so forth.
independent film - Did your actors hold the camera or did you have a DP handle the shoooting? Did Edward Furlong pick up a camera?
Jon - he shot some stuff, I shot some stuff, Eddie and Rachael they both shot a lot of the scenes. Every scene was different sometimes they shot, sometimes the DP shot. And there was a couple of instances where the actors would hold the camera and then our DP would control the zoom through a special device.
Randall - it was basically a little LAN-C controller. He would adjust the shot, and at certain times would nudge the camera from over their shoulder. A lot of the scenes take place in a moving car as they are actually driving and acting and passing the camera back and forth. So there really was no way for the DP to be in complete control of the camera. At the same time, you know, we wanted to have a professional, we needed to have a professional looking movie. So was have find this marriage of how do you make it look like it's an amaturish film without it feeling like an amaturish picture.
Jon - yeah the last thing we wanted to do was be compared to, have our cinematography compared to the Blair Witch.
independent film - I don't think you have to worry about that. Actually I was going to make a joke that, do you think it's realistic that the main character would be shooting all of this with a DVX100. And then I realized well he probably would because him parents seem like, I mean if his dad has teh Schneckitity account then he must be rich right?
Where is he getting all the money to keep buying all these mini-DV tapes? Because we never get to see him buying tapes.
Randall - You got us there.
Jon - I guess I would say that in the movie Edward Furlongs character says "I only shoot what's important." I think that would fall under the category of "not important."
independent film -There are a few nude scenes. Any issue making those happen? I mean it was pretty integral to the character had Rachel done nudity before was she OK with that?
Jon - she had never done nudity before and she was definalty shy, but luckily Randal was able to run around the field naked first. That made here feel a lot better.
Randall - yeah I had a mentor, who told me he said, never ask your actors to do anything that you wouldn't be wiling to do yourself. You know get a body double or stunt double. So she was nervous, especially about the meadow scene. So i said to her, would it make you feel better if I run around naked for while? She go's "yeah!" So not really thinking I started disrobing and I was down to my boxer shorts and John came up behind me and "Pants" me.
Jon - no, he had a cowboy hat on and gym shoes. I was saying to the crew, I'll bet my life that Randal is the only naked Jewish man running abound a farm with a Cowboy hat on.
Randall - one of the things that John and I were really conscious about when we were casting we wanted to make sure that nobody felt like they signed up to do one thing and then they were asked to do something else. So everything that you see in the movie is carefully lined out in the script. So we had to make sure that all of our actors were 100% commited to doing it before we stared shooting.
independent film - How did you guys get Edward Furlong involved with this project?
Jon - He got the script and said yes immediatly. But we origionally went through a friend of ours who came into contact with his attourney. Origionally this film was going to be done with a couple of my buddies and we knew who we were going to cast and it was going to be super duper low budget we were going to go back to Kentucky and use my firends and family and locaitons that I knew we could use for free. Once Eddie got involved, you know. Other people considered us legit. We got a great casting director and she hooked us up with some great talent.
independent film - Where does this come from? Theres a lot of drugs and killing and, what's that about? Where does that come from?
Jon - there were certain characters that were based on people that I knew in Kentucky when I was a teenager you know I was like just preppie school kid and I would have to deliver pizzas to a trailer park and there was this really crazy guy that was always on drugs always doing something weird to try and freak me out. Weather it was like having a naked fat drug addict on his couch and asking me to take a turn at her, or like answering the door naked or just doing something freaky. And theres a little bit of that, there a little bit of white trash Kentucky in there. Especially when these kids get into trouble or when they have to seek refuge. And a lot of it comes from, I don't know, I grew up in a neighborhood very similar to the character of Jimmy. Fake parents, fake people around, you know, people who you know, are just trying to put up a front and impress their nieghbors.
independent film - You guys were able to have a high production value even though you shot it with, you know you sort of give it that home look, the very end of the film the the video is from the shot of a helicopter taking off, now I interpreted that as Edward Furlongs character was still alive and was in a medical helicopter on his way to the Hospital otherwise how else could that video be shot, right?
Jon - Interesting. I like that.
Randall - whatever it is that the viewer decides to interpret, we have had a lot of differnt interpretations that come at us. for us it was like, we wrote the script and we had to do the last shot of our movie and we sort of argued about what it meant but we decided at the end it seemed to work and we put it in the movie, and every viewer will bring something different to that.
Jon - It's been really interesting hearing the different interpretations that we've gotten from that last scene.
independent film - You guys smashed a lot of cars in this film. How did you pull that off? did you go to a junk yard and have them brought in on flatbed trucks or, tow trucks. Where did you get the cars to do all that?
Randall - You'd be surprised how many people have cars that don't work in Kentucky.
Jon - You know I have to give some props to my little sister Robin Schroeder who was the associate producer on this film, Robin was able to pull all kinds of strings for us. You know the car that Eddie smashed up with a baseball bat, that car was donted to us because the owner of that car wanted to put his Z28 in the background of one of our shots. That's all he wanted. A 1989 Z28. And we actually smashed up two of his cars. For free.
Randall - Yeah, we wanted to see if we could have two takes, so we smashed two cars.
independent film - How did you get so many police cars for your film?
Jon - Well, in Kentucky, it's not hard to get the cops to show up. All you have to do is say "Hey, do you guys want to be in a movie." We had 3 of the 4 of the Gallatin county police force at that site. The cop cars that we smashed were junk cars that we had towed in and painted.
independent film - This was all shot in Kentucky?
Jon - Kentucky and Cincinatti. The scenes where they run over the homeless person were shot in Cincinatti. in the Ghetto.
Randall - It was pretty scary. It was probably the most scary unnerving scenes of my life. We had a cop who was escourting us around but we still didn't feel that great because that was a real serious ghetto. We didn't realize until we got there just how dangerous that place really is.
Jon - It's a place where the show "Cops" if they want to get a good show they go to this place. And it got to be such a great place to film that they opened a production office nearby. And so the Cincinatti Film Commission kicked them out because they didn't want to portray the city like that. And what's strange about it is that it's a very small area that only consists of 5 or 6 blocks, nothing really compares to it. As far as good looking ghetto's that is a good looking ghetto.
Randall - We really pushed the envelope with this film, and so we just said, let's see how this plays out. And we were so grateful to get the cast that we got.
Because of the rebellious nature of the film, this movie may be discovered by a younger audience. Or those that just want to watch Eddie Furlong Blow, Break, and Smash stuff up. "Jimmy and Judy" is currently doing very well on the Film Festival circuit having won the coveted JURY PRIZE from the San Fransisco Film Festival.