Clapboard Jungle is a documentary about the wonderful, yet utterly complicated world of filmmaking. Whilst not everyone may find it interesting, for those who do, it’s a documentary filled with information and fun facts about the creative process with interviews from filmmakers from all over the world, including the legendary Guillermo Del Toro.
The film was created by a young man & fellow filmmaker, Justin McConnell, and it follows his journey through the trials and tribulations of his life in this industry. The film is an easy watch and I didn’t once lose focus. I was glued to the screen, eager to learn more. It was well put together and fascinating seeing some of the film’s editing process within the film itself. What we see is raw and intense, yet incredibly structured and it almost acts as a manual handbook or guide for filmmaking.
We get a real glimpse into how Justin works so incredibly hard to get his films off the ground, and the impressive multi-tasking that goes on. It seems as if you have to be a jack of all trades (and the master of all of them) to be a filmmaker as Justin has to oversee a lot of things. Whilst watching this documentary, you see how passionate he is. You get a feel for how determined he is despite the few times where he confesses his want to give up entirely…but the fact he doesn’t makes him even more inspiring.
Even though we see the film through Justin’s eyes, it’s interesting to see the perspective of other filmmakers in the industry through the use of interviews. From writing the script to financing it, shooting the film to post production and distribution, and then finally to festival release, we see all the different stages that are involved in the creation of a film.
The documentary as a whole is extremely insightful and I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. I was able to take away plenty of information in an area I thought I knew everything about. It shone light on everything that goes on “behind the scenes” and while I was already very well aware that so much more happens with filmmaking than just what the audience sees, it gives me extra appreciation for the hard work involved. It also made me realise that independent films are so much harder to get seen than the bigger Hollywood films, particularly with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime taking over the world.
Having produced a short film myself, I know what it’s like to have to work hard to put a film out there, and the work doesn’t stop until its release. It’s such a long journey and can have massively tedious moments to the process that a lot of people might not realise or understand. Clapboard Jungle shows us that it takes so much dedication and perseverance to create something from scratch. You have to know what you want and be confident in your vision to be able to achieve it.