For this month’s Cut Short interview, I’m very excited to get to talk to Jill Gevargizian, whose short film One Last Meal is a nasty piece of work that also manages to sneak in some mean-spirited humor. Read on for some bite-size information on where the story came from, ominous shooting locations, and maybe the best answer I’ve heard so far to the “What scares you most” question.
What was the inspiration for One Last Meal?
The death penalty, toxic masculinity, corrupt authority, following tradition blindly. It was written by Eric Stolze.
There’s definitely a dark sense of humor that permeates the film. Did you always picture this as a black comedy?
Absolutely! Eric wrote it with a Tales from the Crypt vibe: disgusting, funny, with a message. I also drew a lot of inspiration from the Coen Brother’s black comedies.
You found a really imposing prison to set the film. Where did you shoot it?
Missouri State Penitentiary. Built 1836.
What would be your last meal?
What made you get into film making?
Meeting independent filmmakers, seeing what they accomplished.
Who (or what) is your biggest influence in film and why?
David Fincher. His style, his use of color and light, his attention to detail.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Because the saw is family.
What are some underlooked films that you think more people should see?
Good Time, Satan’s Slaves, The Dark, The Eyes of My Mother.
What scares you the most?
Trees underwater in lakes.
What scares other people that doesn’t scare you?
Plus, if you’re familiar with her work, then you know she’s also done a terrifically moody short called The Stylist. Well, now Gervagizian’s looking to turn it into a full-blown feature, and she’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to make it happen. Check it out and you can also get a look at the short film version in its entirety. Also be sure to follow @thestylistfilm for updates!