Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Your Batman fan film, Bats & Jokes, recently released on YouTube. For our readers who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of the film?
Farbod Ardebili: The Joker is out of Arkham and is plotting to destroy the world. Simple enough, right? But what starts as just another attempt by the Joker to make Batman’s life harder turns into a journey through time and destiny which ultimately results in the revelation of the Joker's "true identity." Of course, “true identity” according to our movie.
BD: As a film set within the Batman universe, what can you share about your approach to utilizing such well-know characters and to providing your own unique take on the mythos?
FA: The Batman universe is such a rich playground of possibilities that you can literally fit billions of stories within it and still have something new to say. When this particular story started coming to me piece by piece, I was stunned and a bit overwhelmed by the number of paths that I could take at any given time. In film school, they teach us that whatever you want to do with your story, you must earn it first, but when you are working with an already well-established universe, you can take shortcuts. It can be a blessing, or it can be a curse. You know, you are like a kid who is given the biggest box of toys possible. You’re playing and having fun, but you might end up making the biggest mess there has ever been! I’m still not quite sure which case it is for us, but, hopefully, fans’ feedback will let us know.
BD: What can you tell us about the process of working with the cast and crew of the film and the contributions of these individuals?
FA: I had the most amazing cast and crew. I have made many shorts and an as-of-yet unreleased feature in the last couple of years, but this group of people was one the best that I have ever worked with. From our illustrator, Jacob Newell, who turned my stick-figure storyboard drawings into such beautiful works of arts to our actor, Adam Chefitz, who was the best Joker that I could ever ask for. I also had an absolutely amazing sound designer, Irene Gong, who gave life to every frame of the movie. Everyone was amazing - our cinematographer, make-up team, productions sound mixer, assistants, actors/voice actors… really everyone, and I feel very lucky for that.
BD: Do you find that many of the cast and crew were fans of the Batman universe prior to filming, and how to you feel that this impacts or enhances their experience in filming?
FA: Almost everyone was a fan to different degrees, of course, but they were all professionals, so even if they were not fans, they would have still done a great job; however, I could see that they looked more excited than usual working on set!
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from Bats & Jokes?
FA: I just hope they enjoy it. That’s really what it’s all about.
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are currently working?
FA: I have just finished working on another project which is a feature-length film titled I Hate Sundays. Here is the logline: Two Miami Detectives get detoured by mistrust, lust, and philosophical musings as they attempt to catch a serial murderer who has accomplices in the multi-verse. We hope to release it in 2018. Also, we are currently in pre-production on another project, a film about a rock band that has to make a very hard and unnatural choice.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Bats & Jokes?
FA: Well… Bats & Jokes is, in fact, a trilogy of three feature-length scripts. This film was based on the shortened version of the first episode. If you think it had a crazy ending, then I have to let you know that you have seen nothing yet! As we receive more feedback, if it turned out that people liked our short fan film, then we will see what happens. We might make the second episode in the same fan movie format or we might try to do something on a larger scale.