Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent release of your award-winning short film, The Boogeys! What inspired you to bring this fantastical story to life?
Sanjay F. Sharma: It started with a little idea that then gave birth to a larger world. The larger world then give rise to this strand (THE BOOGEYS short film) within this world. I wanted to explore evil and predation; see how we would react in a world where we are no longer the apex species and how we would adapt to it, as we do to everything.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in balancing both the writing and directing roles of the film, and how do you feel that this may have benefited and/or challenged you as a filmmaker?
SFS: Writing and directing are one and the same for me, part of the same creation process. I have directed works that I have not written and have been satisfied with the process, as well. But, for me, what is truest to my person is birthing Athena from my mind and having Hephaestus, the director in me, split open my skull for Athena to come out.
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from the film, and what makes film such an important medium through which to connect with other characters and their stories?
SFS: I hope that viewers can view it and remember what it is to enjoy and savor a film. To enjoy the lightning, the music, the rhythm, the characters. I made the film in such a way that it could survive and prosper with multiple viewings. In our world of transient dopamine hits, we’ve forgotten how to love - forgotten how to give ourselves, too. If I’ve done my job correctly, the world is just there, as if it always were. Filmmakers and laymen know that to create this, especially in a short film, is an arduous, Herculean task. I think this was achieved. Cinema, film, is the most refined, powerful form of storytelling, even today in this multi-platform world.
BD: You have quite a talented cast and crew working on the production. What can you tell us about their creative process in bringing the film to life?
SFS: It is repeated many times that film is a collaborative medium, because it is so. Every producer on the film was a pillar - David, Trip, John, Marc - and working with Doug Jones was a charm, just as working with Douglas Tait (who Doug Jones recommended) was equally rewarding. A good story hits all the steps like a good dance performance; all the right notes like a great piece of music. Jordu, Brad, Ron, and every member of our team all were fantastic. I do my job by letting them do theirs. And yet, they can only do their job when my vision is keen. If I fail at my job, they fail at theirs. And vice-versa. So, it is a harsh, cruel world... in other words, it is Nature at work.
BD: The Boogeys previously made its rounds through the film festival circuit around the world. How would you describe your experience with the audience and critical response thus far to the films?
SFS: Blessed. In South Korea, where we had our World Premiere at BiFan (Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival), audience members came to me. They were crying because they loved it so much. Not because it’s a drama, but rather because it’s a blast. SITGES was an equally life-changing experience. Arguably the best genre festival in the world, bar none. We had Doug Jones at Screamfest and Douglas Tait at HollyShorts, both held at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. And now, everyone can experience it online, where we just posted it on YouTube. (YouTube "THE BOOGEYS" or go to THE BOOGEYS channel.) It’s a short, but I think there are few shorts like it. And if you like the short, what I have in store with the feature is epic in scope.
BD: You are in early talks to adapt the short to a feature-length film. Did you always envision the story as a full-length movie, and what about The Boogeys world do you most look forward to revisiting creatively?
SFS: Yes, now comes some more heavy lifting and more grind to get it to the next level. It’s more than just one movie, it’s a universe. THE BOOGEYS is just the little idea, modest in its beginnings. That said, the first feature script, with the real title, is ready. And the scope is vast. I’m excited about it. If we can get it off the ground, what I can say is, prepare to love sci-fi again. The real thing. I don’t hold back as any sharp eye can see in the short. We did it all: built the sets, built the props, built physical effects, created over a hundred VFX, focused on character, on story, designed and built costumes... I will deliver, whatever it takes, I will deliver, I must deliver. With my shield or on it.
BD: Are there any other upcoming films or projects that you would care to share with our readers?
SFS: Yes. “The Transfiguration of Ruby Rosenkreuz” The feature script is in its third draft. It’s a smaller movie, but more realistic as the next project for me. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s small. Oh, it’s a wickedly cool story. Cinema, pure cinema. And then some. I anticipate it’ll be a game of inches to pull it off, but that is the nature of the beast.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about The Boogeys and your other projects?
SFS: I and my art are one. You are not getting a corporate, soulless story from me. What you see is from deep inside and from deep inside all the artists I work with. It is true creation made for a true audience. There are no algorithms, no metadata, no corporate buzzwords of the day. If I can be blessed to do so, it will be the old myths and stories from the forgotten past and from the far future which is yet to come. I will cross the Cosmos to bring these to you.