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An emotional and introspective journey following five years in the life and career of an independent filmmaker, supported by dozens of interviews, posing one question: how does an indie filmmaker survive in the current film business? Featuring interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, Richard Stanley, Barbara Crampton, Paul Schrader, Tom Savini, George A. Romero, Gigi Saul Guerrero, Michael Biehn, Frank Henenlotter, and many more.
With Clapboard Jungle, filmmaker Justin McConnell brings together two things I’m extremely passionate about: genre-driven documentaries and independent horror. Most people may not know this about me, but years (and years) ago, I created and spearheaded a movement known as Indie Horror Month as a means to help underrepresented content creators in the horror filmmaking community have an opportunity to get their moment in the spotlight. It’s been something I’ve wanted to resurrect, especially because it seems so hard these days for truly independent voices to be heard, but trying to carve out that time has been difficult.
That being said, when I read the description for Clapboard Jungle, I knew this was going to be something that would be extremely pertinent to my interests and McConnell didn’t let me down. The project is an enlightening look at the ups and downs that many indie filmmakers are constantly facing, as well as the daunting task of trying to just get a film up and running in the first place. Fantasia 2020 Review
"Overall, Clapboard Jungle is a very nicely put together documentary. We can see how various pieces of advice that McConnell acquires take him from one step to the next, but the film is definitely more self-help than self-indulgent. It definitely comes across as though he is the sort of person who wants to find out how to produce his best work, and share what he learns with his fellow indie film directors."
Ready Steady Cut
"Please, if you are a fan of independent cinema, see this just for the interviews of many people you’ve admired, heard of, or even know yourself. Stay for the inspiring story of a filmmaker who finally gets his foot in the door after years of trying. It’s an effort that not many people can see through to the end, but maybe after watching Clapboard Jungle, you’ll get some of the tools to get ahead in this rather unforgiving business yourself." Film Threat