Best Concept Art – Davey Jarrell – “Bussin’” (USA)

Title: Bussin
Runtime: 4 min
Country: USA
Director: Davey Jarrell and Dom Bournés
Placement: Award of Merit + Best Concept Art (Davey Jarrell)
Competition: December, 2020

Synopsis: It’s Coda the Kid’s first day of school. Making new friends is hard enough, but will he even make it to the bus’s final stop?

FILMMAKER Q&A – Davey Jarrell – Director, Producer, Writer, Animator, Voice Actor

OR: What was the inspiration for your film?

DJ: I made an animated film in college called “Just Say No,” where all the characters are animals in this kind of surreal world. My friend Dom Bournés, who worked on the film, wanted to expand upon that world. We came up with a lot more weird animal characters, but it wasn’t until we heard the song “Too Many Zooz” by Subway Gawdz that we knew what direction we wanted to take it.

OR: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

DJ: Dom Bournés and I conceived of the film some time in 2018 and we completed it in November 2020.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

DJ: Editing down the story to make it as concise as possible is always a challenge. Once we came up with the story, I knew I wanted to keep it under four minutes. There was just no way the story we were trying to tell needed to be longer than that (plus I didn’t want to animate more than four minutes). We had a lot of jokes and story beats that we ended up cutting, but I think it ultimately made for a much tighter and funnier short.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

DJ: The hardest part of the process was probably the story. Story is never easy, especially in a short format. Dom and I tried to accomplish a lot in four minutes. Introduce a bunch of zany characters and their surreal world, establish our protagonist’s relationship to this world, have a clear setup and payoff, and most importantly, pack the whole thing with visual jokes. Once we had our animatic locked (which is a storyboard timed to dialogue), production ran very smoothly.

OR: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

DJ: My advice for first-time filmmakers is just to make your first film. Don’t worry about making it perfect. You learn by making mistakes. I know too many people who have ideas for films and want to make them but don’t because they’re afraid they can’t do it justice. And that’s totally OK! No one’s first film is a masterpiece. You’ll learn from it and then your second film will be better.