I don’t review documentaries often. For me, they have to talk about something interesting and they have to do it in an interesting way. Extra points if you can talk about something I don’t particularly like and make it amusing. In this case, you get double bonus points: not only does Justin McConnell make this interesting, it’s also about the insane amount of work that it takes to make a film.
Clapboard Jungle is not a love letter to the filmmaking process, it’s actually a lot more of a love/hate mail to how freaking hard it is to get a movie idea off the ground. This is the process that illustrates the many hats that filmmakers have to wear, and how momentum is not an indication that a feature is about to get made.
McConnell illustrates this by speaking with known industry people, including George A. Romero, Guillermo del Toro and a several other names. He also puts his own projects on the spotlight, including Lifechanger which premiered in Fantasia back in 2018. Interestingly enough, you see the ups and downs and the changes both physically and mentally that he goes through. Whenever he catches a break and all chips fall into place, you really feel for him when all the interest dies down.
Extremely recommended for anybody who has more than a passing interest in film or associated professions. This one should be obligatory watching for anybody who’s thinking about film as a career, and gives you much more appreciation of the kind of hell that a lot of directors and producers go through to get funding, get a cast and how those things seem to require the other to exist first in an endless loop.
That will do for now.