Father’s day with The Ringer
Interview with Chris Shepherd, for The Ringer
I can see it from all angles. Ive been both the father and son. Perhaps they are they same person at different times in their lives?
You can find other situations in which it is difficult to share your emotions, such as at work or in your intimate relationships. You chose to explore it through a father-son relationship. Can you tell us why ?
The film is inspired by the first meeting I had with my dad when I was 38. While the film is not a factual representation of the meeting it does draw upon the feelings that I felt.
After directing Bad Night For The Blues I started exploring moments of my life via film. This film is another progression in this thinking. I spent a few years writing scripts to order but found I drifted away from what aim about as an artist so I always try to draw upon my one real life emotions and recreate them in my films.
I figure that if I feel something about a story of moment maybe the audience will too.
The Ringer‘s animations are based on the son’s thoughts and feelings, showing us his emotions. But his father can’t see these animations. Why did you choose to build up your film through the son’s point of view ? Could you have directed The Ringer through the father’s point of view and therefore share his thoughts and feelings ?
I think film like The Ringer needs one view point. That gets us through otherwise you don’t know who to root for. The story is inspired by a first meeting I had with my dad. So while not being a statement of truth it’s certainly inspired by my point of view.
The take on the animations highlight the son’s feelings. I wanted the animation to be an idealistic view of the father and son relationship. In this naff ironic Hollywood parallel story everything works out in the end. The father and son find each other and come together, while in the main narrative the father and son don’t come together. It was that contrast and juxtaposition that I was after for The Ringer.
Midnight Cowboy, The Apartment, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Magnolia, Billy Liar.
Is that in order to make one ?
The two genres, short and feature, are so different. They do the same but are massively different canvases.
In alcoholic terms a feature is like a pint of lager, big, bulky and intoxicating. While a short is like a shot of whiskey. Fast furious and intense. Short filmmakers want to make an impression so they blast you with everything in five minutes.
I’m just directing a pop promo with Kurt Wagner (mmeber of the Lab Jury in 2014). It’s very exciting and you’ll see it at the end of the summer.
You might have watched The Ringer in National Competition screenings F4