“The very first “Jack” puppet was made in late 2007. He was quite a bit cruder, but the central design changed very little between that and the final version of him we shot in the summer of 2013.
Jack didn’t start out as “Jack,” the main character in ME + HER. He started out as a vague idea for a music video that never happened. He sat on my desk, staring at me as I rendered out animation sequences for another failed music video (I started and never finished a multitude of music videos), and I began to envision the world he would inhabit and crafting his story.
In early 2008, I left Los Angeles to work as a PA in Connecticut, then Northern California, then New York, working on Jack’s story all the while. I returned to Northern California for Christmas 2008, decided I would stay there, finish this short script, build all of the sets and characters, and shoot it. I estimated the whole process would take me a year. Maybe two tops.
I was off by a couple of years and a few dozen crew members.
I had built (and, in a lot of cases, rebuilt, and re-rebuilt) the majority of our puppets and about 60% of the sets by early 2013. In March, I moved the operation from Sacramento to Los Angeles (the birthplace of Jack). Budgetary constraints made it impossible to have all of the sets erected at the same time, so the build/shoot schedule was broken up over a 7-month period.
The first block of shooting took place mid June, the next block in early September, two days in early October, and the final block at the end of the month: 18 shooting days in total.
I joked a lot about how “if I knew it was going to be that much work, I would have never started.” Which isn’t true. It was ambitious. It was frustrating. It strained my relationship with a lot of loved ones. The end result is something I’m truly proud of and could never have accomplished without the support (and tolerance) of my friends, family, and a great deal of talented crew members that believed we were making something special.
Reflecting from the finish line, I can only hope that the rest of the collaborators view the complete film as something special to them as well. We all poured ourselves into the process and am forever grateful and humbled.”