This week’s Featured FearMaker has spent the last decade working on his craft, telling interesting narratives as well as making commercial films. A director at heart, Jeremiah Kipp has worked with some of the greats, including directing the legendary Tom Savini in the feature film The Sadist, and Tom Sizemore for his low budget Black Wake. We’ll get into his countless short films in just a bit, but first, let’s take a look at how Jeremiah came to be.
Jeremiah Kipp was born and raised in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. The home state of H.P. Lovecraft, Jeremiah has always had a fascination with horror. “Horror storytelling isn’t just ‘Jack and Jill were two starving kids in a bad home.’ Instead they go into the woods and discover a gingerbread house and a sinister witch. Horror stretches beyond reality into a deeper place, something beyond. Something unknowable.” He felt this greatly when he first watched Tobe Hooper’s indie classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre. He said the film “plays as if everyone who made it was insane…and the viewer feels wrapped up in that primal insanity…but then the movie ends and you’re safe having experienced something so fully. Anything can happen…that’s electrifying and opens up the imagination.” After making several backyard short films, Jeremiah felt it was time for a change.
Jeremiah left his home state for a brighter future when he moved to New York City to study film at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Receiving a B.F.A., he used his knowledge and his hard work ethic to start working right away on his short films. Primarily a director, Jeremiah has an incredibly long list of credits, even more as an assistant director.
Of all of Jeremiah’s abilities, he truly shines as a director. His short film, The Christmas Party, earned warm responses from over 50 international film festivals including Cannes and Clermont-Ferrand and received a 5-star review from Film Threat, saying it was “one of the best, most polished short films of the year!” His work is distinguished by it’s unique artistic styling, as well as his use of color and grain to make his short films look like moving photography.
His short film Contact uses minimal dialogue to tell it’s story of drugs and a personal fight from the protagonist against them. The short film, featured below, is a beautiful depiction of the downward spiral which leads to addiction, but focusing more on pulling away from drugs as opposed to falling into their spell. This pull away is unlike most films we see, in which the characters fall for the darkness and succumb to it. Kipp made his characters go the other way, which ends up being a unique and wonderful story to tell.
Quite possibly our favorite short from Jeremiah Kipp would be Painkiller. The sixteen minute short film tells the painful story of two scientists looking for a cure to pain brought on by cancer, only to find one of them in a horrific situation. The film has been hailed by many critics and fans alike, leaving its audiences wondering about how they see pain depicted onscreen. The film is currently available to purchase or rent .
Film making is hard work. It takes up all your time and money, and threatens every relationship and friendship you have. As Jeremiah puts it, “You have to love it more than anything else.” The truth in that statement is astronomical. According to Jeremiah, the largest issues facing independent film making is time and money. There is never enough time, and usually not enough money. Creative film making is key to working independently, and Jeremiah does it. From low budget Hitchcockian shorts like Baggage, or his more avant garde, simplistic, visceral short film Drool, Jeremiah has a way of taking what he is given and turning it into something beautiful.