First of all, tell us about your love for movies. Do you remember the first movie you watched?
Movies have always been a huge part of my life. They have always been a way to imagine the impossible is possible, and a chance to explore new and old worlds. I grew up in a small rural community, to a farming family, we didn’t travel so it was a way to see and explore somewhere else and open up so many possibilities of what I could do in life. The first movie I watched in theaters was “The Rescuers” in 1977 when I was 5. I went to the city with my mom for my birthday and part of the trip was seeing a movie. To this day I can still remember every detail, the images, sounds, tastes and smell. One of my best memories, and is what I can honestly say, ignited my passion for films. I still own a copy of that movie and do watch it from time to time.
Who were the directors you admired growing up? What kind of movies intrigued you the most?
Growing up some of the directors I admired most were Steven Speilberg, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven. Through the years I can definitely add Guillermo del Toro and Zack Snyder to the list.
Can you suggest to us a few of your favorite movies? What would be the names in your all time top 5?
Some of my favorite movies. There are so many great ones out there, but if I had to narrow it down to 5 it would be: Crimson Peak, The Greatest Showman, Audrey Rose, The Stand and Close Encounter of the Third Kind.
Can you also suggest to us a few of your favorite books? Tell us about the writers who have inspired you the most.
Anything from Stephen King, lol. I love how he tells a story, he hooks the reader in and keeps them there. Favorite books would have to be Rose Madder ( and Stephen if you are reading this I would love to see this as a movie hint, hint, hit me up I would love to help on this one) American Gods, Dante’s Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost by John Milton.
When did you first hear the story about Jack the Ripper?
I was about 10 when I first remember hearing about Jack the Ripper. It was from a documentary my mom was watching one night.
Please tell us how you came up with the idea of making a film on a topic that has created a permanent place for itself in popular culture.
The whole story of the Ripper Murders are fascinating, this is the most famous murder mysteries of all time with so many theories on who Jack the Ripper was. Even after 134 years, no one can say for certainty who Jack the Ripper was. I wrote Jacky because one theory that was quickly dismissed in 1888 was Jack the Ripper was a woman. This is a theory that still to this day makes people uncomfortable because no one really wants to imagine a woman being capable of committing such heinous crimes. I felt it was time to explore this particular theory, besides we need more women antagonists in films, lol.
Usually when one writes a murder mystery, how important does the build-up become in the plotline? How can one perfect the art of revealing but not too much?
The build-up is very important, it causes the reader to already think of different possibilities of who did it. Jacky was a bit different seeing this is such a famous case and was based on the actual case itself, but in saying that I felt it was important to give her that story of what caused her to do what she did and didn’t reveal that to the end. That way the reader and viewers will continually question why.
The narrative is full of thrilling and shocking sequences. The descriptions appear astute as well. What is the significance of these things in a linear narrative (the process of investigation)?
A description is the best way to draw a reader in, it helps them imagine and actually see what is happening in their mind. Once a person can start to visualize what they are reading, the whole experience becomes almost engulfing, not only does the reader start to see but all of the other senses become activated and they now become part of the story. I believe that this also makes it easier to turn scripts into films because you have already experienced it once and makes it easier to put on screen by already having that vision.
Setting the atmosphere in a story like this is of paramount importance. What were your thoughts behind constructing an atmosphere that would complement your story?
Atmosphere is incredibly important, it helps set the mood and tone of a movie. Most of Jacky I see set in the dark London streets of 1888, with lots of fog. This adds to the mystery of Jack the Ripper as well as creates that suspense, because a person will always be anticipating something that will scare them and it is that anticipation that tends to scare people more than anything else.
Tell us about the conversations in the script. What were they like in your head while you were writing the script?
Most of the conversations played out in real time in my head. Most of them were not thought out; they just developed organically as I went along. Some of them were, if I was in that situation what would I say or how would I respond. But on the most part, it was like I could hear the conversation as I was writing.