March 16 - March 19 , 2023

Interview | Parasomnia – Jalen Tellis

fdiff December 22, 2022 5 min read




The title itself is very intriguing at first glance. The way you have merged the words paranormal and insomnia (presumably). Was this always the idea?


No actually, the reason I named the title “ Parasomina” was that I wanted the project to stand out. The original title was supposed to be “ Paralysis” but I felt like the name was used so many times with short horror films that I want my projects to sound original at first glance. Insomnia was something that I looked into while I was learning more with sleep disorders. 


Tell us about your love for the visual medium. The way it has changed over the years with the emergence of Ott platforms.


Visual medium has changed over the years but it still have that unique aspect of it. I really admire the way visual medium is used with certain filmmakers or photographers and how they use it with their own style.


How did the story come into being? Have you been thinking about addressing the issue for a long time? Or did it occur to you after a specific occurrence?


Sleep Paralysis was something I always wanted to dive into. I found the sleep disorder very interesting and wanted to make it into a horror aspect. When making “Parsomina” I did my research and really educate myself so I have more knowledge of the whole situation. Which is funny, I feel like I educated myself too much because I experienced Sleep Paraysis the week before the film came out and it was one of the most terrifying things I’ve experienced. 



How would you describe the human mind? Is it a gauntlet of uncertainties, an abyss of agony or the abode of unwarranted bliss?


I see it as a gauntlet of uncertainties because our mind is so fascinating and how we can remember things from 10 years ago or we can dream, imagine, etc. 


Name the movies and directors you admire the most almost to the extent of referring to them as inspirations. What is that one movie that you are never tired of watching and would recommend everyone to watch?


My top 5 directors are Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele,Zack Snyder, Matt Reeves, and M night Shyamalan. I get my inspirations from all of them, Their ways of storytelling is something that I really admire and when I watch their films, I’m not only watching, but I’m studying. One Movie that I will never get tired of watching is Avengers Infinity War because of how the impact and suspense it brought. 


What role do you think is played by the background score, the lighting, the camerawork plays in a thrilling, suspenseful narrative apart from the usual ones?


The most important role with background score are trying to get audience to feel all type of emotions and help them get involved with the story. Lighting and the camerawork is just to set the tone and tell you what type of story we’re telling. These three elements can create such a impact to your audience if it’s done right. When editing Parasomina in post, I knew exactly how I want my audience to feel. 


You have dealt with the very delicate yet much discussed problem of sleep paralysis. Evidently we are aware of the tumultuous effects caused by them on people. What do you make of the discussions around this problem? Is there more room for empathy?


With sleep paralysis, there’s always room for empathy because people can experience different things and have different effects. I always find sleep paralysis a very interesting topic and should be discussed more often than usual, When I experienced it, it definitely messed me up the whole night to the point where my legs were shaking and my paranoia was off the charts, and I was too afraid to fall back to sleep. 


What is your opinion on the way the horror genre has been primarily subverted and eventually redefined in modern cinema?


I think modern horror has slowly gotten better over the past year or two. I feel like before, the formula was just the same like copying and pasting. I feel that horror is probably the genre that is difficult to crack, you don’t want to be like everyone else and do the same thing, you want to do something original and make it stand out. 


Horror is now more internal gyrating around tales about the devil within. Why do you think it was necessary for directors and screenwriters to deep dive down the rabbit hole of the human psyche and its various domains both terrifying and thrilling?


The human mind is a very interesting process, it’s unpredictable. I think directors and writes dive in more into it nowadays because of how the audience will feel interested in the story or the character’s mindset rather than feeling interested in a family moving into a haunted house. 



What do you make of the fact that story driven movies these days enthrall the audience more than movies championed by ‘stars’? Do you think reluctance has finally taken a backseat, making writers more efficient and filmmakers more conscious?


Well I think it’s because the audience is now starting to get into the stories. In my opinion, the story driven movies are more interesting and should catch the audience attention more often. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post