Hello Corey Davis, it’s a pleasure to have you with us for this interview. Congratulations on your award at last season of the “Indie World Film Festival”.
Q: Your new movie is “Poison”; in a few words, what is it about?
A: Poison is my latest film about a young man trying to escape his tumultuous relationship with his abusive girlfriend.
Q: When did you plan to do this film ?
A: I wrote this film back in March of this year. It was spring break at my college, Clayton State University, and I planned to shoot it at the beginning of April of this year, which is what happened. It was shot April 8 and 9.
Q: What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
A: I have been into film since a very young age (six years old to be exact). As a kid, I used to always have these wild imaginations of escaping my reality and inserting myself into these different [film] worlds. I have always wanted to express my thoughts and views on the world in ways that I never could in real life, and film to me has always been the appropriate medium to use to accomplish such feat. As far as formal training, I did not really get “formally” trained until I started college back in Fall 2019. I mean, I have been shooting films on my iPhone since 2014, but not at this extent in the present day where I am actually using digital cameras and learning more about the ins and outs of the craft in school.
Q: What can you tell us about your film work prior to this film?
A: I have shot many shorts during my time at college. One short titled, ‘I See You,’ is a crime thriller that deals with a lustful criminal who goes beyond extreme measures to obtain the woman of his dreams. Another short titled, ‘The Man in Black,’ is a modern day western that deals with a gunslinger trying to protect a damsel in distress from a rival gunslinger. There are plenty of other projects that I have participated in and filmed in the past, all which allowed for me to escape reality and put myself and others in situations that could be realistic in society but is outside reality at the same time. I always like to make films that either question reality, reflect off reality, or just simply leave the audience with an afterthought. I started off making family-friendly content, but now my main focus is shifting towards more mature content.
Q: Can you explain or tell us some of the important elements of this film that makes it interesting?
A: ‘Poison’ is one of those films that takes a coin and flips it to the other side that is not looked at much. In this case, we have a male protagonist, Darnell, who has been abused and tormented by his sadistic girlfriend, Donna, who pledges to make sure he never “forgets” about her. Normally in everyday society, we are preconditioned to be more sympathetic towards a woman being abused by a man as opposed to the other way around, and I wanted to bring into fruition a subject matter that is not talked about much, you know, flip the other side of that coin I mentioned earlier. Color also plays as an important element in this as it serves as a double entendre: one side of the coin illustrating the bipolar disorder that Donna has and the politics behind abuse and the double standards that surround them. In other words, how it is easier to accept a woman’s cry for help and negate a man’s problems in the process. The film touches on the hardships of not just abuse, but the effects toxic masculinity may have on a man, preconditioning him to “suck it up” and be tough, leave the emotions and the cries for help at the door. Those situations are what make ‘Poison’ unique and interesting to explore.
Q: How big was your team and what were the cameras that you used?
A: There were a total of eleven people (including myself) working on this film. We used a Canon T7 to shoot this.
Q: Directors (and indeed actors) who inspire you and what are your favourite movies?
A: Ava DuVernay is a director that inspires me to create stories that will give people of color and myself opportunities to use our voices as vessels in order to break the preconceived notions that society has placed upon its people. My favorite movies are ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Selma,’ which both inspire me to fight for the things I believe in and that if there is a goal that I am striving to achieve, then I must not let anyone stop me from doing so. There is potential in all of us, and it is up to us to release that potential. That is what I learned from those movies.
Q: Where can people see your work?
A: They can see it on my YouTube Channel: ‘Corey Djokester’ https://youtube.com/channel/UC3loL0Ag5oZgaQ5nApmyf_A
Q: What are your future projects?
A: I am hoping to make a sequel to ‘I See You,’ which will expand upon the criminal’s personal background and motivations for the crimes he commits. I am also working on an animated project in which I can hopefully release later on this year.
Thank you for this very inspiring interview, Corey Davis. Here at the “Indie World Film Festival” we look forward to seeing and appreciating your new film productions!