POV: Describe this film for someone who hasn't seen it.
Andy Blubaugh: Scaredycat is a movie about fear, and the ways in which fear can make otherwise rational people make poor decisions on a personal, social and even punitive level. It uses my experience of being beaten and mugged by a group of five young men — and the changes in my reactions towards other young men after that attack — as a springboard for exploring the ways in which we all have allowed fear to rule our lives.
POV: What drew you to the subject?
Blubaugh: I had been fascinated with my obsessions and compulsions with fear for many years, and had tried to tackle the subject in film, but it wasn't until I was POV:attacked and found myself reacting in really severe ways that it occurred to me that the strange rituals I performed as a child and my racist reactions as an adult were borne from the same emotion, and were similarly useless in making me safer.
POV: Did making the film help you gain a deeper understanding of fear and the role that it plays in your life and in society in general? Do you feel less afraid now that you've made the film?
Blubaugh: I wish I could say that the film was a cathartic experience for me, but in many ways making the film did a better job of unearthing questions than it did provide answers for them. I feel that they are important questions to ask, however.
POV: How long did it take to make the film?
Blubaugh: Scaredycat was made over a period of about eight months. Much of that time was spent navigating the policies of the Oregon correctional system so that I could communicate with the men who attacked me. This was my first experience with the corrections system, and I was unprepared for how labyrinthine the process is. Actual production took place over a period of four very long days. The film was shot on an Eclair ACL camera modified to shoot Super16 film. It was edited in Final Cut Pro.
POV: Scaredycat uses unusual animations and sounds. How would you describe the film stylistically?
Blubaugh: I describe my films as "speculative documentaries." Much of what you see are re-enactments which symbolize my experiences, rather than documentation of specific events. I chose to use animation to portray the actual attack so that my audience would be able to distance themselves from the experience enough to think about it rationally.
POV: What are the themes of the film?
Blubaugh: Despite the dark tone, I feel the film is ultimately about possibilities. It asks the question: What can we change about our world if we realize how fear is affecting our lives and make a conscious effort to combat our knee-jerk reactions to it?
POV: Who do you want to see the film? And what would you like audiences to get out of the film?
Blubaugh: This film is for anyone who has allowed fear and racism to affect their decisions, but it is especially meant for those who think that it never does.
I hope that all audiences will take the time to examine what dangers actually pose the most clear and present danger to them, and then compare those to what "dangers" occupy so much of our political discussion and news coverage.
POV: What are you working on next?
Blubaugh: I just finished a short film about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend John, with whom I negotiated and agreed upon a date that we would break up before we started dating. You can see a preview of the film at my website, www.andyblubaugh.com.
Find out more about Scaredycat filmmaker Andy Blubaugh, and watch more of his work, at his website.