PIGSKIN is cut from the same thread as David Robert Mitchel’s, IT FOLLOWS
Pigskin is the thesis from Jake Hammond (Director/Co-Writer) and Nicola Newton (Cinematographer/Co-Writer) for Florida State University. This university has been known for creating some great filmmakers like David Robert Mitchel who gave us Indie hit horror It Follows, or Wes Ball, helmer of the Maze Runner series.
The film has already been screened at 20 festivals and has won an impressive 13 awards and every one of those awards, truly well deserved.
I can’t really say too much about Pigskin as its running time is just short of 14mins. What I can say is that it is amazing and what we have here is a very talented team that will no doubt be making feature-lengths real soon.
Pigskin is a throwback to 80’s high school horror, although not cheesy. The setting is important as it gives us a storyline that focuses on a severe issue that is rampant among the young people of today.
It follows a cheerleader called Laurie who has just bagged a date with a popular member of the football team. We watch Laurie over the short running time loose her mind because of her insecurities she has about her body. I have to say I was not expecting the severity of that final sequence, it was gruesome and it was done beautifully.
Pigskin is wonderfully shot, camera work and cinematography is both astounding and nauseating at the same time. The script is believable as it’s something I think everyone can relate to in some way. The 80’s synth soundtrack (Think Drive soundtrack and you won’t be far off) is fantastic and suits the film perfectly – with music from bands, Chromatics, and Desire.
“Everything within Pigskin comes from deeply personal experiences and insecurities. Turning these feelings into a film that can be shared and discussed is a way to force a voice from these insecurities, of which it is hard to talk about unfiltered. Nicola and I feel passionately about the issues we’re exploring and, in the same way, the making of the film has given me confidence of my own, we hope that it has the ability to touch people who may feel similarly,” says director and co-writer Jake Hammond.
‘Pigskin’ is our thesis film from the Florida State University Film School. My friend and creative collaborator, Nicola Newton, and I wanted to further explore the idea of terrible things disturbing idyllic settings. Together we wrote a story revolving around a seemingly normal high school cheerleader hiding a deeply rooted secret – one that manifests physically from her own bodily insecurities. The images, sounds, and overall tone of the film are influenced by 70s and 80s high school horror flicks like ‘Carrie’, ‘Halloween’, and ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’. We wanted to build this nostalgic, colorful, innocent suburban-America world and then tear it all away to expose something very sinister hiding in plain sight. While paying homage to the films I grew up watching and adoring, ‘Pigskin’ also plays further upon ideas of repression, insecurity, and sexual anxiety – as seen through the eyes of Laurie, the film’s protagonist. Nicola and I aimed to create something that is frightening and genuine, but also fun and highly energetic.
– Jake Hammond, director
I sincerely wish Jake and Nicola and the cast the best of luck with the film. I am looking forward to the feature-length because I know we will see one soon.
Thanks for reading.
By Gary Gamble