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Crank: How did you get your start in filmmaking?

Joseph Nathan Weisman: The fall of 2006.

What’s been your biggest lesson as a filmmaker so far?

Find a way to make things work. Nothing will be perfect, but you can get close if you choose to be a problem solver and not panic.

What sparked the creation of JIM IN THE BOX? 

My close friend Richard (“Richiebaby”) Malitz jokingly pitched me the idea. I wrote it. Ian and I made it. We, of course, gave Richiebaby the story credit! 

How did you unite with your filmmaking collaborators? 

Ian and I had just formed a company called Hidden Treasure Productions and wanted to make something. JIM IN THE BOX was our first project together. Ian and I had been friends since junior high school. Richie is one of my closest friends and when he heard Ian and I were going to do something, he told me his idea and we loved it.

How long — from start to finish — did it take to make this film?

Hmm… Maybe 6 months. We shot on 35mm so the post was a bit strenuous, but what a great experience that most filmmakers today will never get (and probably never need).

How would you describe your filmmaking style? 

I’m a storyteller first and foremost. There are lots of ways to tell stories and I love all aspects of the process, which is why I tend to work with writers mostly (if I’m not the writer), then find the best partners who have our shared vision. I become relentless pushing things forward until it gets done. Most people like to just wear one hat, but I like to wear the hat that fits best and often that ends up being multiple hats. 

And how did this film come together?  

We shot it in 2 days. It almost didn’t happen because Sam was concerned about shaving his beard for the clown makeup. Thankfully, he did it and we were able to make him look great. Also, no one wanted to touch the crickets, so I put on the costume and it’s my hand feeding Brad the crickets!

What advice would you give to first-time filmmakers?

Have lots of irons in the fire and keep adding. It’s all about right place, right project, right time.

What are you working on now?

I’m about to start pre-production on a feature film about the tragedy in Jonestown. We’ll be making some big announcements once this pandemic hopefully passes. I’m also working hard to direct my first feature film about a psychotic ride-share driver.

Anything else you want to share? 

Check out my other short film “Zombie Family” on YouTube with over 3.5 million views. Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman loved it, so… 

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About the Filmmaker 

Joseph moved to Los Angeles in 2004 to pursue filmmaking. Joseph is the former Director of Development for CineTel Films and currently in development on several of his own projects. JIM IN THE BOX was awarded Best Short Film at Show Off Your Short Film Festival (Raleigh Studios, CA). Follow Joseph on Instagram & Twitter @JNWBUZZ.