I often say that things are my “favorite thing.”
Oh shit, that skull chair is my favorite thing.
That charnel house coffee table book is my favorite thing.
That veggie eggroll is my goddamn favorite thing.
But animator Oliver Franklin Anderson’s short film Hollow is actually one of my favorite things. So much so that I made him my friend IRL (if you do something cool and deathy on the internet I will stalk you and do this to you too, so watch out). His corpse/children/nature gem is going to the Slamdance Festival — cooler Sundance — in Utah next weekend, so I interviewed him for the Order. He finds me exasperating.
Caitlin Doughty: Hey Oliver.
Oliver Anderson: Hi Caitlin.
CD: So you’re like, an animator.
CD: Tell me where the idea for Hollow came from.
OA: The initial idea that became Hollow was the image of a murdered girl’s body laying in tall grass covered in morning dew and insects. Hollow grew out of that image.
CD: What happened to the murdered girl?
OA: She was murdered, obviously.
CD: Is this a one-off corpse movie, or do you have a larger interest in death and the macabre?
OA: No, I have a huge interest in death, horror, and folklore.
CD: Hollow features two living boys in conjunction with nature and a corpse. It feels very primal. What was your relationship with death like as a child?
OA: I’m not really sure, I grew up Catholic so heaven and hell occasionally came up, and relations occasionally passed on. I always just kind of considered death to be what happens next, very matter of fact, it’s never been something that has bothered me. It’s sad for the living but something everyone before me and everyone after me will or has gone through. It’s an interesting cultural and biological aspect of existence that’s still relatively taboo to talk about for most people so naturally I was drawn to it.
CD: I also (clearly) have a huge interest in death, but it bothered me incessantly as a child. Plagued me, even. It’s interesting to hear you say you create the work you do now having always thought of death as natural.
OA: Went out for lunch.
CD: I go to lunch in the middle of interviews, too. OK, do you want to go insect collecting next weekend? If the answer is no, please explain why you are unavailable.
OA: I will be in Park City, Utah, for the Slamdance Film Festival (which Hollow is a part of) that weekend.
CD: Congrats. Does Hollow‘s selection for Slamdance indicate a new interest in death in the artistic mainstream… or is your work simply irresistible to festivals?
OA: In the last decade there’s been a resurgence in horror and the supernatural, an underlying interest in death is definitely part of that.
CD: What other films like Hollow would you recommend to people looking for macabre pick-me-ups for their day?
OA: Go watch Larry Fessenden’s Wendigo.
CD: Are you making more films?
OA: I’m working on a series of horror shorts at the moment under the collective title The Night Country.
CD: Anything else you want to say to the masses?
OA: Reblog and post Hollow!
CD: Gotta hustle.