Local playwright Jonathan Cook has a new project. He has written and directed a short film that is currently part of a competition for inclusion in a film anthology titled “The ABCs of Death 2.” In addition to being included in the film, the winner will be awarded $5,000.
The original film, “The ABCs of Death,” was released in 2012 and is an American anthology horror comedy film produced by Ant Timpson and Tim League. It contains 26 different shorts, each by different directors spanning 15 countries. The premise is simple and clever. The film is divided into 26 vignettes; each one by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were given creative license in choosing a word to create a story involving death. The varieties of death range from accidents to murders.
A contest was held for the role of the 26th director and, after the success of the first film and competition, they have decided to make a sequel. This is where Jonathan Cook’s short film comes in.
“The film entry is titled ‘M Is for Mimic’,” Cook explained. “It’s a short dark comedy about two men both claiming to be the same person – James Baxter. It all takes place in a house, and they both accuse each other of being intruders in their home. Things get a little out of hand and, well, it’s a submission for the ‘ABC’s of Death 2’ so you can kind of figure out what happens. Ultimately, it’s up to the audience to figure out who is mimicking who. Which one is the real James Baxter?”
Initially, Cook was hoping to make the story into a short play but the film competition gave him other ideas.
“It’s always been one of many ideas I’ve been sitting on,” Cook said. “The contest definitely got me excited about it becoming a short film rather than a play, though.”
Cook mainly identifies himself as a playwright but has dabbled a bit in filmmaking. “M is for Mimic” is one of the few story-based films that Cook has had a hand in.
“My filmmaking endeavors are really only a hobby at this point,” Cook said. “My focus over the past few years has been promo and documentary style work and I haven’t really done many story driven films. I’m definitely ready to tell more stories through film, though, and I already have a few other projects lined up in the coming months.”
While winning the contest would be a great feather in the cap of a burgeoning filmmaker, Cook is happy just for the opportunity of making the film, he said.
“Regarding the contest, there are a lot of other talented filmmakers submitting and most have much more experience and also a much wider networking reach than me,” Cook said. “But I’m not afraid of losing and rejection. I’ll still always have this three-minute short that I made with some good friends, so that’s a win.”
Cook’s film, “M is for Mimic,” can be viewed on the website 26th.abcsofdeathpart2.com/entry/m-is-for-mimic/.
Other entries can be found at 26th.abcsofdeathpart2.com/entries/.