A quiet, young woman moves into a new building and meets a reclusive engineer at the brink of completing a bizarre, extraordinary machine.

Strong tensions and unequivocal character designs are at the forefront of Eric Jungmann’s debut short film ‘Body of the Mined’. While the story quickly introduces a wide range characters with unusual acquaintances, the situation and setting slowly builds out the narrative in a rather obscure way. Like many short film filmmakers, Eric took on the many production roles including writing and producing, but also appears in the movie as the lead villain, for an incredible undertaking. We spoke with Jungmann who told us a little more about the film and his process:

Can you tell me a little bit about ‘Body of The Minded’, how did this film come about?

Body of the Mined is a story about identity and sacrifice. It’s about the desire to take control of something that cannot be controlled. I’ve been working on sets as an actor for about 20 years now but this is my first time wearing multiple hats as a writer/director/producer/actor and production designer. Being a filmmaker is something that I’ve been working towards for a long time, and this has all been an unparalleled experience – getting the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented artists to bring this world to life.

The film came about mostly due to a great deal of hard work, and because of the tremendous support I’ve had from the start. From my crowdfunding efforts all the way into post production – I have had an amazing group of people lifting me up.

Each character seems profound and complex, tell us about the range of characters and why such extremities?

I think the characters were mostly born from the thematic threads in the story. The idea that our identities are defined in the eyes of others by what we appear to be on the outside. Things that are, for the most part, out of our control. Age, gender, race, disability, disease. It was important to explore these characteristics within the complexities of the people in our world.

What was the most challenging scene for you to film?

On an independent short film set, I think you’re typically up against a lot of limitations and challenges from the beginning. Resources and time are of course a consistent obstacle, though I think the most challenging scene to film was probably our big confrontational scene between all of our characters towards the middle of our story. Difficult to speak on it without giving too much away – but there were just so many things happening at once – multiple story beats that needed to really hit in such a short period of time. We had all of our actors playing in that scene, some complicated practical effects popping off, and it was also one of the scenes where I had a more significant role to play as an actor.

Juggling those responsibilities of being an actor with being the writer/director on set was a unique experience to say the least, and surrounding myself with such a talented group of collaborators was most definitely the key to it all. I had the absolute best people working beside me on this thing. Their talent and support helped me throughout the entire process and it was an incredible experience solving those problems together during the production. For me, that’s some of the best of it…the problem solving.

Has this film taught you about filmmaking?

Oh, I’ve learned so much throughout the making of this film. There is no equivalent substitute teacher for experience. For just getting in there and getting your feet wet. I learned that you have to diligently prepare every detail – and then be ready to bend and adjust once faced with the unpredictability of the set.

What are your favorite films and short films and which have directly inspired this film?

I don’t think I could even begin to name my favorite films but there were certainly many that influenced the creation of “Body of the Mined”. As an artist, I’m always learning and taking inspiration from so many different things. Images, locations, music, people, film.

Ever since I was really young, I was always fascinated by the practical effects and special makeup effects I saw in the movies I watched growing up. From Labyrinth and The Neverending Story, to Total Recall, The Fly and Brazil – so many films I’ve loved have helped to color the aesthetics of what I was trying to build with “Body of the Mined”.