Jenny breaks free from a toxic friendship and learns to harness her magical, useless superpower.

So we all have that crazy manipulative friend. But they surely don’t have superpowers. Christopher Good goes full wild in Crude Oil, taking us on an absolutely absurd ride with Jenny. A girl looking to break free from a toxic friendship and learns to harness her magical, useless superpower.

Crude Oil was just a script I wrote and got excited about- there wasn’t really any direction or agenda for it beyond that. But I do think I wanted to make something wild and free. Films like Vera Chytilova’s Daisies or the narrative work of William Klein, they’re so anarchic and energetic and I’m really into that. So I’m sure those were an influence on some level. When people talk about Crude Oil they sometimes describe it as experimental, and some film festivals have programmed it as an experimental film. I can see where they’re coming from, like you can definitely make the argument. At the same time, though, it’s probably right on the edge and I never thought of it in that way while making it; to me it’s just something I made in my style. Maybe if experimental film is punk, then Crude Oil is pop punk?

If twelve-year-old me lived now, man, he’d be in hog heaven

The superpower aspect of the film, that’s probably the last vestige of my tween obsession with comic books. I’m talking totally mainstream superhero comics- at that age, I wanted to write and draw them. This was prior to those movies dominating the landscape. If twelve-year-old me lived now, man, he’d be in hog heaven. But now the most enthusiasm I can muster apparently is for the tongue-in-cheek portrayal you see in Crude Oil. Sometimes I wonder if I could make an actual superhero movie. I guess market forces’ll answer my question for me in the long run but it is fun to daydream about occasionally.

Crude Oil is a film that thrives on energy, and while most of that comes from Christopher’s brilliant direction, we wouldn’t get the same effects without the cast’s thriving performances. Lead by Andreina Byrne who brings the charm and the innocent-but-not-so-innocent character to perfection. And supported by Tipper Newton and Josh Fadem who constantly feed the comic reliefs. Of course the unique style and vision couldn’t have been brought together without an incredible support from the crew, which Christoper seems grateful to have.

It’s pretty hyperactive and it took a while to shoot

There’s a ton of scenes in the film. It’s pretty hyperactive and it took a while to shoot. We did five days initially, then another handful of days like a month later, more days a couple months after that…we were probably still filming inserts a good ten months after that initial batch of days. But I actually love when you can manage to have shoots a little bit spread out. Maybe not to the extent we did on Crude Oil necessarily, but it is a luxury to be able to catch your breath and stop and think about what you’ve done and what you’re about to do. You can course-correct if need be.

Obviously I was only able to shoot like this because my crew was into it, which as you can imagine I’m very thankful for. It was a small and tight-knit group: producer (and lead actor) Andreina Byrne, cinematographer (and executive producer) Jeremy Osbern, production designer Sinjun Strom, sound mixer Danny Bowersox, production assistant Ryan Bowersox. Danny and Ryan had very recently gotten married at the time and it was kind of like, instead of just chilling and enjoying this time off they had directly following the wedding, they did Crude Oil. That meant a lot.