Director Jacob's take on Osmodeus

When did your interest for films started?

My interest for films begun when I was 15. It all started off as a hobby. At that point of time, I didn’t have anything specific to work on, so my friends and I started doing short films together. I wasn’t a bright student in school. I failed in my examinations and that was a turning point in my life. My hobby became my passion and later on I developed it as my profession.

Who is your inspiration in the world of filmmaking?

I have several inspirations whom I look up to. At the age of 15, I was inspired by the renowned filmmaker Gautham Vasudev Menon. I started working on short films after watching his film, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya. And then my interest shifted towards Art films. I admired films made by directors like Wong Kar-wai and Quentin Tarantino. These are some people whom really inspired me in doing films.

What does the title Osmodeus mean?

Osmodeus is actually a Greek word. According to the Chinese customs, they believe that there are 7 various Gods in Hell. The theory is relatively similar to what the Greeks believe in. Osmodeus means “The God of Lust” in Greek.

I strongly regarded that this title will be apt for my short film based on the plot of my story. I conducted an extensive research before deriving the title for my short film. I didn’t want to give a usual title that people had already heard of.

What made you to do a short film that is deemed to be controversial?

I wanted to experiment with my film and show the unusual that was never really touched upon. The whole idea behind Osmodeus was to showcase a concept that was very different from what the other directors are doing out there. I didn’t want to do a film that revolves around cliché topics such as love and family disputes.
I feel films has the power to evoke feelings within someone. It has the potential to reach people’s hearts. Audiences are able to remember a character’s dialogues and actions. That’s the power of films. A content delivered to the audience should be long remembered by them. It should create an everlasting effect on their minds.

Thus, I decided to do a genre that’s not very regularly explored upon. Besides that, I also wanted to introduce the idea of Necrophilia among the audience. After watching my short film, people has approached me and said that they didn’t know that patients diagnosed with Necrophilia really existed.

The short film has some bold scenes like nudity. Why did you chose to portray them in the film?

Before directing Osmodeus, I watched a Singaporean film titled “A Yellow Bird”. The film was directed by Singaporean film director and screenwriter, K. Rajagopal and starring Sivakumar . These two people are also my source of inspiration in the media industry. Sivakumar and Rajagopal are considered to be pioneers in the Singapore media field.

I met Sivakumar personally as he is one of my mentors whom I look up to. We have to celebrate actors like him because he is very passionate about what he does. For the film Yellow Bird, he had the guts and dedication to do nude scenes. His adherence to his role made me to think on why I can’t portray scenes like that in my own script. I don’t consider nudity to be a sexual element. It is a form of Art I would say.

Who are the target audience for this film?

Audiences who wants to watch films that has a very different approach and content. Movie goers must not only be stuck to one type of genre and must be willing to open up their choices to a range of movies that deals with various other aspects of life.
What do you intend to achieve through this film?

I have plans to do my own feature film in the future. However, with this short film, I just wanted to simply present the viewers with a peculiar content. That was about it. I never expected of receiving any awards or being recognised by National media. I didn’t have any concrete plans with regards to the future while making Osmodeus. I found the script to be mind-boggling, so I went ahead to work on it.

How long did you take for the entire production of this short film?

The pre-production work for this film took me about 4 months. For the production period, it was relatively short. I only took 6 days to film the scenes. If sufficient time is spent on pre production to complete all the necessary research and admin work, the shoot will be able to wrap up fast within a few days since we have a clear idea on what is going to happen next.
After completing the shoots, post-production work took me a duration of 2 to 3 months. Initially, my team and I planned to complete the post-production details within a month. However, I had to suddenly change the Music Director for the short film in the midst of the process. After the completion of the shoots, I showed my work to the Music Director.

He backed out of the project immediately citing nude scenes in the film to be the reason behind his withdrawal. I had to source for another Music Director to accomplish the entire film. The whole process took me more than 6 months.

What are your plans after Osmodeus?

I completed my diploma in Screen Media from NAFA. It has only been a few months since I’ve finished my course. I have plans to do a feature film in the future. It is not a dark genre. I want to make it a watchable film for audience from all age groups. In my next project, I want to refrain from adding any explicit scenes. With Osmodeus, I wasn’t able to show the work to many of my closed ones due to the sexual content in the film.

Will you be open to the idea of watching this film with your family members?

I told my mum about the project once I started working on it. I was the Director and main lead of this short film. Casting actors for the film was pretty challenging as the project had some bold nude scenes. After completing the final cut, I showed the film to my mum and sister. They gave me their reviews after watching it.

My mum was very cool about the idea of the film. She is very supportive of my passion and interest for the media. My sister liked the short film as well, but she said she will not recommend it among her friends due to the strong explicit content.

What is the takeaway message of this film?

The film handles a topic that is very new to people. Many out there doesn’t know about Necrophilia. It is an issue that is happening in my home country as well. I feel that it is a disease. A type of psychiatric disorder I would say. Through my film, I’m teaching a new chapter to the audience. A disease that they have not really heard of. It is a learning point that people can take away with them after watching Osmodeus.

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