Director Jeff Wadlow discusses Imaginary

March 16, 2024 A DGA Membership Screening Q&A in Los Angeles

“He’s not your friend” is the appropriately cautionary tagline for Director Jeff Wadlow’s horror film, Imaginary.

Wadlow’s film tells the story of Jessica, who returns to her childhood home where her youngest stepdaughter, Alice, finds a stuffed bear named Chauncey, the embodiment of the imaginary friend Jessica left behind who is very real and unhappy that she abandoned him.

On March 16, after the DGA membership screening in Los Angeles, Wadlow discussed the making of Imaginary during a Q&A moderated by Director Ari Sandel (Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween).

During the Los Angeles conversation, Wadlow spoke about how he feels there needs to be a healthy balance of computer-generated and practical effects in a film to keep it believable.

My preferred approach is what I call a practical CG-Hybrid approach. I always want something practical, something real on the set. I think the audience can feel the reality of it. They can see how light is interacting with it. They can see that it's obeying the laws of physics. It just gives a verisimilitude, which helps them with their suspension of disbelief. It also really helps the actors because they have something real to react to as opposed to just like a tennis ball on a stick. Audiences are savvy. If you just have a guy in a bear suit, they're gonna know that it's just a guy in a bear suit, so you have to find little things that you can do with VFX so you can augment and heighten.”

Wadlow’s other directorial credits include the feature films The Curse of Bridge Hollow, Fantasy Island, True Memoirs of an International Assassin, Kick-Ass 2, Never Back Down and Cry Wolf; and episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Ryan Hansen Solves Crimes on Television and Agent X. He has been a DGA member since 2007.


Q&A photos by Chris Ragazzo – Print courtesy of Lionsgate

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