I love the honesty coming out on this. Were you sober during the movie? I’ve had my difficulty with that also, as you could tell during our first interview.
I’ve had my difficulty with sobriety as well. While I was filming I was sober because I was eleven or twelve. As an adult, I realized that I’ve used substances to numb myself. Having kids helped with that. I’m not advocating we all have kids to get over sobriety (laughs) or to become sober, but that’s just my experience. I had my friend say this to me the other day. Whether it’s alcohol or drugs or you’re a workaholic or an obsessive shopper, you know addictive personalities. It explores the gambit, everything from eating, whatever. Are you doing it for short term pleasure or long term gain? That has been something that I’ve been struggling with to understand what it means for me. I go through it now with Netflix (laughs). I don’t drink or take substances anymore but that doesn’t mean I don’t still have an addictive personality.I’m in the middle of working on a project. If I can make this book work, it will probably be my most honest work. I don’t know about you and art but for me, I can’t just wake up and just do it and it’s good. I’ve got to struggle through it. I love it and I would never trade it because I don’t know what else I would do. I woke up today at 6:30AM and I was going to write. I knew I had the call with you and another buddy of mine and I found myself watching old re-runs over and over. I had to get out of my house. I write a lot in my car, which is weird, but it works for me. I can still see the world but I’m insulated I guess. Just before you called, I just walked for 25-30 minutes and it completely changed my perspective, and I was like, “mother fucker, this is what I need to do.” I don’t think I’ve shaken addiction, just the ones I use now are less harmful.AA is also personal forgiveness. For years, I would get on myself because I wasn’t as productive. I have to stop beating myself up because I’m exhausted. If it’s my choice to watch a couple episodes and go to bed one night, that’s alright. You have to give yourself a break sometimes. Maybe I didn’t write that much or at all that day but that’s still OK. You have to give yourself a break. Now if that happened for three months, you gotta look at it (laughs). This is the stuff I wish we were taught as a society, how to treat ourselves and love ourselves.I like to read a lot, so you read a blog or a book, or share stories like we are right now, and you realize you’re not alone. Even if it’s just a text message. Even if they don’t talk you off the ledge or don’t offer you a pearl of wisdom, it’s the fact they’re acknowledging you’re not alone makes a huge difference. We’re not taught as a society to do that with each other.

Jacob Reynolds gummo now

Tell me about the book and the writing you’ve been doing.
So I just finished the first draft. The first true draft of a steampunk middle-grade novel called the Peculiar Adventures of Oswald Pennybaker. When my son was about four years old, for whatever reason, I used to come up with these crazy names. Every time I would see him, I would come up with a different name. I love kids because they always have that belly laugh.
You just enjoy the comedy there? Yeah, exactly, and I only have stupid jokes, so it works for my friends… and toddlers. So, for whatever reason one day, I kept calling him Oswald Pennybaker, and he just found it hilarious. And so, I had just started writing novels. I don’t even know if I’m good now. I’m good enough that you can read it and go “yeah, thats a novel” so thats a step in the right direction. But, back then, you couldn’t make heads or tails of it. The story made sense to me because it was inside my head, but it didn’t come out on the page. I had been working through different stories that had kinda came through that experience, and one of them was hearing my son laugh with that damn Oswald Pennybaker, and that really just kinda stuck with me. Basically what it boils down to is it’s like James and the Giant Peach meets 20,000 Leagues under the sea with Donald Trump as the fucking antagonist. So, I have an editor who is going to work with me to make sure it’s ready to see the light of day, so I’m sending that off to her. The idea is to start hitting the market and see what I can work with. It’s taken me a little while to get to this place but sometimes these things take time. I don’t know about you, but even though it has taken that long, you kinda get to a point where you’re like, “it had to take this time.” I tried rushing it and it ended up not being what it needed to be.Did you get a chance to see the graphic novel that we’ve got going on Webtoons? That one is doing pretty well. It’s called “Perish.”
Jacob Reynolds Jacob Sewell Nick Sutton gummo now
LOW-FIDELITY AUDIO
The low-fidelity audio was a big thing for me in Gummo. I was really inspired by the low-fi sound and visuals in that. Talking to you, it seemed like a lot of that was recorded professionally, so tell me about that.I don’t know if this is some weird memory I made up or if there is some legitimacy to it, but I remember them doing some of the voice over on set and just hitting it live with whatever they were using for the boom mic. My experience was in a booth. They were doing post and I was probably twelve. You’re up there sitting on 57th street in Manhattan. It was in a Manhattan studio. I don’t know what their post budget was but they weren’t doing this in somebodies back yard. The only way I can describe it is Dorothy walking into Oz, because this room was fucking huge. They had the editing suite right there and off the editing suite, they had the sound booth. So what was crazy is, you walk in and theyre editing 35mm, so they got all the fucking reels and they got all the film up on the screen. They’re running it the Avid way, so they got all the tools. They’re splicing the film. Nothing was digitized. So, you walk in here, and you’re like “son of a bitch.” Harmony and I, I’m assuming they had been there for a while because, to my knowledge, he was there for a lot of the edit. He and I basically sat in the booth and we ran those lines. The thing with him is he always wanted it to be softer. I haven’t seen the film in a long time so from what I remember, a lot of my voice overs are very soft. Maybe that’s why he did mine in the studio, and not on set, because maybe he realized he wanted it to be super quiet, so you had to get that clean sound. This was twenty five years ago. There’s certain moments in your life where you walk in and you’re like “son of a bitch. I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life.”They were probably running the tape along with the 35mm. Back then, Harmony was hanging out with Gus Van Sant a lot, and Gus cuts his own film. They’re doing it the old-old-school way. They’re not digitizing it, then editing it off a digital program. They went raw.They’re going raw, from what I saw, and until this day, I’m fortunate enough to be in studios coming up and you see some stuff that’s pretty phenomenal, but that set up… it was just a fantastic set up.
So you were in the studio with Gus and Harmony?
No, so Gus came to Gummo, and I think I met him there, and he might have come to the premier. I’ve met him later in life. I don’t know the guy, but I know that he and Harmony were friends. Harmony was in Good Will Hunting and Jean-Yves Escoffier shot Good Will Hunting (the same cinematographer for Gummo). So, they ran in the same circle, and they were close. I don’t know about today. I think they were inspired by each other.

Jacob Reynolds gummo now