Joe Penna is a musician and filmmaker who cut his teeth on content creation with his YouTube channel MysteryGuitarMan. Penna’s big dream, however, was to get his narratives on the silver screen, and his feature directing debut Arctic is garnering tons of critical acclaim.
Learning from his mistakes and successes on YouTube served as a solid foundation for his filmmaking career. “What’s interesting about YouTube is it gives you the analytics to tell you exactly where you lost them. (For example) this at 58 seconds people left your video,” said Penna. “And then you look at the graphics and say ‘Okay, I know what I did here and then you try something different’ and then you lose even more people. And then you try a third version of it and you start figuring out what works and doesn’t work. You start creating these rubrics and these rules about what works well for that medium. I would venture a guess that is the same for a feature film. When I was screening the film for friends and family. I wasn’t watching the film. I knew the film – I knew every single frame. I was watching them. Every time they shift in their seat, I’d wonder ‘okay, why is this shot running too long’ or ‘what can I do differently here’?”
Click on the media bar to hear Joe Penna talk about how the film The Martian influenced the location change of Arctic.
Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen, is now playing in select theaters.