Julia Louis-Dreyfest and Waste Division are teaming up to help sponsor the DREYFEST EXPERIMENTAL & MUSIC FILMS block at MINT Film Festival Saturday, September 15th at 2905 Montana Ave. in downtown Billings, MT. Here we have an interview with director John Akre about his featured piece “Mini Mogul Masters Mud Menagerie.” Waste on…
by Daniel Nichols
Let's start with the obvious, what are the Hiblings exactly? Any insights into their nature or origin that you would care to share?
The Hiblings are the somewhat-intelligent inhabitants of the planet Hiblung, of course. The city-dwelling Hiblings are pretty smart but also achieve little because they argue amongst themselves, while the country-dwelling Prims are not so smart, but they do accomplish a lot, mostly destroying the "Great Hibling City" multiple times.
How many films have you made altogether and what percentage of your output has been Hibling-related?
I made 7 Hibling films when I was a teenager in Billings. I have made well over 200 other non-Hibling films since then. So, very roughly, < 3.5 percent.
When you were a child, how much time did it take to finish making one of your movies?
The first one, "The Planet," took much of a year. The rest all took several months to make.
You mention that you still make movies to this day, what kind of movies are you interested in making presently?
I make documentaries and animated films. Many of the animated films I make include some kind of community process. I have a portable stop motion animation studio that I call the Sloppy Films Animation Station that I bike around to various events in Minneapolis and create stop motion movies with passers-by.
If you could describe your art in four words, which words would you choose?
Community silly serious amateur (in the sense that I love what I do)
Have you experimented with animation since the Hibling Days?
I animate and teach it, both in the University setting and to teens and younger kids at schools and summer programs. I also organize an annual festival of Minnesota-made animation, which happened last night!
How can people find out more about you and your work?
What message, if any, would you like to send to young people wanting to make their own movies today?
Come up with a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and then just make it. Even if your story doesn't make sense, if it has a structure, it will probably make an impact. And then show it to someone and ask them what parts go too slowly and too quickly. You may not even have to ask them. You can pretty much always tell from their body language.