Santa Claus sits in an empty room.
Filmmaker Feature

Jasper Mall Q&A

May 23, 2021 by Nicholas Price

Birmingham, Alabama-based filmmakers Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcom, the directors behind the season six finale, Jasper Mall, answer questions about filmmaking in the South.

You have been working in the Birmingham area for a while now. What keeps you inspired to make work in Alabama and in Birmingham?
There are great stories here. It's also an affordable, fun place to live and makes a nice home-base when we are traveling for other projects.

What advice do you have for filmmakers trying to make a living outside of "the coasts."
Make friends with people on the coasts. Seriously, you don't need to live in NY and LA to make films, especially now. You can find a story anywhere in the world, travel to shoot it, and edit it from your car if you want. But LA and NY do still have a lot of resources in production and post production. It's easier than ever to make those connections and collaborate.

Jasper Mall is an American story. Is that why you decided to make this film? What kept you coming back to this mall?
For us it started with the aesthetic of Jasper Mall. It looks like the malls of our childhood - like a time capsule. We're also both southerners (from Texas), so we relate to a southern lifestyle and to southern stories.

What do you want people to take away from seeing this community?
We want people to see humans. We want to show that behind every corner in every city, state, there are quiet, simple and relatable stories.

How is it different making a film as a duo/collaborator rather than a single person?
We work well together because we excel in different areas. That allows us to focus on those areas and then meet in the middle with discussion / collaboration.

What are you working on next?
Another feature... but can't say what about just yet!


Documentary Filmmaking