An Interview with Jamaican animator, Mental Chung


This week we interview Jamaican animator Mental Chung (Reinardo Chung). He recently created the “red” hot Jamaican animated short “Bad influence”  that has people “buzzing”. The animated short is above. You can view Mental Chung’s work on or by visiting the Mental Chung Website.

How did you get started in doing animation?
Animation is something that I have been interested in ever since I was a child, I taught myself the necessary software’s a few years after learning graphics design of which I was self taught also.

Tell us about your animated short Bad Influence?
Bad Influence is about a young man (Lance) who is convinced by his friends (Jeff, Grains, Chronic) to assist them in pulling off a Heist. They devised but none took into consideration the circumstances to arise as a result of their individual desires. Caught in a major dilemma, they have to make a speedy decision on how to maneuver them so they have a chance of making an escape.

Who is your target audience for the film?
My target audience is anyone interested in this type of stuff young or old.

When and where it will be released?
The film will actually be released today Oct. 8 on my website as well as on YouTube

Do you have a distribution channel or will you be using the internet?
Internet at the moment and it will also be available on DVD along with some extras.

Creating animated films is said to take 5 times the challenge of real life film. How many hours has this short taken?
I been at it for four months since I came up with the initial idea, I can tell you the sleep hours are at least six hours a day and the hours put into the film is at least 90% of the time that I am awake

Based on the trailer it seems there is some great music in the film. Who can we expect and how did you select the music?
For the trailer I used sound effects from royalty free music site online as well as some dancehall to generate that high energy vibe as well as to highlight the fact that the film is Jamaican

What other projects are you working on?
More shorts to come in the future but for now bad influence is the main focus

What is your favorite animated film?
I have many but I would say final fantasy advent children the animation is unlike anything I have ever seen its just mind blowing and I’m a fan of high impact stuff.

What do you think of the move to more 3-D animated film?
As an art form 3-D animation is exactly what films need to push it’s the visionary boundaries and ideas, not only is the mind of the writer and director free to explore without limitations of set design or characters or location, camera angles and so on, but it has also brought stunning detailed imagery that enhances the viewers experience. Software and equipment has gotten so sophisticated that it blurs the line between what is real and what is fake both in imagery and animation. Films have to evolve and 3-D is the right if not the only direction.

If you could work with any Jamaican entertainer to create an animated character who would it be?
Well I guess it would depend on the idea but off the bat Twin of Twins would make some very fascinating characters.

What food is a must have while working?
Peanut Butter Sandwich

What type of music?
Reggae, Dancehall, Hip Hop, R&B, Souls, Pop, Rock

Ten years from now where do you expect your company to be?
I Live moment to moment and try to make each moment better so I guess ten years will be an extremely amplified version of now. I do see the film industry in Jamaica expanded though and hope to contribute towards that, also an established a movie production and visual effects house right here in JA.

Thanks for the interview any closing thoughts?
Appreciate it, peace and love blessings and education to all