1. This film is very different from your last film, Reconquista. What's going on here?
Reconquista was ambitious in terms of scope, but not in terms of the things I think I'm good at. Polo, on the other hand, isn't remotely ambitious in terms of scope, but it let me get out of my comfort zone as a filmmaker. Whether in the modern incarnation of my career as a filmmaker or me back in college and my early career, I never was in charge of art direction or lighting. With Polo, I opted to really heavily rely on art direction and lighting as well as camera movement, visual effects, and sound design to tell the story. The script is very minimalistic and, obviously, very short.
2. The actress playing the little girl is your daughter, right?
Yeah. In Reconquista, I actually had a role for a little girl and she wanted that. The ambition of the project, however, demanded a proven actress. Thus, I ended up bringing in Maia Hernandez. This made Lindsey very unhappy with me. Worse, I cast her as a refugee extra in Reconquista, but that footage was cut from the final film.
After writing the script for Polo, I immediately asked her to play the little girl.
3. How did you film her parts?
In a pool, of course!
4. And the rest of the film?
IPR Studios in Edina, Minnesota.
5. What about the actress playing the woman?
The actress playing the woman is Jasmine Navy. She was the script supervisor for Reconquista. She's also playing the lead in an upcoming short film I'm directing, Therapy for the Unlawful, as well as a co-creator of a web series that Imaginary Productions is putting together called Uncovered.
I wanted an actress to mirror Lindsey, but be obviously not related. The curly hair is the focus of this mirroring with the eyes being the transition to other-worldly. In fact, the visual effect for Jasmine's eyes in polo is accomplished as a mix of both their eyes with special tricks to reflect the room lighting.
6. How did you come up with the idea of the story?
I had a class assignment for a 1 to 2 minute film using a very specific set at IPR. As I was falling asleep thinking about the challenge, the idea of a play on the game "Marco Polo" crept into my half-asleep brain.