The Big Picture
- Anna Zlokovic’s debut film Appendage was initially shot as a short, but was later greenlit as a feature, presenting challenges in expanding the story.
- Zlokovic found a starting point in exploring mental health themes like anxiety and depression, which helped to build the narrative further.
- The quick turnaround from short to feature allowed Zlokovic to avoid overthinking the editing process and potentially tossing out good ideas.
Writer/director/producer Anna Zlokovic helped kick off the spookiest month of the year with her new film Appendage, which recently released on Hulu. The film marks Zlokovic’s feature length debut — an exciting milestone for the filmmaker. However, Appendage wasn’t originally meant to be a full-length film. During the initial stages of production, Appendage was going to be part of the BIte Size Halloween lineup as a short film, but before she and her team could even complete production, it was greenlit as a feature.
During an interview with Collider’s Maggie Boccella, Zlokovic discussed her experience in expanding Appendage‘s story to encompass a feature-length runtime. Naturally, turning the short into a feature posed some challenges, but Zlokovic was up to the task. For her, delving deeper into the mental health themes of the story — such as anxiety and depression — gave her a solid starting point to build the story further. Additionally, the quick turnaround from short to feature prevented Zlokovic from getting to in her head about editing, not giving her as much a chance to toss out potentially good ideas.
“It’s like, how do you turn this into a feature? And for me, it was always about having that understanding of anxiety and depression, of, it’s not just work that it’s gonna affect, it’s gonna affect your relationships, your friendships and, you know, your core childhood traumas eventually get into that with the parent stuff. So that was always kind of the guiding light in terms of how to expand it…[I]t was really cool in the sense, too, that it was so fast that I didn’t really get to edit myself too much. You know, like sometimes you’ve got that, again, that appendage editor voice in your head that’s like, ‘I don’t know if this idea is good enough, just throw it away!’ And who knows how many good ideas are thrown away because you just edit yourself out of them too early?”
What Is ‘Appendage’ About?
Appendage centers on Hannah (Hadley Robinson), a fashion designer who presents a well put together front to others but actually struggles with immense self-doubt and impostor syndrome. But Hannah can’t keep her feelings hidden much longer when they begin to take a physical toll on her, soon growing into something on her body called The Appendage. As Hannah becomes more sick, The Appendage only exacerbates her anxieties, including her doubts about work and her relationships with family and friends. While things continue to worsen, Hannah learns she’s not alone in her Appendage problem.
Appendage is streaming now on Hulu. Watch the trailer below: