Five Questions With Filmmaker David McCraken

OstrichLand---webDavid McCrackenis a director, writer, producer, and actor with a long and varied career in filmmaking and writing. He most recently earned his MFA in Film & Television Production at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He also has an MA in Creative Writing from Ball State University, as well as a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Evansville.

McCracken has been awarded numerous grants, scholarships, and honors for his creative work, most notably the prestigious 2011 USC James Bridges Memorial Scholarship for Directing, the 2012 Alfred P. Sloan Science Foundation Production Award, and the USC Phi Kappa Phi Student Recognition Award for his short film “I Am Become Death.”

“OstrichLand,” McCracken’s USC graduate thesis film, has been to more than twenty festivals around the world, including Vancouver, Australia, and Hong Kong. It won the Alexis Jury Prize for Best Emerging Student Filmmaker at Palm Springs, Best Student Film at Carmel International, and Best Editing/Best Comedy finalist at USC’s First Film. McCracken is currently developing “OstrichLand” into a feature.

McCracken’s most recent feature, the horror/thriller “Daylight,” is an Official Selection at London’s FrightFest and is now on VOD through Devolver Digital on a variety of platforms, including Amazon and iTunes.

To learn more about McCracken, his work, and his upcoming projects, visit

McCracken’s film, OstrichLand, is playing at the 2015 GI Film Festival. 

Where are you from and what is your film background?

I’m from Evansville, IN (southern Indiana). ​I wrote and directed more than 20 shorts and one feature throughout high school, undergrad, and my creative writing master’s program. After my MA, I was accepted into the MFA program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, where I had access to more resources and talent and was able to direct several award-winning shorts. During that time, I also took off a semester to write and direct a feature called “Daylight,” which is currently on VOD with Amazon and iTunes.

Who are your biggest influences in film and why?

​The triple-threat of Steven Spielberg, Michael Crichton​, and John Williams with “Jurassic Park” pretty much clenched the deal for me. To the nine-year-old me, it opened up a world of possibilities with big ideas and big cinematic spectacle.

What was the hardest part about getting this film made?

​I got sick with mono right before production and had it during the entire shoot.​

What do you want viewers to take away with them after watching your film?

​I just want to entertain an audience by drawing them into a world filled with rich characters. If an audience is bored, I haven’t done my job.

What is a fun fact about you that would surprise people?

​I was run over by a car when I was five and didn’t break a single bone.​

OstrichLand, directed by David McCracken, is playing at Angelika on May 23, 2015. Click here for tickets.