Miketendo64 Exclusive! An Interview With… Jared Potter, Director Of “Creatures Of Hyrule”
Today has been an extremely good day for me. I woke up and looked at my facebook to find out the Laura Kerger AKA ArtistGamerGal has responded to my interview questions. I have been paid by my boss for the last month, I have played Splatoon for the first time and to top it off, Jared Potter, the director and VFX artist for the Zelda Inspired Webseries “Creatures Of Hyrule” and also “Majora’s Mask Live Action; The Skull Kid” has also reached out, allowing to be interviewed with Yours Truly, giving me this fantastic opportunity to talk with him about his web series, his love for Nintendo and what lies in store for the third episode of “Creatures Of Hyrule”
Mike – Well Jared, it is an honour to talk with you. Your web series is great fun to watch and brilliantly done and has quite a few fans including myself. What inspired you to create a web series based on the Legend Of Zelda?
Jared – I have been a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda series for the majority of my life. It’s one of the major influences I credit to my desire to become a filmmaker, a storyteller. So, when the opportunity came (from Machinima) to make a Zelda film, I jumped at the opportunity. After that, and after meeting Caleb, I knew I just couldn’t stop there. I had so many ideas of things that could be brought to life in a live-action web series.
Mike – You are obviously a big fan of The Legend Of Zelda, as must be your team, When did you first realize you were a Zelda Fan?
Jared – Christmas morning, 1998, when my parents bought my brother and I a Nintendo 64 packaged with Ocarina of Time. We stayed up so late that night playing the game, and I can still remember how far we got. It sticks out in my mind so vividly because it was unlike anything else I had ever experienced with a video game. It completely pulled me in, and I’ve been a fan of the series ever since.
Mike – Are you a Home Console gamer or Handheld?
Jared – As of recently I can proudly say I am both! I was one of the lucky few able to get my hands on the Majora’s Mask collector’s edition 3DS a few months back. So, I am pretty new to the handheld console world, but I am loving it so far. Home consoles have always been a staple, however, since getting that first N64 all those years ago.
Mike – There must be a few complications merging live action with special effects, yet you and your team do it so well, how do you overcome these set-backs with SFX?
Jared – There is almost always an obstacle to be overcome, when looking at SFX and VFX, which many times is something you’ve never had to deal with before. No two VFX shots are made alike, and I think that’s a huge part of what I love so much about it. It causes you to have to think very analytically about how you will accomplish a certain effect. The key is knowing what you want, but being willing to be flexible and make changes if necessary, because there is no problem that doesn’t have a solution.
Mike – Your Web Series so far has been very popular and is very entertaining to watch, You and your team do an amazing job putting these episodes together, how did you come across these brilliant experts in their fields?
Jared – My team (I say my team, but in reality it’s all my very close friends and family) are just a bunch of people who really enjoy the film-making process, and who give so graciously of their time. We all love making these films when we get the chance, but most of the people I work with are volunteers who usually have to take time off their day jobs to come and help me. Being the writer/director/producer/editor/VFX artist/sound designer/etc can be very tiring for me, and more than anything my “team” could not be more supportive.
Mike – Your Actor Caleb does a fantastic job Portraying Link in the series, how did you get to meet this talented young actor?
Jared – Caleb, and his mom Allison, were introduced to me by a friend of a friend who was helping me with the casting for Skull Kid. She knew I was looking for a young boy to play Link, but I had originally planned to only show him from behind, riding the horse through the forest. His appearance in Skull Kid was only meant to be a tease since I was pretty confident we would never find anyone who looked remotely like Link. Before meeting Caleb I was convinced that no actor could portray Link properly, but I was quickly proven wrong when I saw him in costume the day we shot his scene.
Mike – You have so far published two episodes in your web series which have been quite well received by the fans and highly appraised by other members of the public. Will you be producing a third episode in the near future and do you have an idea of what *creature you will feature?*
Jared – I have some ideas as to what I would like to do next, but have no plans as to when/if we could shoot them. Coordinating these productions is a huge effort, even though the budget was next to nothing for the first two episodes. I am essentially making these episodes in my spare time, which is becoming more and more limited lately (I am a full time VFX artist). But who knows! I would love to keep it going, and the next idea I have is for a temple boss. 😉
Mike – Your last two episodes have been set in the forest which is logical to begin this kind of series as Link is ‘A Child Of The Forest’ Do you have any other locations lined up for future projects, like a cave or dungeon setting?
Jared – That’s one of the things that makes the next episode so difficult. We all live in Washington state, which has some of the most beautiful forest environments in the US, but finding something even closely resembling a dungeon is very difficult. I would love to do something in a cave, or in a castle, for example, but those locations are very few and far between here. But the search will continue, and often times when the right location presents itself, that’s when we get inspired to make another one.
Mike – I particularly like your use of the ‘Zelda’ sound effects which viewers will recognize from the Games, are they the original sound effects or have they been revamped for this series?
Jared – Some are original sounds and some are new, improved sounds. I really wanted to connect the films and the games through the sound design especially, and some of the sounds are super iconic, as most Zelda fans know. Most of them are mixed with other sounds, however, to give them more of a realistic grounding, but still carry that familiarity.
Mike – Your costume department do a superb job with the costumes, are the costumes hand-tailored or are they available to buy ‘as seen’ in the series at retailers?
Jared – I’d say about 80% of the costumes are completely hand made. Link’s costume was purchased online (mainly due to time constraints) and then altered to look a little more authentic. The Happy Mask salesman was almost completely hand made, with a jacket that was painstakingly sewn by hand, and a backpack covered in hand made replicas of the masks he carries. The Skull Kid costume was also completely built by my team, and myself from the ground up.
Mike – One of your first projects was “Majora’s Mask Live Action: The Skull Kid” which also starred Caleb at the end of the short film. Did you know back then that you wanted to do a Live Action Series?
Jared – No, back then I didn’t think I would be making any more films in the Zelda universe. But, like I touched on earlier, after meeting Caleb and seeing how well he worked on camera as Link I knew we had to do a little more while we could. Caleb is growing up quickly!
Mike – On the Subject of”Majora’s Mask Live Action: The Skull Kid” Would you ever consider doing the final confrontation between Link and The Skull Kid or even Majora?
Jared – That’s something I would love to do! I’ve thought about it, as well as doing the final confrontation between Link and Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time. It would be a huge production, and one I would want to make sure was done the right way, but I think it’s something the fans would really enjoy. Especially if it involved the Fierce Deity Link.
Mike – You And Your team do extraordinary work on these episodes and on your other projects. Though you guys do these projects in your free time. would you consider doing it as a professional career?
Jared – I am currently a full time VFX artist working on a television show, and occasionally working on short films and commercials, things like that. So I would say that I am somewhat doing that already, although my ultimate passion would be directing full time. I also know that many of my other friends who work on the short films with me would love to be working in the film/television industry someday. So, it’s a dream that many of us are working towards, and I think each short film brings us closer and closer to that goal.
Mike – Jared it has been a pleasure to talk with you and an honour for me. Your work is amazing and is a definite Must Watch for all Zelda fans and for those that still haven’t seen your work, I hope this interview will encourage them to do so.
If You want to know more about Jared Potter and his work or would like to keep up to date on his future projects you can check out his website, Like his page on Facebook and/or Subscribe to his channel on Youtube,