Interview with Screenwriter Natalie Alison (HEDY)

What is your screenplay about?

HEDY is the story of my grandmother in World War 2, a strong woman who fought to survive with her children after her husband’s disappearance. It is a great and sad love story as well.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

drama

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It shows the female perspective of war. As most of the survivors of World War 2 have died already, it is very important to preserve these true stories for the next generations.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

love continues

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

The Notebook

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I prepared the structure for months, and wrote it in 6 weeks. Then I did little alterations for over a year.

7. How many stories have you written?

HEDY was my first screenplay. I wrote a book before and 2 yoga manuals.

8. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

None really. It basically wrote itself. there was never a moment where I was wondering what comes next.

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am an actress and love my profession. I love to dance ballet, practice yoga and pilates. I love my little toy-poodle Elvis.

10. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I liked the title of the film festival and as my story is such a big romance, I felt that it would be in good hands there.

http://www.nataliealison.com
http://www.yoga-natalie.com

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

After her husband’s disappearance in Russia during World War II, Hedy needs to fight for her own survival and the well-being of her children in bombed-out Vienna.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Allison Kampf
Paula (F): Julie Sheppard
Hedy (F): Cassandra Guthrie
Bus Boy/Man #2 on Bus (M): Steve Rizzo
Bus Lady/Aunt Anna (F): Miriam Capper
Man #1 on Bus/Newspaper Boy (M): Fabio Abreu

Interview with Filmmaker Dimegaz (ROCK COUNTRY)

ROCK COUNTRY was the winner of BEST FILM at the Dance & Music Festival in October 2020.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The love I feel for the rock, the rope and the Basque culture. Thanks to these elements (rock and rope), I can merge my two passions, climbing and vertical dance, in the search for new forms of expression of Basque culture.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took me 3 years since I wrote the script until I finished the project. It has been really hard work in which I have put all my heart. I moved homes and settled for a year and a half near the rock wall where the short film was made. I wanted to be able to climb, rehearse, and dance often and also witness and record how the light on the rock changed throughout the day at different times of the year.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Harria Herria (Rock Country).

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Getting all the money necessary to produce the film and coordinating the rehearsal days.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I got really emotional listening and seeing the reaction of the audience talking about the film, it was very beautiful to listen to. I felt very close to the viewer. I am also immensely grateful to the festival’s staff for the work they have done for me to have the video. And then finding out that Harria Herria has been awarded as the best film… Amazing! I am very happy. Thanks a lot.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I have been attending the BBK MENDI FILM festival that is held in Bilbao every year for 10 years as a viewer. There I saw different videos of great climbers, mountaineers … and always left the festival very motivated.
In 2016 I left the festival determined to create a short film. Although I am not a great climber or a great dancer, most of the time I spend it on the rock, on the mountain hanging from a rope. I wanted to show the people who come to the festival what my passion is through an artistic intervention in a natural space destroyed by humans with the aim of spreading Basque culture, motivating viewers to create their projects and fight to fulfill their dreams.
Dreams come true if you do things with love, give everything you have, and put all your heart into it.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Orbayu by Nina Caprez and Cédric Lachat. I love this film, I watch it whenever I need motivation.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s a platform that I really like because it allows you to submit your projects to a lot of festivals.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Harria Herria from Oreka Tx.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I am currently working on promoting the short film Harria Herria and in the production and direction of my next short film AIR LINE. I am rehearsing climbing and vertical dance with new elements in the areas where the short film will be recorded.

Interview with Filmmaker Renee J. Vaca (LAST LOOKS)

LAST LOOKS was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the October 2020 FEEDBACK Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

This was a cathartic piece for me. After the death of my friend and my experience of taking care of her b4 she was laid to rest. I felt the need to tell the story and share the emotional uncomfortable truth of death and how those left make the final decisions.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took me 6 months to process the experience and a month to write, shoot, and edit Last Looks.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

I would say “Last Looks” is Fabulously Uncomfortable.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

I would say the biggest obstacle was the technical difficulties with 🎥 It was supposed to be shot on a steady cam, but it broke at the beginning of the day… so we put it in sticks and adjusted the setups.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

When I first heard the feedback I was overwhelmed. All the quirky notes and colors I was hoping the audience would see and feel was successful. The uneasiness of the situation and the open ended story with no guidelines or answers except for each individual’s experience. I was happy that all types of people got something out of this piece and gave it a life of its own. I was honored and grateful to have this feedback for Last Looks.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Well, I lived it. When I first went in and saw my friend she didn’t look anything looked herself. She was bloated from all the drugs they pumped into her trying to save her life. She was an amazing vibrant Buddhist always dressing in color and expressing herself through her style and kindness. Now she laid before me in a black polyester suit dresses picked out her mother. As soon as I left I called her cousin ASAP crying, “who dressed her like that?!? Why didn’t u tell me I would of brought clothes and changed her myself!”
…so I did through film.

7. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Film Freeway is a simple and easy platform to use. It is a great way to look up festivals and submit to those that work within the perimeters of your project.

8. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Dave Mathews Sister… I love that song!

9. What is next for you? A new film?

What’s next, well directing as much as possible! I just finished the 48 hr Film Festival and that was quick and fierce especially in the middle of a pandemic. I’m now shooting my web series called COVIDLove2020 which is a 7 episode piece about 2 thirteen year olds falling in love in the middle of a pandemic. How does it look, how do you show someone you care when you can’t get close. What happens when it goes back to normal? I’m really excited about this piece.

Interview with Filmmaker Madison Stewart Leonard (FLUSH LOU)

FLUSH LOU was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the October 2020 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When I moved to Los Angeles two years ago, my closest childhood friend lost her father. He was a true cigarette smoking, Slivo drinking, no-filter Serbian. He had the most intoxicating personality and sense of humor. Because of him, as we mourned, the laughter never stopped. I remember thinking – people are not allowed to laugh this much when someone dies. This became my motivation, a way to explore how far I could push the boundaries between laughter and grief.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

About a year and a half. I had no idea what I was doing but it was really beautiful to leap. Now I know there happens to be a lot of creative freedom in learning as you go and trusting that you will, in fact, salvage your film in the edit.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Flush Lou. Accidental cremation. Wacky women?

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

All of it. Being a first-time filmmaker, I had arguably too many roles on set and went in fully blind. I did learn the best lesson of all – let people do their jobs. Each crew member carried so much weight (I’m talking to you Devon Johns, Henry Cheney and An Shu). For that, I’ll always feel indebted to them. Also, a shout out to the very talented sound mixer, Dave Williams. He put up with me when my obsessiveness came out in full throttle.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I had a smile glued to my face the entire time. Such a special experience. The smile is still there.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

My beautifully taciturn Serbian mother and our oddly morbid, dissociative sense of humor. Needless to say, I became fixated on putting her into the most baffling of scenarios – an accidental cremation. This story really morphed into a personal memoir of sorts when she agreed to act alongside me with no experience and then, nailed it.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Austin Powers. It’s a little sickening how many times I’ve seen those films.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It was easy, intuitive and an absolute pleasure to be a part of this festival. To have the viewers feedback meant more to me than I ever could have realized.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I’d like to say Hard to Handle by The Black Crowes but anything by Celine Dion. She was on one perpetual loop growing up.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Most definitely another short film…that I don’t act in. I’m also working to get a feature script under my belt. You can expect lots of comedy-dramas with more women and complicated family dynamics!

Interview with Filmmaker Emmanual Fordjour (I’M PRESS)

I’M PRESS played to rave reviews at the October 2020 ROMANCE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The motivation behind this film was completing my thesis project for my MFA Acting program at the New York Film Academy.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

This film took a total of about four months from the idea to the finished project to complete. It was the timeframe within my last two semesters.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Two words: Slapstick and Heartfelt

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

It being my first time writing and producing a short film, I missed a few marks while booking the first location. We ran out of time, causing my team and I to have to rush the scene where Presly and the girls are in the kitchen “taking shots”. While getting kicked out of the location, we improv acted and our DP used handheld camera to get as much as we could on film. It actually ended up giving it a more fun feel to the scene.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Hearing the audience talk about my film was rewarding in a way that I can’t really express. It was so motivating to hear people that I don’t even know genuinely enjoy my film. I am grateful and still so shocked!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

My instructors encouraged students to pick a specific situation where a character could still complete a full arc. Being someone who loves “love”, I went with a dating scene. I often find myself being passionate and moved by the things we have in common with each other as a human race. One of those things is the desire for validation and constant need to go out of our way to impress other people. “I’m Press” was a fun, relatable, yet absurd way to express staying true to one’s authentic self.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Parent Trap, hands down!

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I honestly feel great about the entire process and I enjoyed this festival very much!

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

That’s a hard one. In high school, I was part of my school’s show choir called, “The Cavaliers”. We would practice and rehearse nonstop. In my senior year, our last number was ‘He Lives In You” from the Lion King soundtrack and I find myself still singing it in my sleep.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Next for me? Well, currently I am writing the pilot episode of I’m Press “the series”.

Interview with Filmmaker Tristien Winfree (PAIN IS THE AGENT OF AGE)

PAIN IS THE AGENT OF AGE played to rave reviews at the October 2020 FEEDBACK Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

At the time I was really struggling with my identity of being STRONG all the time. I was so programmed at a young age to be strong no matter, and it caused a mental impact on my health. So I began to get curious about my feelings and thoughts, and did the work to understand where it all stems from. How we look at, unblock, wrestle with, and shed light on the distance and detach from our own personal pain. The arts can heal us by giving these bits and pieces the attention they deserve and need. There is so much power in talking about it. We should be able to talk about mental health, we should be able to talk childhood trauma, and we should be able to talk about grief, but as a culture we shy away from the uncomfortable conversations

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

The entire process took about a year and a half from start to finish. The beginning stages of pre production sorta felt like a deer in headlights for me because I was so use to being an actor in front of the camera, but now I was playing both fields of having to hire a crew, do marketing, scout locations, etc, The whole nine yards and then on top of that. I took the liberty to produce, direct, write, and be in my own work. You wanna talk about being tenacious? Ha! That was my middle name, It was a constant grind, but I truly enjoyed it. I felt like all of my entities above were working through me with each new production phrase I embraced. The year of 2019 I lost my brother to gun violence, my grandfather to a heart attack and my mentor through natural causes. And while I was grieving. I knew that my project was bigger than me. It was the thing that pushed me to where I am today. It’s the best thing that has happened in my life.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Life Changing

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The biggest obstacle was the scene we shot of how my brother died. That was hard for me to put into the film to begin with. I was reluctant because I could still vividly see the footage of how my brother died, but as a storyteller and artist I decided to push myself out of the way and tell the story. Now on the day of shooting I was told that the production assistant couldn’t drive the vehicle, and the other crew members were busy working on various tasks. Which resulted in me having to drive the vehicle. So if you’re following…. I saw how my brother passed, and now I have to reenact how it happened. Now I’m a team player, but that was very difficult. I watched the actor point the gun several times, and it put me in a different world. I remember talking to grandmother after we got done filming. I mentioned to her “I have no fuck*** clue how I mustered up the strength to drive that car in that moment.” My grandmother very calmly says to me “Baby that wasn’t nothing but your brother giving you that strength.” And I just cried.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I remember watching the footage and just being speechless because I felt as though they were in the room with me during my process. Each person that gave feedback was spot on with their feedback. One of my favorites was from the gentlemen that stated “It reminded him a little bit of Manchester By The Sea.” I later watched that film and it’s so interesting watching how that story unfolds through the power flashbacks.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

The idea came very naturally. I know in the past we’ve seen many therapy scenes, but what I have not seen is a black male in therapy and being so open and vulnerable about his feelings. As black people I believe the thing we want out of life is forward progression. We don’t need to be reminded of what we’ve been through, Because we have the blueprint of our identity & circumstances in our back pocket. The real work begins when we become upfront & honest about what we are going through to work through our pain.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Crooklyn by Spike Lee. I can watch that film everyday and never get tired of it. Absolute perfection

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s great! Really easy, and accessible as a filmmaker.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Hmm! I generally depends on my mood, but what’s coming to mind at the moment is “You Gotta Be’ by Des’ree

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Yes! I’m currently writing it at the moment, and it’s under wraps, but it’ll be a feature. So be on the lookout for it.

Interview with Filmmaker Nick Fiorella (Numerus Duo)

“Numerus Duo” was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the October 2020 HORROR Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I attended the Telluride Horror Film Festival 2 years ago and watched a really fun block of gross-out horror films. The audience reaction was so much fun. I had the idea for Numerus Duo for a while. It made me think this poop satire on the Exorcist could really work. So, I wrote the script.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

I wrote the script in January/February of 2019. We had about 3 to 4 months of preproduction. That church location was an awesome milestone; storyboards, costumes, rehearsals, equipment-rental, props, poop-launcher, etc. We shot it in three days. June 7th, 8th, 9th. Unfortunately, the special effects took about 6 to 7 months. There wasn’t really a budget for VFX. Dustin (Director of Photography) helped me put the exterior shots together, but I did the rest myself. We both work 9 to 5 schedules producing video content. I do enjoy doing VFX, but it was so many hours of work. In January 2020, we started sending Numerus Duo to film festivals.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Holy Shit!

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

There were many obstacles along the way, but the shoot is what I am most proud of. Which of course was a huge team effort. But, for myself as a director, that was the biggest shoot I have managed so far. The first day in the church included about 40 or more people. There were a lot of moving parts throughout the shoot with all the practical and visual effects shots. Also, the money we were spending on the equipment rental for the weekend made time-management very important. I learned so much from directing this shoot and it was a great experience.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was incredibly pleased. And, thank you again for putting that together. Myself and the crew really love it. The comments in the video confirm that the moments we all worked hard to achieve, worked. It was very important to me on set that the actors take the moments really serious; for humor’s sake. Very pleased to hear the comments on that and the title choice working. I loved all the other comments as well. Such a fun video.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

When Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino came out with Grindhouse and the fake horror movie trailers, I thought of one were a girl poops her brains out, titled ‘SHIT’. Then later added the possession element to give the crazy pooping sequence some story. This satirical approach to a theatrical possession film felt really fresh to me. So, it really made sense to push those jokes as much as we could.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

A tie between ‘Back to the Future’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It seems to have all the functionality I need as a filmmaker. I think they did a great job with the user experience. I do think, in these Socially Distant times, maybe a community experience on the platform could be a good next step. For filmmakers and film festivals. But, no complaints here. It’s very user friendly.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

“Here Come the Sun” by George Harrison.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I am working on a fresh take to a bank robbery short film. I am always very excited about creating an audience experience. And, the objective in this new short film is suspense, adrenaline and anxiety. Really looking forward to planning the shoot for this one. I am currently developing the script. Planning to shoot mid to late next summer.

Interview with Filmmaker Jamie Duneier (OUR FATHER)

OUR FATHER played to rave reviews at the October 2020 ROMANCE Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

It was a very specific moment actually. I remember being on the east side of Los Angeles waiting to go see a friend’s play as part of the IAMA theater company and one of my best friends, who is an accomplished Sundance Lab filmmaker and I have immense respect for, took me aside on the curb, looked me in the eyes and as if it was some kind of “intervention,” he said… “it’s time for you to make a short film.” He went on, essentially saying, “It’s time to not make excuses and just jump in. It’s scary because making a film is messy. You have to put yourself out there and bring people together and make something happen with no promise of it all working out in the end, but life is too short and no one is going to give you the chance to direct until you give yourself the chance to direct. Now is the moment so just know you can handle it and that you’ll do great.” That was the kick in the pants I needed. And it was messy. But also super organic because I chose the route of not resisting the film having a life of its own. But working with the flow of what it was “wanting” to be. I think, being in my thirties, I had a little bit more patience in the process of making the film than I would have had in my twenties.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

Three years about. After my conversation with my friend outside the theater, I went home and wrote a first draft of the script, more or less. I knew instinctively that I wanted the short to be a pivotal scene from a larger story I could go on to direct as a feature one day. But I lost an actress for the role of Darlene early on in the process and when that happened, I “pressed pause.” I wanted it to become clear to me who else would be good for the role. It was too important to rush with casting in a film like this. One where I was looking to showcase directing the actor, and character development. I also wanted it to be someone I already knew and had a shorthand with. And then I went to see a holiday-themed play about 6 months later, written and directed by Leslye Headland. And Mel Stephens, someone I had already known for over a decade, was part of the ensemble cast and her performance was just riveting. A revelation. When she said yes, I knew the short was back on. I reached out to Mark Wolper. He was still in to produce. And thank god because I never could have done this without him. And from there, we were off to the races again. We were locked in with Tim Peper and crew about 6 months from when Mel signed on. And then Mel and Tim and I rehearsed once a week, for about 6 months. Once we shot the film, it took another 7 months to edit the film and complete it for festival submissions. Let’s just say, I didn’t rush the process, but, looking back, I am so glad we shot it when we did and no later. Phew!

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

(1) Sad-funny. (2) Honest. Does that count as two words? I’ve never been the best of the rule followers.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The weather! Actually if you do a search in Google for “Jamie Duneier” and “Los Angeles Times” you’ll see an article come up that I was interviewed for… while stranded on the PCH with our crew during the biggest storm of the season! We almost canceled the shoot but instead, at the last second, I decided to shoot through it. We had to change quickly between shooting out on the rocks and shooting in the car based on when the rain was coming down and when it wasn’t. We also had to add a third day of shooting a week later just to finish what we didn’t get. We shot the third day in Westwood Rec Park on the basketball court, after getting permission from the Director of the park who happened to be an acquaintance of mine, and we recreated the environment of the set to match what we shot up at Mugu Rock at the Ventura County line. I don’t want to give away too much of the magic, but we had the best crew. The best spirits, smiling even while shooting in the downpour, and clearing their schedules of an unexpected day of reshoots we managed to pull off right before my actor had to shave his beard for a big audition. This is what I mean, by the way, of having to roll with the punches. If the film “wants” to be made, the metaphorical “Matrix spoon” will bend to help you see it through to the end. As a matter of speaking. My gratitude is unending that we got the final product we did. In no small part to the free sound mix/edit, ADR and sound design we got from my producer’s friends at Smart Post Sound.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

Honestly, joy filled my heart. I would say I felt heard, but the truth is I felt “felt.” It was amazing to see that the mood and tone and story of the film resonated with the audience. It was clear they really got it and appreciated all that went into attempting to deliver a nuanced yet moving experience. I will be smiling for a long time thanks to that love-filled video. Thank you.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

It was inspired by personal experience but updated the story from the 90s to present day in a way that would allow it to hopefully live “outside of time.” I also felt like changing the characters and the era would allow me some personal separation from the real story. The details of the real life story are somewhat private and I’d rather not get too much into to protect the people it involves.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

It’s a tie between Mrs. Doubtfire, Jurassic Park and Devil Wears Prada.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Efficient!

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James.”

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Right now my screenwriting career takes up most of my time. I am currently developing a musical comedy feature film for director Oran Zegman and a pitch for a tv show adaptation of a new novel with Josephson Entertainment attached to produce. I am also writing a new original pilot on spec, and another feature film with a producer with a deal at Netflix. I do have the story for the feature film of OUR FATHER in my head, and hope to direct the full length movie one day. I would also love to have the chance to make another short film once we’re on the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Interview with Filmmaker Haddon Kime (LAG: A ZOOMSICAL COMEDY)

LAG: A ZOOMSICAL COMEDY played to rave reviews at the October 2020 Dance & Music Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

In March 2020 our lives began to lag. We, as musical theatre makers, lost our live audience. More than ever before, we Zoomed, encountering friends and colleagues from a safe social distance. It didn’t take long to realize that the potential was still here to make art, so we did.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

5 weeks.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Zoomsical Comedy

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

The audio lag of the Zoom connection.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

The feeling that you’re not alone in the universe tinkering on your art and the deep appreciation of the people who were giving feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

The Artistic Director of the theatre company I work at asked me to come up with an idea for a musical comedy set during COVID. The idea that it should be a meditation and self help support group that has recently been pushed onto Zoom from an in person class, came to me, pretty fully formed about 30 seconds later.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Big Lebowski

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It makes it much easier to know what possibilities are out there. Like a Grand Central Station for indie films.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

My first favorite song when I was a kid was “The Rainbow Connection” so it’s probably the one with the most listens at this point.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

A new zoomsical and a few new film scores in the works. Also, a rewrite and update to my Star Wars stage musical “Wicket”

Interview with Filmmaker Will Meadows (STAY INSIDE)

STAY INSIDE played to rave reviews at the October 2020 Dance & Music Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

During the initial shutdown, I was scanning social media (as most of us were doing) and came across a couple parodies which inspired me by the positive energy on display during those scary days.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

From idea to uploading to social media took about 10 weeks. I was working from home full time as well as overseeing my boys online schooling. My wife is a health care worker and there were days where I was solo at home to manage the household and my job leaving little time to play with my idea. 🙂

If I was free of the other obligations, I have no doubt I would have completed the project in three weeks. Instead, I carved an hour here and there to work on the song and shoot the various video elements.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Haha …Stay Inside!

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

My biggest obstacle was time management. That is, finding time apart from my other responsibilities to focus on the art.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I was proud of my efforts when watching the audience talking about my film. There were a few 12am – 4am time slots used to complete that project so I would say the effort paid off. I was also happy that one person recognized the fact the original song “Stand by Me” is the complete reverse to the parody message.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As I live in an area with close access to the great outdoors, I was out hiking with my family and the “Stand By Me” song idea popped into my head and I started thinking how the phrase “stay inside” could be substituted in for the chorus (at that time, the general message from everywhere was “stay inside”). I would also say that from the moment I witnessed other parodies popping up on social media, my brain was actively considering ways I could contribute positively in a similar manner.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Band of Brothers …To pay tribute to and honour those who served, this is my annual Nov. 11 film (series) to watch.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I like FilmFreeway as a vehicle to gain access to a multitude of festival options for submission purposes. However, being new to this aspect of the entertainment industry, the plethora of options is also overwhelming.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I have no idea what song I have listened to the most. Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” comes to mind only because a number of singers I enjoy have covered that song (Jeff Buckley, Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, Pentatonix, K. D. Lang, and Rufus Wainwright to name a few).

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I am working on a new song and will be looking to create a music video to go with it.