NODE played to rave reviews at the April FEEDBACK Film Festival. Frédéric Poirier is a talented filmmaker and composer who I had the honor to chat with about his film and future.
Interview with Frédéric Poirier:
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Frédéric Poirier: After three short films with a very straight forward plot, I wanted to experiment with non-linear writing. I also wanted to create a science fiction story set in a realistic environment. I think science fiction is the best vessel to explore what-ifs: what if you could correct your mistakes? What would you do with such a power?
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
FP: Too long! The idea of focusing on nodes to develop the time travel aspect was there pretty much from the start. But coming up with the actual plot and the mythology regarding the Device took more time. The filming was very efficient and was completed in just one weekend. Post-production however, especially the sound design for the Device, was more of a struggle. All in all, it took about a year and a half to make this film.
MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?
FP: Convoluted: the plot is intentionally non-linear and complex, forcing the viewer to pay attention, just like the detective, to be able to solve the case.
Feminist: bottom line, this story is about a man giving his power to a woman, knowing she’ll do as good, if not better, than him with this power. I didn’t want NODE to be defined by this aspect alone, but rather focus on the equality between man and woman, a genuine and natural equality. Which is why this aspect is hidden in plain sight in a scifi action/thriller film.
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
FP: Every step of production went quite smoothly thanks to a professional cast and crew. So in the end the biggest challenge was to fit all the material in the only car we had available to us during the two days of filming.
MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
FP: It’s always nice to see an audience take the time to talk about the film, in any way. There’s no better way to tell what works and what doesn’t. Here some people were confused about some aspects of the script, but others took it upon themselves to explain it to them. Having random people understand and stand up for the most intricate parts of the script is very gratifying.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of NODE:
MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
FP: Just like the main character I tried to come up with the perfect con. For me the only way to succeed would be to work at it, over and over again, until all the details were sorted out. The idea was born. All the different versions of the script had one thing in common: a con made perfect by the Device.
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
FP: It’s a tie between Star Wars and Jurassic Park. I’ve always been mesmerized by the opening scene of Star Wars, from the framing to the CGI, from the score to the sound design, and that’s actually what made me want to become a filmmaker.
MT: What is next for you? A new film?
FP: I am currently working on a few projects as a film score composer, while writing genre-oriented scripts on the side.
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.