Interview with Filmmaker James Ersted (MONTH TO MONTH)

Month to Month was the opening film at the June 2016 FEEDBACK Film Festival. The audience really responded to this short film. It’s a little bit musical, with a splash of dramatic character study, and a twist of fantasy.

It was an honor to chat with the director James Ersted:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

James Ersted: I was motivated to make Month to Month by a couple of things. The first thing was that I moved to LA almost 10 years ago and hadn’t finished a film yet. The second thing was that I noticed over time the way that artists came and went and wanted to provide a fantastical explanation for this to amuse myself.

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

JE: I had the film completed in about three weeks, then waited over a year for the CGI to be finished. When you are working with a low budget, I recommend avoiding writing anything with computer generated effects in it unless you are doing them yourself.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

JE: Magic Realism

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

JE: The biggest obstacle in completing this film was getting the CGI right, which wasn’t easy on such a small budget.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

JE: It was fun to watch the Toronto audience’s reaction to Month to Month. I was amazed that they were able to understand the majority of it considering how subtle it was. There was also one comment about the painting being the key to the world of the Succubi. That wasn’t my intention, it was more just something like the mattress that a previous tenet had left behind, but it was a good read, and there is nothing in the film to contradict that interpretation.

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

JE: As I stated above, I witnessed a lot of talented artists come and go in Los Angeles and wanted to say something about it.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

JE: The film I have seen the most in my life is Return of The Jedi. Then Clash of The Titans, They Live, Paris Texas, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original), Psycho (original), and Mulholland Dr.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

JE: I am currently working on a three part documentary about different artists, and developing a feature film about a revenge killer.

Watch the AUDIENCE FEEDBACK Video of MONTH TO MONTH:

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-50 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.
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