Interview with director Kurtis Theorin (ENCORE)

Kurtis Theorin’s short film “ENCORE” played to rave reviews at the December 2016 Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival. It was the winner of “Best Music” at the festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Kurtis Theorin: We wanted to stretch ourselves and create something that felt unique. We had done projects for a line of YouTube star toys. We had also watched the reality show about making movies called The Chair. It featured a YouTube star who talked about how he could be swarmed by rabid fans at a convention but not be recognized going down the street. It’s an interesting world that hasn’t been explored that much in films.

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

KT: A little over a year. The first draft came up in the summer. I started revising around December. We did pre-production and script revisions up until the three days we shot it in April. We edited it in-between other projects until we finally got it done in August.

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

KT: Youtube Coming-of-age (if I am allowed to hyphenate)

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

KT: Surprisingly getting the script right was what caused the most problems. There was a lot of debate between us about what elements worked and what didn’t. We went through a lot of drafts. The rest of the process involved a lot of hard work but no unexpected curveballs or difficult obstacles. It’s amazing how much people are willing to help you if you act professional and are polite.

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

KT: Intense relief. This is one of the first pieces of non-acquaintance feedback we have gotten. It was so great to see that people liked it. We were happy that the music and acting was as good as we thought it was. I was also really happy to see that it got people thinking about what it’s like growing into adulthood in the age of YouTube stars and social media.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO of the short film:

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

KT: Nik came up with the idea after seeing a YouTube Star giving a livestream tour of her and her girlfriend’s new apartment.

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

KT: I think I watched The Return of the Jedi about a hundred times as a kid. More recently would probably be The Third Man. To quote Roger Ebert: “No film better captures the romance of going to the movies.”

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

KT: We are still submitting this film to festivals and Kris has recently made a short animated horror film. We’ve been doing some commercial projects as well that have taken up a lot of our time but we expect to make another film in the near future. I am playing around with a story about a schoolgirl prone to violent fits of rage dealing with her friend’s crush on her.
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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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