Oliver McMillan’s short film “WHAT’S WEARING MUMMY” played to rave reviews at the December 2016 FAMILY Short Film Festival.
Tt was an honor to interview the director:
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Oliver McMillan: My motivation to create What’s Wearing Mummy stemmed from how the script resembled aspects of my own childhood. This nostalgic element along with Matti (Rebecca Strang) and Sofia’s (Annabelle Tavener) obsession with science-fiction was what initially hooked me but the opportunity to explore the dynamic of a young family was where I saw the heft.
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
OM: Around 7 months I think. We had our script locked down quite early which was a huge advantage for our child actors. A vast part of pre-production was dedicated to rehearsing with Rebecca and Sofia as it was their first onscreen performance! They did a fantastic job though. Their attitude onset and the improvisation they have definitely had us chuckling between takes.
MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?
OM: Two words? Sweet fun.
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
OM: Our biggest obstacle as a team was getting everything we needed in a very limited amount of time. The entire shoot was catered around the working hours of the children. Ben Murray (Director of Photography) did a great job of streamlining our shot list so when the time came, we knew every shot was essential.
MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
OM: Totally constructive and positive. It is always great to hear thoughts from those who have no prior knowledge of your work. It’s fresh, honest and crucial to listen to. I’m glad that people saw the film as a portraiture of modern family life as well as the entertaining aspect.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Film:
MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
OM: Our writer Lexy Anderson was the genius who came up with this story. We haven’t seen many short live action films that fit into the family genre so the opportunity to do something different was too good to refuse. I remember visiting Lexy before starting the project and we both had the same desire of telling a story about a family coming together, plus I had worked with child actors before so I knew it was always something I wanted to do again.
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
OM: Most watched film? That’s a tough one! I think the last film I remember watching over and over was probably Inside Out (2015, Dir. Pete Docter). It resonated with me on so many levels and I see a film since that’s had such an impact on me. I’ll probably watch it tonight!
MT: What is next for you? A new film?
OM: What’s next? Another short film. A black comedy thriller about a hotel critic staying in the worst hotel in England. Complete tonal shift from my last film, I know! I can’t wait to get it made.
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.