Interview with director Brendon Rathbone (MARAUDER)

Brendon Rathbone’s short film “MARAUDER” was the winner of “Best Musical Score” at the Action/Thriller Festival in February 2017.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Brandon Rathbone: A lot of the shorts that I had made before Marauder had been thrown together for 48 hour film fests and even though I’m happy with how they turned out, I was looking for a project where I could apply some craft to it and challenge myself. So the idea for Marauder came about during a road trip from Calgary to San Francisco. On the way home, after 5 days in the car the podcasts, albums, and conversation ran dry and my producing partner and I started kicking around an idea for a road movie. Driving through Alberta’s badlands, it’s hard not to think of the post-apocalypse.

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

We first had the idea in the October 2013, but the film didn’t screen until 2016. The script came together really quickly, and we were very lucky to get a substantial amount of the budget covered through provincial arts grants. The difficulty was trying to shoot a road movie where almost 100% of the film takes place outdoors in a country with wildly unpredictable weather and a depressingly short summer. We had planned to shoot in September of 2014, but had to push an entire year when a key location fell through.

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

Mad Maxine

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

We knew that doing a post-apocalyptic film on a shoestring budget would be tough… but…. The most difficult thing was trying to do justice to the world-building aspects of the story while also making sure we stayed within the budget we had. Clothes, vehicles, and props all had to be very carefully considered and crafted to fit into the world. That meant that a big part of our budget had to go into those things and consequently we didn’t have a lot of money for post-production – which ended up taking much longer than expected because we were desperately calling in as many favors as possible.

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

I thought it was great that they were engaged and we didn’t screw up our big reveal with the Marauder character.

Getting feedback is such an integral part to growing as an artist and storyteller. I love getting people’s reactions and hearing what bits went over well and where I may have missed the mark. Also, by now I’ve seen the film about 2 hundred times, so I can’t be objective. I was really happy to hear what the audience thought of it, how they interpreted the world we’d laid out. I thought all the comments were on point and it definitely gave me some stuff to think about for my next go around as a director.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

I’ve always liked the idea of lawlessness and the chaos that emerges when society has fallen apart.So with that as a starting point, we started talking about this broken world and what kinds of things we’d like to see happen. The big thing that we kept coming back to was this idea of frontier justice, revenge, and taking back what is yours.

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

Cast Away or the Big Lebowski. Oddly, our film is nothing like either of those films. Maybe a slacker detective stranded on an island film will be our next thing.

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

My producing partner and I are applying for arts funding for our next short that will focus on obsession but with a bit of an experimental and comedic feel. We also have a couple of television and feature pitches that we’re hoping to develop further in the next year.

marauder_movie_poster.jpg

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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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