Interview with director Alfonso M. Rodriguez (THE 3RD TRY)

Short Film “THE 3RD TRY” played to rave reviews at the June 2017 LGBT FEEDBACK Short Film Festival.

www.facebook.com/the3rdtry

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Alfonso M. Rodriguez: Shortly before I wrote the script, I read an article about gender inequality in film and television. The article discussed the ‘Bechdel Test’, which is a small test to determine whether there is an active presence of women in a fictional piece of media. This was probably the main motivating factor that pushed me to write it. This in combination with the fact that the LGBTQI community is also underrepresented. I figured I’d combine and represent the two under one roof; into one film.

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

– Overall, I would have to say 2 years. I used to be an NYPD police officer so I had little free time to do anything creative but I managed to write the script during a lunch break and immediately jumped into pre-production. I ended up squeezing the shoot into two full days. I probably could have sped it up but I wanted all of the pieces to fall into place naturally without having to rush.

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

– That’s a tough one. I would say: ‘struggle’ and ‘hope’.

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

– I believe casting was the biggest obstacle. I think two of the most important things a film needs is a solid script and talented actors with chemistry to pull it off. I was lucky enough to find Imana Breaux and Rain Dove who were wonderful to work with and had the acting chops to bring the script to life.

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

– I felt both humbled and inspired. The reactions were genuine and to see people react to something you put your heart into was amazing. It’s nerve-racking to get constructive criticism but it helps put things into perspective and I appreciate it greatly.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

– I wanted something intimate; something that could resonate with everyone and that feeling was “loss”. I feel like everyone has or will eventually experience it so I took that idea and used it as a foundation to create my characters.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

– I have several favorites but from that list I would have to say that Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element” has the most re-watch value.

What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

– I have a habit of keeping one song on loop for a long time until it dies out so that would be hard for me to figure out. I’m constantly reliving my teenage pop punk phase so my guilty pleasure right now is New Found Glory’s “Say It Don’t Spray It”.

What is next for you? A new film?

– “The 3rd Try” is making its way around the festival circuit and has been accepted into 12 festivals so that’s taking up most of my time but I’m currently shopping around for a new script to work on. My last two films were intense dramas so I’m looking to lighten things up with a comedy!

 

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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 twice a month, and every other month in Los Angeles. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.
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