Interview with director CJ Colando (JAKE & JULIA)

JAKE & JULIA was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the January 2018 Comedy FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

CJ Colando: There was no motivation in the beginning; I wrote it quite passively as an exercise in short-form comedy, and thought that would be the end of it. Then I sent it around to industry friends, and enough of them suggested we make it. When it comes to the creative opinions of people more successful than me, I’m often a soft, easily-persuaded worm.

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

About a year. I sat on the script for about 6 months, and finally got enough kicks in the ass to make it, which took another 6 months.

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

Awkward fun.

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

From a content perspective, it was important that we crafted something fresh and funny out of this somewhat familiar premise. Throughout the whole process there was a constant collaborative effort to not make sure this thing didn’t come off like a second-rate, straight-to-DVD American Pie sequel.

Of course, funding was challenging too. Imagine asking people for their hard-earned money to make a film about a threesome. I’ve mastered every different way of saying ‘No, it’s not porn.”

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

It’s always a pleasant surprise when anyone says anything nice about your film. Any time there’s feedback involved in anything I do, I brace myself for the absolute worst case scenario, and it’s always a relief when that doesn’t happen. This was no exception, and I greatly appreciated the complimentary nature of our feedback.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I’ve been asked a lot if the sexual event in the film was inspired by a real experience, and I always disappoint when I admit it wasn’t. But for the sake of this question, let’s say it was. That really happened to me. Crazy sh*t, man.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

“Jaws.” We’re in the triple digits by now. Nothing else comes close.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Love it. FilmFreeway not only makes submissions easy and intuitive, they do a great job at how they present the individual festival pages.

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

“Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne gets a spin at least once a week for the past several years and it upsets a lot of people in my life. There’s a few Dave Matthews Band songs up there too, which I’m told is even more upsetting. I apologize.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Hopefully. The next one’s gotta be at least twice as good. So as soon as an idea hits me that’s good enough to stress me out for a giant chunk of a year, we’ll do it.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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