Interview with Filmmaker Balazs Juszt (WHAT IF…?)

WHAT IF…? played to rave reviews at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival on Valentine’s Day.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Balazs Juszt: There were two previous parts to this short with the same couple – The Kiss Goodnight and Split Perfect – and they’re loosely related, as they all center around a couple (not the same one, just played by the same people), who each explore a different struggle in a relationship. As I got older and went through different relationships, I found different subjects that I wanted to tackle and figured I had something to say about each issue. So, primarily this and the fact that there’s not such thing as “two films”, so I had to tie it off with a trilogy.

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

Perhaps 3-4 months. The conception itself was swift and the idea laid around for a while, then came financing and we filmed the whole thing in two days with a pretty swift post process.

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

What If?

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

Financing, actually. I disagree that it’s “always the case”, because frankly, it’s not. But this one was a hassle and it dragged on for months even after the movie had already screened at a bunch of festivals.

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

It was great to see. People got it, the moderator was on top of her game and I am always humbled by and very thankful for a communicative and appreciative audience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone through relationships and have seen many friends go through theirs afraid of fully and unapologetically committing because we kept thinking “Well, what if s/he is not the right one?” Then again, how would you ever know? It’s like we always say when we misplace something and and then we find it at the “last place I would have ever looked”. Well, how do you know that? If you hadn’t found it there, it wouldn’t have been the last place, now would it? Same thing with “the one”: if you find the one, you don’t know it’s “the one”. You have no way of knowing that for certain. You can believe, but… and there’s soon as there’s a but, the first part of the sentence becomes irrelevant. So as my exes kept getting married and giving birth and I’d bump into them somewhere, I kept wondering to myself: would it have worked out like that for us? Would she be happy? Would I be miserable? Would I be thinking the same exact thing about someone else with her by my side? And then the line came to me: what if I fell in love with “the one”, instead of “the right one”?

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

Cinema Paradiso.

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

It’s simple, helpful and a great way to spread the film.

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

Having directed close to a hundred music videos, this is an unfair question… But perhaps Vittorio Monti: Csardas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD2W2gtev-E)

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

I’ve been on the writing team of a Hungarian comedy series, I’ve also got a Cold War spy series with SKY that I’ve created and will be the showrunner of, but I hope to start filming my sophomore feature later this year.

_____

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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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