Interview with Animator/Filmmaker Brian Giovanni (WHEN COMES THE RAIN)

 WHEN COMES THE RAIN played to rave reviews at the May 2018 FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Brian Giovanni: I was taking an online animation class taught by Bill Plympton. The assignment was to produce a short film throughout the class, and this is the film I had created. As for motivational factors, getting the film made and completed in time for the class deadlines was certainly a factor, but the larger appeal was simply having the chance to work with Bill and getting his creative input and guidance along the way. I’ve been a huge fan and admirer of his work for years, so the opportunity to do this project and see it through to completion was especially exciting.

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

The class itself was 2 months, and then I spent another month fine tuning some extra details to get it festival-ready.. So in total 3 months.

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

‘Misplaced Ambition’ seems appropriate.

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

For my animation projects, I typically do most, if not all of the work on my own. In this particular film, I did it all (story, animatics, full animation, music, editing, sound, VFX, etc..). Being a one-man-show has its challenges, and it’s certainly time-consuming, since you’re carrying all of that workload by yourself. But at the end of the day, it does have its advantages. Being responsible for every aspect of what the audience is seeing and hearing on screen – it can be quite empowering as well.

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

It was fun seeing the various impressions people received, and the artistic details that resonated with them. You never know how someone might interpret your work, and allowing others to see it in their own way and share that impression back with you can be quite insightful. Also, getting out of ‘isolated creation mode’ and into the world of actually sharing it with other people is always a welcome treat.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

One of my on-going animation outlets is submitting to LoopdeLoop – an Australian-based animation collective that hosts bi-monthly festivals of looping animations / GIFs, set to a given theme. They have screening cities all over the world (even here in LA!) and the loops can range from a few seconds to a few minutes, from narrative to experimental. One such theme a few years back was ‘Ritual’ and I immediately had this idea of birds doing a ritualistic rain dance to fill a birdbath. Later on, the idea became too extensive to complete in time, so I tabled it, and went with another idea instead. Then when the class with Bill Plympton came about, I brought it back, and it became the perfect fit for this assignment.

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

Probably a two-way tie between Tim Burton’s ‘Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’ and Warren Beatty’s ‘Dick Tracy’ – two childhood staples that I watched endlessly in my youth. Today, I could probably still watch them over and over…

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

It’s great! The process is incredibly streamlined to not only submit your film to a wide collection of festivals at one time, but it also helps in the overall research process. Looking for the right kind of festivals for one particular film can be fairly time consuming. Their platform makes it easy to find the right kind of setting or audience that you’re looking for.

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

Probably ‘Mack the Knife’ by Bobby Darin. It’s become my go-to song for karaoke!

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

Yes, there’s always a new film on the horizon! Giving ‘When Comes the Rain’ a pretty decent festival run seems to be turning into its own full-time job these days, but I have three other short films in various stages of production at the moment. Never short on things to do!



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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

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


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