Interview with Filmmaker Matt Provenzano (EDGAR’S INVENTION)

EDGAR’S INVENTION played to rave reviews at the June 2018 Young Filmmakers FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Matt Provenzano: I was motivated to make this film to honor the memory of the man who invented water balloons, Edgar Ellington. Inventors like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison are household names, but no one knows Ellington. I’m not sure if my interpretation of the man was accurate, but as long as I can stir up an interest in an inventor who has had a profound impact on rubber sacks of water, I’ve done my job right.

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

The entire film took about a month to complete. The script was written in a day, casting took a week, filming took three days, editing took another week.

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

Really silly.

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

It’s a toss up between getting a tear to fall out of Edgars eye at the end, and getting ready to shoot a scene in the lab when suddenly a glass plasma ball fell on the floor and shattered. No one was hurt, but it set us back a good 30 minutes and made the time crunch we were already in even more stressful.

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

It was the coolest and most humbling thing in the world. I think more festivals should implement that. Nothing is more honoring than audiences genuinely discussing your work, be it critical or raving. Most of the audience had very heartfelt things to say about my film, and I couldn’t be happier about the reaction it received.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

There I was, randomly browsing reddit.com one day in April. I came across an interesting fun-fact that someone posted on the subreddit r/TIL (stands for Today I Learned) which read “TIL an inventor trying to make a sock to prevent trench foot first produced modern water balloons. Having made a latex-coated sock and filling it with water to test for leaks, he found a rip and angrily threw it on his table. Pleased with the splash, he decided to market water balloons for children.” I immediately saw the story play out in my head. I saw the disgruntled inventor who just wants to make his mark on the world, I saw the Frankenstein-esque lab, I saw the cheesy 1950’s sci-fi esthetic, I saw the triumph in Edgar’s eyes when he realizes what he has done. I knew I had to tell this story.

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

There’s a difference between my favorite film and the film I’ve seen the most in my life. My favorite film is Back to the Future, but I’ve probably seen Forrest Gump more than anything else because it’s on TV every single day.

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

I think it is great. Anyone over 35 knows how difficult it was to submit to film festivals before the use of online platforms. I can’t think of a better way to bring serious filmmaking into the 21st century than with outlets such as FilmFreeway. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it works.

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

There’s a song from the obscure Japanese game “Gitaroo Man” called “The Legendary Theme.” I’ve been listening to it almost daily since I was a child. Something about its simplicity is hypnotizing to me. It puts me in a beautiful trance every time I hear it.

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

I’m always cooking up something new. I love creating. The next project for me is an anthology film with 10 different stories, ranging from funny to suspenseful to action packed to tear jerking. One of them is even a musical. I hope that with this project, people can take me a bit more seriously as a writer and a director. For more information and for updates, you can visit my website mattprovenzano.com or the website for my production company Purple Cloud Entertainment purplecloudny.com. Peace out yo.

edgars invention.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 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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