MRS MURPHY’S CONFESSION was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the August 2018 Female Film Festival in Toronto.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
I became obsessed. That’s the best way to describe it. Totally off the
rails. I just thought I would die if I didn’t make this film.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this short?
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
OMG I just thought of something so inappropriate! Painful discharge
is what popped into my head. Never mind… go with awkward journey.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
My own ignorance of how to make a film—in particular the technical
aspects. Post production was an especially challenging time. Once
the excitement of production is over it’s a job to keep the
momentum going. From the producing point of view the challenge is
to figure out what the story needs, and then figure out who can help
you get it. You can always spend more money, but figuring out if you
really NEED something is important in a low-budget context. And in
my case I had to beg people to work for free or reduce their rates
dramatically. It’s not that easy to talk people into working for free
when you have no track record. I had a friend, Rebekah Wiggins,
who produced with me and was instrumental in pulling in many
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience
talking about your film in the feedback video?
Awkwardness. I saw their indecision, and uncertainty about what to
say. I know there was a time frame, but I wanted to sit in the silence
for a minute to see what they would come up with. It was
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
I was taking a 6 week short-film screenwriting class with Ashley
Serrao. On the first night of the class I took home a spring-loaded
image. A spring-loaded image is meant to be something that
catapults a narrative. The one I took home was ‘vibrator in a church
pew.’ Then I had to figure out whose life would be changed by
finding a vibrator in a church pew…
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Maybe this won’t surprise you, but I LOVE the movie version of
Doubt. I rarely see a film more than once because there are so many
I haven’t seen yet, but I love everything about that film. Story,
performances, directorial choices. I only have to think of Viola Davis
in that one scene and I’m a f…ing mess!
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your
feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
I like Film Freeway the best because it is easiest to use. I like the
way you can see your submissions on one page and keep track of
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
I take ballet classes, and it would really have to be this one CD that
a lot of the teachers use. I don’t know the name of it, and it might
not be my favorite, but that’s definitely the music I have heard the
most. It’s what runs in my head when I’m trying to concentrate!
10. What is next for you? A new film?
Yes. I have a first draft of a TV pilot that I wrote with my partner
Eleanor Smith, and there’s a feature-length film that I’m just starting
to work on. I would like to do a web series as well.