UNEARTHED was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the August 2018 Young Filmmakers Film Festival.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
I had been wanting to write a part for a strong female lead and to work with a very young actor. I’ve also found that the best way to empathize with another demographic is to write dialogue from their perspective. I suppose this is only true because I take dialogue very seriously.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this short?
I think about four months.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
All our rented gear arrived just a few days before we shot, and the handheld monitor that I planned to use to direct my cinematographer while filming arrived completely unresponsive. We had no time to get another monitor to work with the Ursa Mini Pro, so a most of the shots in the film actually had to be photographed by myself as the director. That’s why there’s no cinematography credit on the film.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?
I was blown away at the theories they came up with. So many of the ideas about how the themes were communicated and the questions the film raised I never would have thought of. Just brilliant interpretations.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
One very late night I was driving from Minneapolis to Sioux Falls along Hwy 60 and the image of a shovel slicing into the dirt entered my mind. Then, I had also been wanting to explore the multifaceted possibilities of guilt and intentionality of choice.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Either Rob Reiners’ The Princess Bride or Ron Howard’s The Grinch. It’s one of those treasures.
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you
feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
The platform is very easy to navigate for the most part. I like that the entire press packet and media for the film is available in one place. Pretty slick.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Either “Rite of Spring” by Angels and Airwaves or something by Freddie Mercury.
10. What is next for you? A new film?
Right now I’m working on growing my production company After Hours Pictures with my father and business partner, Rodney. We’re doing some documentary work and producing a bigger short film about what road trips are like for minorities. I’m also writing a feature narrative about a living Sudanese refugee and child soldier. We’re looking to collaborate with other production companies who have a passion for excellent storytelling and irresistible characters.