Interview with Filmmaker Graeme Bachiu (WHY WE PUSH?)

WHY WE PUSH played to rave reviews at the October 2018 Documentary Feedback Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Graeme Bachiu: The motivation for making the film was twofold: first, I wanted to enter a 60 second documentary contest and second, I wanted to tell a bit of a story about Ric without going too far down the rabbit hole.

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

This took probably about a month in total. Production took 1 half day and post production was maybe a day or two.

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

Running math.

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

The biggest obstacle was shooting the running scenes as I don’t have the stamina to keep up with Ric with a camera. We had no gimbal or anything like that, just a C100 and my friend’s truck with a small jib in the back.

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

I was surprised at how they were able to clearly make the connection between the physical and the mental I was trying to show, so that made me happy. It’s kind of a weird film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

Just in speaking to Ric about these complex math problems and also hearing about how he would run to sort of go over the equations in his head. Something about that was interesting to me.

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

Oh geez, I don’t know. I am really bad at keeping track of what I watch or anything like that. I’m a dad of 3 year old twins so I’ve seen some kids movies over and over again…other than that, maybe Treasure of the Sierra Madre or Genghis Blues?

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

It’s fine. I get rejected more than I get accepted but I’m not really in this for any other reason than to see what other peoples’ reactions to my films are. I don’t expect to make any money on weird short docs, so I don’t have much of an opinion.

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

Again, I don’t really know. I guess iTunes would probably tell me that but I tend to listen to whole albums fairly obsessively for short bursts (especially while driving) and then move on to something else? Actually iTunes says that Uncle Pen, an old Bill Monroe bluegrass song covered by Stephen Stills’ Manassas band is number 1 in my library. So there you go.

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

Since I made this film (which was last year) I’ve produced 6 episodes of a doc series on local songwriters in Southern Ontario, a short film about a photographer friend, multiple corporate doc projects and I have a number of projects in the development stage. Some of these upcoming projects include more local songwriting episodes, an animated documentary about ancient giants buried along the Grand River, a verite short doc about creativity and destruction as well as a pilot for some work on dancing therapy for elderly and palliative patients. I’m busy.

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