CROSSROADS was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the May 2018 Thriller/Suspense Festival in Toronto.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Marvin Nuecklaus: Shooting a murder scene using a tire iron.
No, just kidding. I wanted to create a story that was entertaining and
challenging to follow but also comes with a deeper meaning when
you look close enough. For me, Crossroads is about a woman who
buried a traumatic event in her childhood and therefore was never
able to process it which resulted in a psychological disorder.
And those are the people we so often label as crazy without putting
in any effort to really figure out what happened to them.
We’re confronted with headlines such as: “10 years old girl sexually
assaulted” and hands down, what are the first questions you want to
get answered? Who did this? What happened to the offender? Is he
in jail? How many years did he get?
But what about the victim in 1, 2 or 10 years down the road? My
hope is that some people who watch Crossroads can see the
intentions I had with the film.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take
for you to make this short?
It took about 1 year to write the script as I worked on other projects
simultaneously. We had 2 days of principal photography with an
additional 2 months of post production.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this
Letting it go. When making a film, as a director you’ll always find
little things you want to fix, even re-shoot. It can turn into a never
ending project. Since I also produced the film, I had nobody giving
me a deadline or put an end to it so, I had to give myself a deadline
otherwise I would still be working on it.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
For me, the reactions of an audience while watching your film and
afterwards are more valuable than any award. It was so pleasing to
see that people were able to guess my intentions behind the film and
that they won’t just see what’s in front but also behind the curtain in
terms of the characters and their world I created. Any positive and
negative critic is valuable to me to refine my craft. I want to thank
each and everyone in the audience for their feedback. Those are the
people I’m making films for and will keep doing so!
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
It really was a combination of a lot of things. First, I wanted to shoot
a psychological thriller that keeps the audience on the edge. A film
where you have to pay attention all the way through to understand
the ending. Second, I was always fascinated by mental disorders in
particular dissociative identity disorder (DID). Unfortunately,
Hollywood has used it too many times to shape the villain and
portrait it very inaccurately. So, most people have a very wrong
perception of what this disorder really is. While getting counsel from
psychologists and contacting people directly who suffer on DID and
were willing to speak to me, I started shaping my characters based
on the research and built the world around them. I was looking for 2
opposite locations that not only differ visually but also represent my
protagonists state of mind. Almost characters on its own. The desert
is wide and open without any boarders. She can run anywhere she
wants but really doesn’t get anywhere. She runs away from her past.
The interrogation room is small, claustrophobic. There’s no escape
except through the door but she has to go through Spencer the
psychologist in order to not be trapped.
Well, and this is how the story came together.
One thing I want to mention though is that the tire iron was there
from day 1. I guess it just inspired me when I had a flat tire.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably Inception by Christopher Nolan. His way of storytelling
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are
you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
I really enjoy FilmFreeway and it is my favorite platform to submit to
film festivals. I enjoy how easy it is, how they categorize things,
their filters, and that I can find most information and feedback about
the festival right on their page.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
In the End by Linkin Park
10. What is next for you? A new film?
I recently finished working on a remake of the classic german horror
film “Nosferatu” directed by David Fischer, starring Doug Jones as
Count Orlok which was amazing as I’m from Germany myself and I
remember writing papers about this film while I studied film.
I’m currently writing a psychological horror feature script which I
plan to shoot in 2019. There has been some interest to turn
Crossroads into a feature which I’m very intrigued by as well. Time