LOVE IS WILD was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the February 2019 Experimental Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Michael McCallum: I have worked with talented singer/songwriter, Jen Sygit, for many years. She had two songs in my first feature film, Fairview St., and it won an award just for the soundtrack. We continued to collaborate and she had multiple songs in my last feature film, Buffalo. She also won Best Country Song for her song in Buffalo, “Sugar High” at the Garden State Film Festival in Atlantic City, NJ.
She approached me about doing a second music video for her after the success of the first one I made for her song, “One Thing”.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
Only a few months. Jen reached out to me to help her with a Kickstarter video to help raise money for the production of her new album and I suggested we take the time to shoot a performance piece for a new video. Then a few weeks after we scheduled the people for the personal side of it which featured real couples, families and survivors sharing photos of loved ones passed.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Most of the time it’s a schedule/time issue, which was no different on this one. I live in a great small/big city, Lansing (Michigan) where I have a good connection with a lot of people and businesses.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was really moved and excited to share it with Jen Sygit, my DP and Co-Editor, Scott Baisden, and fans of my company, Rebel Pictures. I thought it was really cool that the host for the event suggested, “we should ALL make the song our ringtones.” That is pretty damn cool and something Jen and I would love.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
It really was my suggesting doing something more for Jen Sygit other than just the Kickstarter campaign video and taking great suggestions from she and my DP/Co-Edtior, Scott Baisden.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
That’s a great question. There are many, but ones that come to mind are: Rebel Without a Cause, Vacation, Halloween, Dr. Strangelove, On the Waterfront, Scream, Goodfellas and Apocalypse Now. There are many more, but those are ones that jump to mind right away.
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
Film Freeway is so much easier to use than Withoutabox or other platforms. I Abe really loved showing new filmmakers how easy it is to use and navigate.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Ha. This list would even be longer than my movie list. My fingers would be bleeding by the end of it, but I listen a lot of different music. It might be easier to say what I don’t like. I don’t dig most new mumble hip hop or new pop country at all.
10. What is next for you? A new film?
I am currently working on a competition film for the Capital City Film Festival’s Fortnight Film Contest, editing a Sci-Fi short I directed/produced called Reverb, editing a new music video for West Michigan band! Four Lincolns, and working to put a new feature film together.
Folks can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instragram and at REBELPICTURES.NET
Being a part of this festival has been a grant experience and I only wish I could have attended.