Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Joey Katches: It was my own conviction that I was spending too much time on my phone and neglecting the relationships of those around me. There’s this app on my phone called “screen time” which tracks the amount of time I spend on the internet and social media. It amazed me how many hours (Even days) I spent on social media in a week! God has blessed me with a wonderful family and I don’t want to neglect time with them being absorbed in my phone. Life is too short, and time is precious. My goal in making the film was never to say smart phones are bad, or social media is bad, but rather how we can be so absorbed in our social media that we neglect the face to face relationships around us.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
Roughly 4 months
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The day of filming I still had not landed on the ending to the film. Originally I had scripted that there would be a montage sequence at the end of the day showing the opposite of what would happen if the main actor had not been absorbed in his phone. But to me it didn’t feel punchy enough. So mid way through the shoot day the idea hit me that the main actor is confronted with the reality that what he posts on facebook (a happy family picture) is not reality. And in that moment it hits him that he’s neglecting the relationships that bring most fulfillment and happiness.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I loved hearing both the positive feedback and the criticism. I thought the audience was incredibly intelligent and helpful. I learned a lot from them and appreciated very much their insights! They will help me to become a better filmmaker. Also loved hearing how the message impacted others! That was my goal in making this film.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
I heard a TED talk by Simon Sinek about the addiction of cell phone usage. This talk motivated me to make a short film addressing the issue.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
Very user friendly process!
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
True Grit soundtrack
10. What is next for you? A new film?
Working on 2 short films and a documentary. But currently in the process of shooting a local commercial = )