Interview with Filmmaker John Hayden (VERITAPHOBIA)

VERITAPHOBIA was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the March 2020 COMEDY Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

John Hayden: The film was originally prompted from a dare to write a short ten minute play about phobia’s by the Shelter Theatre Group in NYC.

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

I wrote the original idea in 2015. It was featured at a live readings by the
Shelter in NYC. I then decided to to rewrite it for a film but wanted these two
actors in it so much that I waited for their availability. We filmed it in 2018 and it was entering festivals by the summer of 2019. So, 4 years.

How would you describe your short in 2 words?

Emotional Wackamole.

Biggest obstacle in completing the film?

I think patience. Just because the original script took a lot of rewrites to make a short film, and then the availability and affordability to make this out of pocket ,and have it be as fully realized as it could. It was worth waiting until the right next and helpful piece of the puzzle was a good fit.

What were your initial reactions when audience talked about your film in the feedback?

Gratitude.Right off the bat. Just that someone watched the film and then took
time to think about it and then to leave a comment . Just means the world to have someone see your film and have all the efforts so many people put in be seen. It was awesome to actual see audience members who saw it and felt effected by it.

Very gratifying to feel that something you put out there was received.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Off the phobia prompt from the festival I sort of sat back and wondered what
if someone was afraid to tell the truth – not dishonest but had an almost allergic reaction to it. and the what if the way they were cured was someone lying to them and them feeling how it felt. I sort of knew the end with the gun shot first and then worked backwards. I also , after coming up with the idea, wanted to dose it out so the audience would put it together with he character of the Doctor and then be shocked with her when we learn that even a truth the Doctor knew was false. It was fun to view it more as a detective story and challenge myself to keep it interesting and moving inside the confines of a room with two actors. It was a really fun practice of pressure and release inside the film.

What film have I seen the most in my life?

I watch so much. The two that come to mind right away are “Young Frankenstein” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf.”

What song have i listened to most in my life?

Woah. mmmm. I would have to go with “ its a long way to the top if you want
to Rock and Roll – AC/DC and really anything Beethoven.

Whats next ?

Right now I am finishing color correction on one film and editing 2 others. and
I currently have another film in festivals right now as well. I graduate with an MFA from film school this year and I hope to adapt a play into a film by the end of summer.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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