Interview with Filmmakers Michela Carattini & Leanne Mangan (REMOTE ACCESS)

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Michela Carattini & Leanne Mangan: We had each made a short film before, but wanted to work with each other, so we met and just chatted for a while. It emerged that we were both interested in the grey areas of cyber crime, especially the doxxing of women that goes on, so we explored that.

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

Around a year – but that was largely post-production. We met in Jan or Feb 2018, wrote the script, and filmed it over the Easter weekend. The rest was post!

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

Cyber attack. Or “Danger – internet!”

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

As mentioned above, definitely editing. We wanted the film to be only 10 or so minutes, and we originally had a shorter edit – but it really lacked cohesion and emotion.

By re-editing, letting the scenes breathe, letting the camera linger on the characters with their emotion, it gave the audience time to feel and react, whereas before it was very fast and more cerebral.

It was interesting that one audience member felt we lingered too long and the editing could’ve been tightened, but we felt we made the right choice.

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

It was “great; they get it!” Generally, people seemed to see that it was just an average guy in pain making a few wrong choices that escalated, rather than us saying “this guy is evil”.

We also enjoyed that we made them think about the consequences that follow – in this time where the law is trying to catch up with cyber crimes committed, it’s not always the outcome you might expect. Oh, and we loved when that guy spotted that our fictional net community Dot Twelve was in fact 4Chan/8Chan.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I’d heard of the cases of cyberdoxxing during Gamergate and Michela was really intrigued when I described what happened. Michela researched Zoe Quinn and I already knew about Anita Sarkeesian.

We wanted to draw on their experience, but show what could happen if taken to its logical extreme, with men actually coming to their homes (which happened to both of them). We wanted to show that today everyone is on the web, and therefore it could happen to anyone (and staying off the internet is NOT a viable option).

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

Leanne: maybe The Shawshank Redemption?

Michela: As different from my favourite film – I have probably seen “The Wizard of Oz” and/or “The Sound of Music” most in my life.

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

Film Freeway is fabulous for a filmmaker of any gender to apply and keep track of their film festival submissions. But what it also does is allow you to filter to certain types of film festivals – including Female Film Festivals, which helps you plan your festival strategy. It’s great to have these options.

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

Leanne: it’d probably be something from the 90’s – like “Epic” from Faith No More, or Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”, both because we played it at my wedding and I sang it at a cabaret (but I’m really sick of it now!)

Michela: For many reasons, professional and personal: “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” by Rogers & Hammerstein, but lots of different versions by lots of different singers. Noticing a theme here?

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

Leanne: I’m back to writing, but no new short films as yet. I’m working on scripts for a couple of sitcoms, a dramedy and a feature (which has grown out of my first short film set in Cambodia), but nothing nearing production as yet.

Michela: These are uncertain times to say the least. But the current plan is to shoot the pilot for an Italian-Macedonia comedy “Square One” in September, and shopping a finished buddy-comedy feature script “Carmen & Bolude” to producers.

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