Interview with Filmmaker Emmanual Fordjour (I’M PRESS)

I’M PRESS played to rave reviews at the October 2020 ROMANCE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The motivation behind this film was completing my thesis project for my MFA Acting program at the New York Film Academy.

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

This film took a total of about four months from the idea to the finished project to complete. It was the timeframe within my last two semesters.

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

Two words: Slapstick and Heartfelt

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

It being my first time writing and producing a short film, I missed a few marks while booking the first location. We ran out of time, causing my team and I to have to rush the scene where Presly and the girls are in the kitchen “taking shots”. While getting kicked out of the location, we improv acted and our DP used handheld camera to get as much as we could on film. It actually ended up giving it a more fun feel to the scene.

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

Hearing the audience talk about my film was rewarding in a way that I can’t really express. It was so motivating to hear people that I don’t even know genuinely enjoy my film. I am grateful and still so shocked!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

My instructors encouraged students to pick a specific situation where a character could still complete a full arc. Being someone who loves “love”, I went with a dating scene. I often find myself being passionate and moved by the things we have in common with each other as a human race. One of those things is the desire for validation and constant need to go out of our way to impress other people. “I’m Press” was a fun, relatable, yet absurd way to express staying true to one’s authentic self.

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

The Parent Trap, hands down!

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

I honestly feel great about the entire process and I enjoyed this festival very much!

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

That’s a hard one. In high school, I was part of my school’s show choir called, “The Cavaliers”. We would practice and rehearse nonstop. In my senior year, our last number was ‘He Lives In You” from the Lion King soundtrack and I find myself still singing it in my sleep.

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

Next for me? Well, currently I am writing the pilot episode of I’m Press “the series”.

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