Interview with Filmmaker Dylan Montalbo (THE VIRGIN FLOWER)

THE VIRGIN FLOWER played to rave reviews at the September 2020 Experimental Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The film was loosely based off of an indie-video game called “Hotline Miami”, I’ve never heard of it before and I was curious because of the accolades that it received. So I went ahead and gave it a try. Immediately I was struck and fell in love not only with the gameplay mechanics but the simplicity of it’s story as well. So right away I planned ahead the materials, and went to work.

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

Mainly 5-7 months of long nights and hard-work, including drinking a lot of energy drinks.

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


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

At that time I had an obligation to finish my high-school studies, so I was juggling between this and that. Not to mention it was my second try at stop-motion, I had no training or prior continuous practice to this sub-genre of Animation, I really didn’t know how I was suppose to proceed with it.

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

The reactions and responses were definitely superb, it’s actually the first time I had a compilation reaction dedicated to my work. I really appreciated each and every single one of the reactions that I was given. In later time I wish to submit again to this film festival just to experience the joy of feeling that again.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Other than video games, I was pretty into a lot of action, dark noir films of not only Hollywood, U.S.A, but that of foreign origin as well. Movies like “Drive”, “The Guest”, “Oldboy”, “The Man from nowhere” and 80’s themed movies with synth-pop vibe music themes, helped shape the scope of the film.

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

the remake of “The Mummy” in 1999.

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

It’s most definitely that of a professional level of creator’s platform. Normally I’d been used to just sending and sharing my films or projects on “YOUTUBE”, but what I wanted is that my works have the opportunity to be presented on the level that is of an “ELITE” background, FILMFREEWAY, unlike most platforms, made myself credible not only as that of an artistic, creator or filmmaker, but somehow shaped my identity as that of one that is deserving of the title “PROFESSIONAL”.

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

Decode- Paramore

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

I wrote and storyboarded a script a couple of years back while in the last years of my high-school, and now I am producing the funds for that project. It’s a 2D teen-horror animated film, roughly estimated of about 30 minutes. I plan to submit this to at least 200 film festivals, but, as change of scenery, I plan to have a presentation type of screening using the platform of either SKYPE or ZOOM, in which I would charge a fair amount to large amounts of people to watch the film through my Patreon page. The project is still in it’s pre-production/production stage. I only hope to have this done, the earliest in a month. Once it is finished, I will create a trailer and have this project shown to an unlimited amount of viewers. So please stay tuned for that.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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