Interview with Filmmaker Brett Thomas (I’LL CRY TOMORROW)

I’LL CRY TOMORROW played to rave reviews at the September 2020 Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was going through some keep-sakes and saw a bunch of super-8 and 16mm films I had made in the mid-1980’s. It really piqued my curiosity. And being curious by nature, I had it all digitalized. As I was viewing it, a story seemed to be writing itself. I thought I had two short films then, to my surprise, I had one—I just overlaid them and edited them for timing. Low and behold-the story did write itself!

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

34 years. (From when I found the films to completion was about a year).

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

Nostalgic and sentimental.

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

Confronting my own backlog of grief. Too many people going too soon there was no chance to go through any grief process so I just gave up and told myself I’d cry later. Later is now—maybe.

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

People wanted to hear this story! Not only people who were there, but across all sort of strata. The beautiful feedback I got from people who weren’t even born at that time was just shocking! Just shocking! The reactions I was witnessing were truly inspiring (and a very thought provoking on my part).

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Lots of therapy.

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

Midnight Cowboy by John Schlesinger.

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

More than great. No delivery issues. No return issues. Simple to use.

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

Puff-the-Magic-Dragon by Peter, Paul and Mary. It was the first record I ever owned—a 45rpm. I put it on my play list for my memorial service—yes I did make my own playlist ( also Last Dance by Donna Summer). I have no plans to check out for sometime but I’m prepared.

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

Well I am still working on making my cyanotype photographs which can be seen at I am writing the synopsis for my next film presently called Before My Eyes.

Another personal poem along the lines of “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” I don’t like tear-jerkers I find them cheap. The model for this is Terrence Davies’ “of Time and the City” a personal memoir of Liverpool, U.K.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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