Interview with Filmmaker Gi Gonzales (GOLD)

GOLD played to rave reviews at the December 2020 Dance & Music Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

While at school, I did a master’s poetry program and wanted to merge my crafts by creating a visual poem. Gold is an adaptation of one of my thesis poems, and both have the same first line, ‘The difference between gold and God is a small line between OD.’ My motivation for the story came when trying to build on that idea of excess, as a sort of warning. Gold is a reminder that if you treat life like a game, then you create losers; and sometimes, luck’s all the difference.

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

It took about a year for me to make Gold, with most of the time going to writing and pre-production. Gold’s script started as an introspection on trauma where each character’s lines are our steps of the grieving process. It took me about 4 months to finalize the script’s six lines. Once that part was finished, the shoot itself only took one and a half days.

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

Trigger warning.

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

My biggest obstacle was definitely during casting. Not only was it hard trying to find parents okay with their kids shooting themselves on screen, it was hard finding a casting agent who could get behind it too.

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

I couldn’t help but smile. Then I shared it with my family and they couldn’t help but smile and share it either! I especially enjoyed the diversity in the feedback, and seeing which parts stood out to people.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It felt natural to make a surreal film that could be enjoyed in different ways, one being the shock of the actual story and the other being its origin as a visual poem. I love films by Yorgos Lanthimos because of his masterful use of dry delivery to suspend disbelief, and it’s something I wanted to implement in my next project.

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

Probably Moulin Rouge. It always gets me.

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

I’m all for it. In the days of SEO, FilmFreeway is a way for me to find festivals I wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to.

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

It might be Atmosphere – Sunshine. It’s a great way to start the day or get out of a bad mood.

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

Right now I’m line producing a feature next May. Meanwhile, I’m workshopping a few of my own feature scripts before deciding the right one for my feature film debut. You can keep up at my website or my instagram @giyangonzales.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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