Interview with Filmmaker Ethan Gurule (STACCATO)

STACCATO played to rave reviews at the February 2021 LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

The film is based around an experience I had with a man I’d fallen in love with back in 2018. I wanted to take my emotions regarding that event and translate it onto the screen as a way to share that experience with an audience. One can only hope that their stories can leave an impact on people, and I’ve always had the viewpoint that so long as there’s one person out there who can take something from the work I put out there then it’s worth it.

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

I started to think about a film revolving around piano music back near the end of 2018. Though the concept underwent a long journey to become what it eventually came, though after the aforementioned emotional connection I had developed the story really started to come together. The first half of 2019 was focused on laying the groundwork for the intense undertaking that was the shooting of Staccato, and by the time the Fall 2019 semester came and it was time to shoot our team hit the ground running. The final edit of the film was finalized by December of 2019 and was included in the Colorado Film School Fall 2019 Student Showcase.

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

Self Exploration

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

Letting my perfectionistic tendencies get the best of me throughout the shooting of Staccato was incredibly difficult. Because the subject matter was so personal to me I wanted every single detail to be perfect. As a result I could get overly ambitious and start to aim way beyond what our team was capable of. Thankfully I had an incredible production team that helped keep me tethered to reality and translate my abstract concepts onto the screen.

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

Before I watched it, Terror. I’m always very nervous about sharing my work and wasn’t sure how the audience would react. After watching it, however, I was just touched that my story was able to speak to people and that those same people would be willing to then give feedback and commentary on it is very touching. I’m very moved by this entire experience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

When I was nine years old I took a really cheap digital camera and while my family was cooking dinner, my brother and I filmed “Alex Potter.” (A story about a wizard named Alex with his friend Ethan Weasley and clearly had no connection to Harry Potter.) I spent a majority of my childhood from that point on shooting and editing movies with my brother. And when High School rolled around I had my first film teacher and it was during his film camp over summer break that I realized I wanted to fully explore the medium.

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

Probably Christmas Vacation. It’s always on rotation during the lead up to Christmas.

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

I think it’s fantastic. It’s incredibly easy to use and is a great platform for filmmakers to grow!.

9. What is your favorite snack to eat?

Anything with Peanut butter always has a place in my heart.

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

I’m currently writing a feature script for my final class at CFS. While there aren’t any immediate plans for production you never know what may happen in the future or who may end up reading the script.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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