Interview with Actor/Filmmaker Dylan Mask (CRUEL WORLD)

CRUEL WORLD was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the WILDsound Crime/Thriller Film Festival in March 2021.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

After releasing my comedic web series ‘Out to Lunch’ on YouTube in April of 2018 under behindDAmask Productions, I was eager to create a short film that was contrasting in style/theme/tone. In June of 2018 I was at a family BBQ speaking with my cousin. She told me a story about a man on a journey that almost everyone on earth can relate to in some way. I instantly asked her if she would let me make it into a film. The bare simplicity of the idea both enticed and terrified me. I reworked the original story slightly to help with the theme and tone I was looking for. Ultimately, one of the main motivators for me to make ‘Cruel World’ was knowing it was a family idea. Family means a lot to me and being able to create something that came from a casual conversation around the campfire really meant a lot.

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

June 30, 2018 – Sept 10, 2020 = 2 years, 41 days

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

Don’t laugh… Cruel World

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

The safe answer here would be COVID, however that wasn’t the case. It did elongate the final creation of the films score but ultimately that strenuous back and forth during the lockdown led to the final product you hear. Which is one of my favourite parts of the film. If I had to pinpoint one thing though it would be finding a makeup artist. I had to book 3 separate MUA for our 3 day shoot all on less than 24 hours notice.

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

Initially it was “Yes!! Someone that has no connection to me has watched my film!” haha. Honestly though I felt grateful. I really wanted this film to make the viewers ask questions and want more. So to hear the audience echo those things really had me feeling fortunate to be a part of this festival.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I’ve always loved telling stories. The details of a story can hit home differently with each person who hears it. To be honest though I decided to start making films because I simply wasn’t getting the auditions I wanted. Rather than wait around and hope that what I wanted would just find its way to me, I decided to make my own future.

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

Goodfellas. Probably over 100 times

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

Amazing, from setting up your projects page to submitting to festivals all over the world they truly make it user friendly. FilmFreeway never leaves you guessing. You’re kept up to date every step of the way.

9. What is your favorite meal?

The “Big Gurk” from Evelyns Sandwich Factory in Welland, Ontario. Before you say a sandwich is not a meal go try a “Big Gurk” haha.

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

I’m currently in pre-production for a horror short I wrote. Hoping to have that finished by Halloween 2021. I’m also putting the finishing touches on a pitch package for an animated comedy I created call ‘Lumberjackd’. Besides those projects I continue to audition and grow my career as an Actor as well.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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