Interview with Filmmaker Ralph Klisiewicz (THE ARTIFACT)

THE ARTIFACT was the winner of BEST FILM at the March 2021 CHICAGO Crime & Thriller Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Several years ago I sat down with Nick Ferin (Steve in the film) to discuss what we could film next. He suggested we should make a film about a man whose brain gets hacked. From that moment the idea began to brew over several months and the writing for The Artifact began. I have a background in psychology and neuroscience, so I always wanted to explore the themes of mind, brain and technology in a sci-fi thriller format.

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

The preparation, which included some casting adventures, rehearsing, scouting and securing locations, all took about a year. The filming was done across 3 months. Once I had the footage, the pandemic hit. As everything was shut down for a few months, I had plenty of time on my hands for the editing, scoring and so on. Consequently, the post production process took about 6 weeks.

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

Mindtwisting Thriller

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

As always, synchronizing the schedule for the cast, crew, and the locations.

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

It is amazing to hear feedback from total strangers. This film is based on some difficult concepts, and the plot itself is a bit convoluted. However, I was thrilled to hear that the audience were intrigued by the complexity of the story and the philosophical premises. The feedback reminded me that there is still an appetite for profundity in visual stories.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Early 30s, after I made a music video for a band that I was in. I believed that I can figure this process out. After that music video,I purchased my first camera and the journey began.

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

“Seven” by David Fincher

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

The submission via FilmFreeway is very easy and straightforward. It’s all well integrated and you can do all your research about festivals right within the platform.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Broiled Salmon.

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

The pandemic shutdown #2 once again forced me indoors with my laptop. And so I have finished rewriting The Artifact into a feature film. We are looking now for investors to make this into feature film.

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