Interview with Filmmaker Rocky Romano (STORM)

STORM was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the December 2020 Dance & Music Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

We were motivated to make the film after watching a news report that featured an ICU nurse who was explaining how she had to sleep in her garage when she went home for fear of infecting her family. She went on to talk about the lack of masks, gloves, etc. We were deeply moved and knew we had to help. Approximately two hours after watching that news report we heard Kiesza’s song STORM on Instagram. She had made a recording of the song in her apartment in Toronto and had just posted it. We instantly knew that her song was perfect, and through a very serendipitous experience we created the Team STORM Project. Our production company, Winters Rock Entertainment, partnered with JUNO award-winning recording artist Kiesza, architects, filmmakers, designers, engineers, street artists, curators, and over one hundred cinematographers across the planet to create a global music project STORM. Together, with Kiesza, Marine Recon Rudy Reyes, Cameron Sinclair, Amplifier – led by street artist Shepard Fairey, and actress AnnaLynne McCord we created a 501(c)(3), http://www.teamstorm.org to raise funds to build rapidly deployed rest and care units for frontline healthcare workers. The film now has over 100K views on youtube and we raised thousands of dollars for frontline healthcare workers!

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

It took us about three months from onset of idea to completion.

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

Time Capsule

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

Producing something in the middle of a global lock down was intense. We used the pandemic as the main story arc so it allowed us to utilize the conditions at that time. Fortunately, we had the help of drone pilots around the world who donated their footage along with a filmmaker in Toronto and Pond 5 who supports us in most of our projects.

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

Very emotional actually. We were touched by their kind words and the appreciation for the film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

External conditions! Global pandemic, lack of support for frontline healthcare workers, and a talented team of passionate artists forged the idea for this film.

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

Reservoir Dogs

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

Amazing!

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

It would be a tie between: “Killing In The Name Of” – Rage Against The Machine & “Egg Man” – Beastie Boys

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

We have over ten projects in different stages of development, but right now we have a new film “We Can’t Breathe” that is on the festival tour. Here is a brief synopsis:

During a global pandemic, the killing of one man sparks the biggest social movement in history. Cities all over the world erupt in protest, fueled by centuries of racial tension. In Los Angeles, a queer black woman is determined to capture the movement through her lens, so she hits the streets, camera in hand. What she discovers is a diverse world of impassioned protesters from all walks of life, coming together to make themselves heard.

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