Interview with Filmmaker Jamie Donohoe (WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID)

WHAT I SHOULD HAVE SAID was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the April 2021 Under 5 Minute Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wrote the script years ago when I first heard the song. I’d been thinking about the way many families don’t actually speak truthfully even when (especially when?) they are in pain. At least that’s been my experience. I’d actually been toying with the idea of a stage play, but I realized that the audience needed to see the actors close-up and the stage wouldn’t work well.

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

The script sat for a long time until I showed it to Thomas and he said something like “We will film the shit out of this!” From there it was a matter of securing actors and our sound technician, and we shot the film in one day. The editing process was brutal (I did the editing and was learning as I went). There were many, many editing drafts. I’d say from start to finish, probably about 4-6 months.

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

Pain & Rhythm

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

Besides the editing process…on the day of the shoot it was the hottest day of the year. We filmed in a loft space which is basically a brick oven. In between takes, we’d go downstairs where it was cooler and wipe ourselves with frozen wash-cloths. I started sweating through my shirt and had to iron out the wet spots.

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

Gratitude. The thoughtfulness and earnestness of these audience members was just…it made me want to do something like this again. You create something and put it out to the world with love and don’t expect love to be returned to you in this way. To have that experience is something I won’t forget.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

As a teenager I spliced together VHS football highlight reels, spoofs for my friends, etc, but it wasn’t until I started directing plays (I worked as a high school drama teacher for about 8 years) that I started to seriously think about turning from the stage to making a “real” film. Also, I was asked to play a small role in an independent film by a friend and really enjoyed the process–that helped inspire me to think it was an achievable goal.

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

Ocean’s Eleven. It’s not the “best film ever,” but it’s perfect. Every scene has a purpose. Every shot has a purpose. I’ve seen it over 20 times for sure. I could watch Brad Pitt every day.

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

Since this is my first film, the submission process has been confusing. I don’t know festivals–at all. FilmFreeway definitely makes it easier. I use Submittable for poetry submissions and the process is similar. So, yeah, I appreciate the platform.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Okay, this is by far the hardest question here. If we’re talking dinner it’s gotta be grilled Rib-eye with a side of fried potatoes, greens, and a juicy red wine. Great…now I’m super hungry.

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

Yes! My next film will be called GO-PRO. It’s a short comedy about a new couple, tough love, and bicycles.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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