Interview with Filmmaker Brad Simanski (DR. MANIA)

DR. MANIA was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the October 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I’ve been a huge fan of the spy/supervillain genres all my life. With all that is, and has been, going on in the world, I felt the need to create a film that brough smiles and laughs to people, while paying homage to what I consider to be one of the most entertaining genres of film.

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

The script was conceptualized in 2016, so it’s been in the works for almost 5 years.

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

Comedic Shenanigans

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

That would likely be locations. We jumped through many hoops and barrels to find locations that we felt gave a real “Supervillain lair/Island” feeling. Trying to find those, and build them out via art direction, was a unique obstacle both creatively and financially.

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

It was heartwarming, and incredibly validating. Truly- it felt so special to have such a diverse group of audience members offering useful feedback, and their opinions on the film. It was both inspirational, and joy inducing.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by cinema. I remember watching iconic films such as Jaws, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and many more and thinking “Wow, that’s it. I want to create an experience like that.” Cinema has always been a kind of “loving retreat” from the real world, and offers for so many people, myself included, a little vacation away from our typical days into the extraordinary world of movies.

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

Tough question! I’d say there is a tie between, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Casablanca, Starship Troopers, Wet Hot America Summer, and Star Wars.

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

It is SUPER awesome and accessible. The ability to have everything right there and streamlined- from your film, to your submissions, to the marketing services and festival browsing, it’s just excellent.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Pasta.

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

I’m currently working on a few projects, one of which is a Christopher Guest style mockumentary, and then some follow up short film ideas for more antics from the Dr. Mania realm.

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