Interview with Filmmaker Matthew Thomas Ross (WEST WINDS)

WEST WINDS was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the November 2021 SCI-FI/FANTASY Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was going through a depressing winter in 2017 and felt pretty damn lonely at times. Always at the right moment my dog Niles would swoop his big nozzle up to me and cheer me up. (He plays Bubba)

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

I wrote the script in December 2016. We filmed in October 2018 then finally finished it in May 2021. It usually wouldn’t take this long, however, finding someone to do the VFX kept getting harder. Finally during the pandemic, I took on learning how to do VFX and did them myself. With the help and advice from a VFX buddy Daniel Bueno.

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

Depressingly optimistic?

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

VFX was the biggest obstacle!

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

It felt very nice hearing word about my project from random people! I’m glad they found it enjoyable!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Middle school? I was always obsessed with films and the filmmaking process. Probably watched The Making of Jurassic Park as much as I’d seen the movie.

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

Magnolia, True Lies and Jurassic Park

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

Once COVID passes and it’s safe; in person annual festivals are great. Networking in person is so much more satisfying!

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?


10. What is your favorite meal?

Tacos lately but always Eggs Benedict.

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

Writing two features but need to figure out which to focus on first!


By matthewtoffolo

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

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