Interview with Filmmaker Andrew James Strachan (THE TOUCHING VIDEO)

THE TOUCHING VIDEO played to rave reviews at the November 2021 WILDsound Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The subject matter of this documentary is something that has been with me for a long time before I ever even considered filmmaking as a career pathway. The mystery about where this education video came from and why it was made the way it was tantalizing and I wanted to uncover it to quell my curiosity first and foremost. However as the story progressed and our questions were answered, we started to look at this film as an exploration of how children should be educated on these kinds of topics which I found to be an overlooked and important discussion.

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

We started research for this film in September of 2020 and finally wrapped it in August of 2021. This was a passion project that the entire crew had to find time to research and work on in between our other jobs and school. But after almost a year of stopping and starting production, we had a finished product we were all happy with!

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

Tough question! But I would have to go with……

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

I think the hardest part of this film was the research portion. Creating graphics, editing sound, and piecing together a narrative are all things we’re pretty accustomed to at this point, but investigative journalism? None of us are trained for that. Luckily, we had an amazing team that was motivated enough to brute force our way into finding the answers we needed.

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

It was surreal, honestly! It was fascinating to hear the reactions from people who aren’t familiar with the subject matter, and even more interesting that one of them seemed to remember seeing the film this documentary is about. I’ve never had a festival provide something like this before so I found it very valuable.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

When I was a kid my family owned an iPod touch with a copy of iMovie on it. My friends and I would spend summer days running around the woods near our house shooting the most exciting action blockbusters I’ve ever seen. Looking back, the fact that I was able to edit anything together on that 4-inch touch-screen display boggles my mind. Ever since then, I’ve just kept at it and tried my best to improve. I’ve been lucky enough to surround myself with people who are just as crazy about filmmaking as I am, and at this point, I truly can’t see myself doing anything else.

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

I couldn’t have asked for a better question given the subject matter of the documentary itself. The Touching Video is a film about another film, and at this point in my life, it’s safe to say that I’ve had to watch the original educational video “Touching” more than any other movie in my life. Through screening the video and editing the film together, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to watch this 40 minute PSA. What I do know is that I can probably recite entire scenes and musical numbers completely off by heart.

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

As someone relatively new to the festival circuit, I have consistently been impressed by the care that festival organizers put into making an accommodating experience. Currently, I have no notes!

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

FilmFreeway seems like an intuitive platform that’s easy to navigate, find and apply to festivals. Give me a few more years of working with it and I can come back with a digestible list of problems!

10. What is your favorite meal?

For me, nothing beats an all-you-can-eat sushi meal. I love the variety of taste and textures and it’s the kind of thing I could never prepare myself at home so it all just feels like an experience! Sushi rules. Shrimp tempura rolls rule even more.

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

Currently, I’m working on my final thesis film and have steered myself in a completely different direction after working in documentaries for so long. It’s a high-energy comedy thriller that takes place entirely from a 2D perspective, like peering into a dollhouse. It will be nice to focus on something a little lighter after dealing with such heavy subject matter for so long and am working with a lot of the same crew to achieve it.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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