THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF JONATHAN PARKER was the winner of BEST SCREENPLAY at the November 2021 Film Festival.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
This film was actually one of three films that we made with a group of friends from film school during Covid induced lockdown. Part of that motivation was wanting to find a creative outlet while stuck indoors with idle hands, and perhaps months of covid induced isolation caused the subject matter to skew a little dark.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The film actually came together quite quickly, we ended up filming the whole film in a single day moving between three locations starting at dawn and ending just before midnight.
But from the initial idea to the finished film it took us about three months.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Probably the biggest obstacles we faced were covid related. As we shot the majority of the film indoors, primarily the bar location, we were limited at that point, in Ontario, to only 10 people gathered inside at a time. With the two actors, director, audio and camera crew, makeup artist and a handful of extras. We essentially had to keep rotating people outside into the cold December air to keep the number of people on set to the maximum of ten.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Initially, Pure terror. But when I actually gathered the strength to watch the reaction video I was delighted to hear their feedback.
It was the first time hearing a reaction from anyone who wasn’t already a part of the production so hearing an outsider’s reaction was really invaluable and the fact that so many enjoyed the film and seemed to want to see more of the story was heartwarming.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I’m not sure if I can remember the moment I wanted to make films, but I think generally telling stories has always been a part of my life, whether on the page or on film. Usually I find myself in the writers room or the cutting room as opposed to on set, but getting a chance to direct this film, and something I wrote, was a great experience.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Probably Return of the Jedi, I’m not sure what that says about me.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I was really happy to have a reaction video and to hear from an audience about how they felt about the film. When the world returns to some semblance of normalcy I’d really love to watch this film with a live audience and to meet with the other filmmakers at this festival, all their films seem so interesting and I’d love to get a chance to hear from them as well.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway really opened my eyes to how many film festivals are out there that I didn’t even know about. It’s been great submitting to a number of festivals that are fine tuned to specific genres and audiences.
10. What is your favorite meal?
My favourite meal is something called ‘Singapore Noodles’ that you can find in most Chinese restaurants in Canada and the US. I like them so much that I ended up traveling to Singapore about 8 years ago excited to get the authentic dish. Only to find out that ‘Singapore Noodles’ are really more of a Chinese-American invention and aren’t actually a dish from Singapore at all.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I’m actually writing a new Thriller right now about a police sketch artist who frames her ex boyfriend for a violent murder, only to have the real murderer escape justice and come for her next. Hope to have it for the festival’s consideration next year. 🙂