Interview with Filmmaker Oscar De Leon (TRIP 27)

TRIP 27 was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the December 2021 Style, Experimental, Dance Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

When Huck. and I first met, he showed me the sketches to the songs that would make up Trip 27 and we immediately talked about eventually making a visual album. Over the year of working together, the ideas slowly started pouring in and I realized that the best way to compliment his concepts was by taking a road trip across the country.

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

From conception to release it took about 2 years but the real work took place over 6 months. One thing I really wanted to show in the film was the passage of time. The film starts in late winter and ends in early Summer because we knew, visually, it would show just how long his journey was.

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

Psychedelic journey

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

There were a lot of obstacles. First off, we were still in the thick of the pandemic. We didn’t know if we could even attempt to travel across the country because tensions were still high and the idea of being locked in a van with the other dudes was still a bit taboo. Luckily, when we started filming, most of us started getting vaccinated and we felt confident it was possible. The biggest obstacle though was money. I didn’t know how we were going to be able to afford this but with every little push forward, we got little surprises here and there. When we were all done, I was left with $16 total. I knew that if we were going to jump into this project, we were going to do it like it was the last thing we ever made.

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

I think the feedback was fantastic. As an indie filmmaker, it often feels like I’m shouting into the void. I’ve complained a lot about this current era of filmmaking because you can put something up online and you have to watch the numbers go up and stagnate. You never really get to know how it made someone feel. Feedback videos like this are EVERYTHING to us. And that includes the comments we don’t agree with. If we rub someone the wrong way, that’s great. I just want to know that I made you feel anything at all.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I was about 13 or 14. I had a little mini-dv cam and would force my cousins and sisters to act in these wild stories I was making up. The biggest revelation for me was when I realized that I could write down the stories that were rattling around in my head. Flashforward to about 16/17, I started watching the movies that shaped me. It was at that point when I knew I had to tell my own stories and it’s been what I’ve been doing ever since.

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

Honestly, that might be The Big Lebowski or Kill Bill.

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

Connection to the other fantastic filmmakers. I would love to meet and talk to everyone involved. If we can build a little community of everyone that’s submitted that would enrich our creative and artistic pursuits because we can talk about our process and what we are striving for.

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

I think FilmFreeway is great. To me, it seems very streamlined and easy to navigate.

10. What is your favorite meal?

My mom makes killer enchiladas.

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

My focus is on developing a couple personal short films I want to create. My love has always been dramatic narrative filmmaking and there are some stories I have that need to be told because they’re coming from deep inside of me.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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