Interview with Filmmaker Vincent Richard (FURTIF)

FURTIF was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the December 2021 WILDsound Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Long story, short. It’s based on a true story. A few years ago, I went to my parent’s country home. I was hesitating and then I decided to go with them for the weekend. So I wasn’t supposed to be there. We had a dog. We had planned to go hiking. We decided to stop and have lunch before. I took my tripod and my camera to take some footage of the swampy landscape. My dog was very protective and she moved towards me quickly. Then I heard that sound. I can’t forget. A loud scream. At first I thought she was fighting with an animal, with the tripod in my hands I looked through the bushes. I saw her neck was stuck in a trap. I thought it was a bear trap. I yell at my parents, and give my camera to my mother. My father came by, without hesitation, not even knowing if there’s a metal peak on the trap. We grabbed it and with maximum strength we were able to break it. She was free. The whole process took maybe 2 minutes. She was suffocating. We were all shocked. It’s still like a movie I can’t forget. Fortunately, she lived many years after. It took me years to recover from this experience and that’s why I made this short film. The interesting part is the contrast. It was a beautiful summer day with a blue sky, and we are trying to save the life of our dog who is about to die here. Finally we discovered it was a conibear (trap for beaver). I read many stories where dogs died because it’s hard to open that trap and most of the dogs die suffocating. We left a message with a plastic cover near the zone. Telling the trapper what happened. Years later, they planted trees and that zone seems abandoned. We still think that it was an illegal trap. I must admit, I was going exactly where my dog ran so I would have been trapped by the feet.

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

For the script, it was pretty easy. I was grounded on the true events. The filming process took around 4 days and for post-prod maybe a month.

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

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

I would say there were two major obstacles. The first is : creating the bear trap props (it has all been made by hand) and the second is what I call my “1 million dollar shot” of the ending. There was not that much wiggle room with the trees.

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

When you are in a project, it’s hard to be completely objective and I’m so glad they erased all the doubts I had. They understood the daily routine of the beginning, they embarked on the journey and they felt exactly what I wanted to say at specific key points. That is the most valuable gift for me. It helps me realize that we were able to make it as real as possible.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

It may sound “cliché” but when I saw “A Clockwork Orange” the most violent film ever made. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe how cinema could be real and raw like this. The contrast of the beautiful classical music and the darkness of the character.

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

I rarely see movies again and again and again. But I have seen Titanic many times. I wish I could have been on the set of this epic and legendary film. It’s so real and raw in the sinking sequence. Even after many times, I still feel uncomfortable but that’s the strength of cinema.

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

It’s the first time I submit to your festival so at this moment, it’s perfect for me!

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

I love how easy it is to submit short films on this platform.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Pasta.

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

I have many ideas. But at this time I mostly focus on Furtif. But maybe I will submit a new short film next year!

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By matthewtoffolo

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

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