Interview with Filmmakers Will DeVito & Rory Spillane (PAPER PEOPLE)

PAPER PEOPLE played to rave reviews at the SPORTS & RECREATION Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The two of us have been making sketches and short films together for over five years now, and directing a mockumentary seemed like a fun challenge. Back in 2018, Rory watched the documentary Icarus, which revealed how the Russian government scandalously condoned cheating in its national sports teams. We discussed how non-sensical it was for the country to value national glory over its citizens’ standard of living and brainstormed ways to bring this phenomenon to a mundane setting. What started as a sketch idea involving a newspaper delivery boy pumping himself full of steroids quickly became a (marginally) more grounded doc-style short film.

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

(Laughs nervously) about four years. Two for writing, one for a lot of pre-production, and one for editing. The actual shoot only took three days.

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

Competitive sabotage. (Makes it sound intriguing.)

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

Laziness. And later, covid. But mostly laziness.

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

To be honest, we were floored by the kind remarks from people who had no reason to compliment our work besides that they enjoyed it. The larger themes and simple comedic value we set to instill in this story actually resonated with the audience, and we were glad to see people engage with every layer of the short film.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

Will: It’s hard to pin-point. All I know is I always asked my parents to let me use the camcorder, and they wouldn’t let me because the footage would come out too shaky.

Rory: I was in a production of Beauty and the Beast in fourth-grade, and I played Lumiere. About a hundred people laughed at my silly little French accent, and that was the first time I felt the rush of performance art. I’ve kept chasing that feeling ever since.

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

Will: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – the ultimate sick day movie.

Rory: Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. But don’t tell anyone.

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

We would love a stronger networking component with the other filmmakers who submitted and to engage with their work as well.

Additionally, the details of this festival came across slightly vague online, and participants might be more interested if they know exactly when/how everything is happening!

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

Super easy site to use! 5-star review.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Together? There’s this mediocre pizza place by the Mineola, NY train station called Spaghettini’s. 6/10 pizza, 10/10 high school nostalgia.

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

It’s in the works but hopefully won’t take another four years.

By matthewtoffolo

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

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