Interview with Filmmaker Sam De La Torre (I AM WHO I THINK YOU THINK I AM)

I AM WHO I THINK YOU THINK I AM was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the June 2022 Experimental/Dance Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The song to begin with was very visual,, so the shots kind of made themselves. It all came very naturally thanks to the lyrics and sonic qualities. I also had been toying with the idea of mixed animation (stop motion and live action), so we had a list of study films for crew I had been watching repetitively for months prior to green lighting the idea. These movies were Roger Rabbit, Space Jam, and nightmare before Christmas for the monsters character

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

The idea was a storyboard probably a year prior to mentioning anything to the record label. I had been writing several different versions for several different actors we had in the running. There were both men and women up for this role.

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

Fast pressure? Silly scary? Detailed horror?

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

It was mostly tough in the edit, we had so much to work with and had to make decisions where to cut the video down in length. There was initially a one minute intro before music starts that we had to make the decision not to show.
We also had difficulty with talent and crew schedules and having to make changes close to shoot day

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

I’m so terrible at taking compliments,, first off, thank you so much for your words. It feels good when people comment on details I obsessed over for months on end. Thank you very much for noticing the little things.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I started in stop motion, purely out of interest and obsession. Soon after I peaked interest, we needed a music video for a song called Wash. when we worked on that, I then discovered how naturally this type of problem solving was coming to me and thus making live action a lot easier

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

I couldn’t accurately answer this. Maybe Hereditary by Ari Aster. I will say I have had several points in my life where I was very into a new movie by a director I respected, so I’d watch that film somewhere between 5-8 times in the span of 2 weeks. This happened with Parasite, Tenet, and some others I can think of. More Nolan and Bong Joon Ho,, and Laika movies as well.

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

Making direct connections with people who showed interest in the films. From audience to filmmakers. Audience members who work in the industry would be able to work with someone they are newly a fan of, and the filmmaker now gains a new resource for future projects

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

Smooth and easy

10. What is your favorite meal?

Right now I want a Thai Beef salad. Cucumber sounds good right now

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

Working on music to eventually write visual for
Working on art direction and scoring a short film
And hopefully more commercial media soon

By matthewtoffolo

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

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