Interview with Filmmaker John Mogor (THE SHOT)

THE SHOT played to rave reviews at the July 2022 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

As the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, we pay special attention to the military and serve our members by producing content relevant to them. PTSD is a huge and on-going problem for the military community so we wanted to let as many people know about this potentially life changing procedure as possible with this film.

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

We had the idea for this documentary in early 2020 (just before/as the pandemic started) and drove from DC to Chicago to film the initial procedure and avoid air travel. We finished the film edit in December of 2021.

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

Life Changing

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

The pandemic was easily the biggest obstacle to our production. It complicated travel, changed how we were able to conduct interviews and reset the entire film’s trajectory. Our team also produces social media content for PenFed, posting daily, so getting time to produce documentaries as well can be challenging.

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

We were really excited to see the feedback video. Hearing the perspectives of people with no knowledge of our production or the background is really helpful. They noticed details I could have never guessed would stand out.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

Most of our team has a TV news background so we have been doing storytelling in other forms for quite a while. PenFed leadership encouraged us to try for something big and making a short film was a unique but exciting challenge. We have produced another short film with Wreaths Across America in a much shorter time frame and look forward to producing more in the future.

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

Brian and I would skew the team average toward the Lord of the Rings series but we love a good story and appreciate unique ways of telling them.

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’re still pretty new to the film festival environment so feedback is really the most important thing for us to grow as a team.

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

FilmFreeway has made the barrier to entry to this world much easier. Searching and entering festivals through the platform is really easy and expands the reach of our film quite a bit.

10. What is your favorite meal?

We have two vegetarian team members, so pizza tends to be a good choice for everyone.

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

We’re continuing to produce content for PenFed and The PenFed Foundation’s social media and looking to shoot another short film with Honor Flight in the fall.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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