Interview with Filmmaker John Carlo F. Rosillo (PUSHBACK)

PUSHBACK was the winner of BEST NARRATIVE SHORT at the SPORTS & RECREATION Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

A: My co-director Zachary Braddy and I attended Float Life Fest, a onewheel event and he came up with an idea to do a short film about onewheeling. I fell in love with the idea of being a rider for over three years and we began to develop something that really captured the spirit and people of onewheeling.

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

A: We got the idea end of September and started filming in November/December. Short turnaround but we really wanted to get something on film before winter.

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

A: Stoke and Community.

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

A: The weather and getting enough onewheel riders. Onewheeling is a very new sport so getting enough riders where we live was troublesome. Higher population areas like Chicago and Los Angeles have higher numbers but we filmed in Milwaukee so it was difficult to gather riders for the Onewheel group rides.

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

A: I was shocked by everyone’s relatability to the main character Cassie. We tried hard for anyone to put their shoes in that character but it’s great knowing non-onewheelers could relate to the story. It was my biggest concern and I am so happy that we achieved a universally relatable story with Onewheeling.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

A: I originally moved from the Philippines to the US when I was 8 and didn’t have much to relate to culture-wise when I arrived. The only thing I really had connections with other people was through movies like Spider-Man/Star Wars. I’d have a Star-Wars notebook and people would instantly recognize it, something that transcended language in a sense.

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

A: I always say Whiplash. It has a lot to say about art and pushing yourself to the limit. I think a lot of younger filmmakers like myself strive to be this impossible version of themselves. It teaches you a lot about that sentiment and why you should be creating art.

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

A: I’m not entirely sure, maybe different aspects of critique on the film rather than the whole? Like feedback specifically on Cinematography, writing, directing, etc…

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

A: Film freeway has been a great resource for filmmakers. It makes getting our films out there easy and discovering festivals I would’ve never heard of.

10. What is your favorite meal?

A: Adobo! A Filipino cuisine with pork. Highly recommend.

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

A: In the midst of post-production/directing a couple of projects right now. I’m in the middle of shooting a Spider-Gwen Fan Film. Afterwards I’ll be moving towards pre-production on my first feature.

PUSHBACK, 17min., USA, Coming of Age
Directed by John Carlo F Rosillo, Zachary C Braddy
Pushback is a short film that explores Cassie’s journey of self-discovery and friendship through a new hobby and sport, Onewheel. Join her as she finds out more about the onewheel, its community, and new friends.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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