Interview with Filmmaker Angelo Tantuico (THE GREAT PRINCESS DIANA CAPER)

Directed by Angelo Tantuico
A broke engaged couple devise a plan to kidnap a rich family’s dog to use the ransom money to fund their wedding.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The idea came from a conversation I had with a few friends where we talked about how much a wealthy family would pay in ransom if we had kidnapped their dog. The story evolved from a group of friends to engaged couple after being inspired by the recent engagement of my older sister.

When my senior year rolled around and we had to start pitching our thesis films, I wanted to make a short film that was light and fun while also hitting some heartfelt beats.

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

I wrote this script as an assignment for a screenwriting class I had in Fall of 2020. I pitched the story for my senior thesis class and began pre-production in Fall of 2021 and we began production in February 2022. We had a finished film to show for SCAD’s annual film showcase in June, but continued to make minor changes throughout the month. From the story’s conception to the final cut, it took just under 2 years.

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

Fast and Fun!

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

The biggest obstacle was definitely our drive crashing on us 2 weeks before its due date. The main drive we were working on broke on us and while we did have backup footage on different drives, our Premiere Pro project file was corrupted so my editor and I had to meet every day and piece the whole thing back together. It was an incredibly stressful time but in the grand scheme of things, it benefitted the project since we were able to try out things that we wouldn’t have thought of if we weren’t in that situation.

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

It was incredibly gratifying to see the positive reactions from the audience. The goal of our cast and crew was to have a finished product that the audience would enjoy watching just as much as we enjoyed making it.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I was obsessed with film from a very young age, constantly rewatching and wearing our my favorite VHS tapes and DVDs. I initially majored in Communications in my freshman year of college and after taking my first film class, I realized that filmmaking was something that I wanted to fully pursue.

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

Growing up, the live action Scooby-Doo and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban were constantly playing on our TV. As I got older, I’ve tried limiting what I rewatch so that I can watch more movies but whenever I’m looking for something fun and familiar, Linklater’s Dazed and Confused is always a go-to.

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

The crowd feedback videos were really cool to see, especially if the filmmakers aren’t able to attend the festival. A lot of hard work went into making this film so to see such positive reactions was incredibly heartwarming and made me feel like all the hard work was worth it.

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

FilmFreeway is an amazing resource for filmmakers trying to expand their reach and find the right audience for their films. Through this website, I’ve been able to find festivals that I was unaware of while also meeting other filmmakers who have likeminded goals.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Chicken Adobo and Pork Sisig with garlic rice.

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

Since graduating, I’ve moved to Colorado to work on pre-production for my next short film. It’s an experimental thriller about a group of friends that get lost in the woods and discover an ancient entity seeking to retake its land.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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