Interview with Filmmaker Kyle Marra (STILLS)

STILLS, 30min., USA, Crime/Mystery
Directed by Kyle Marra
When a nine-year-old girl goes missing, the case rests on the shoulders of Detective Monroe. Can she unravel the mystery before it’s too late, or will she find herself caught in her failure, forever?


Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Honestly, we got the idea for Stills while working on a documentary project. As we continued to share the idea we thought that it had a neat twist that would be fun to test our skills on, and we felt that the overall story could be executed with excellence. Essentially, we wanted to make it to test the limits of our skills.

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

We got the initial idea for the film in October 2020, and we held onto it, fleshed it out and wrote a script. We signed on cast members a year later, and started shooting in February 2022. We spent 5-6 filming one weekend a month, until we finished in June, and then the project was edited by September 2022. So, in all, the film was a two year endeavor.

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

Mysterious & Captivating

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

The biggest obstacle we encountered was aquiring funding. We had a few large post-production elements that we knew we needed in order to elevate the film. There were a lot of props, costumes, and set pieces that were needed to make the film believable as well as a talented colorist and composer. We knew we were being ambitious with this short film, but thanks to the generosity of our community, we were able to get it fully funded!

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

I was relieved to hear some of the nuanced details that we as a production team recognize and talk about mentioned in some of the feedback. It was reassuring that we had hit the beats we had set out to hit. It was especially nice because we were not connected with any of the people in the video so the opinions were truly unbiased.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I realized I wanted to make films in my early 20’s. I’ve always been a lover of movies and storytelling, and then I started acting. The more I was on set the more enamored I was with the entire production process. Then, in 2017 some friends and I made our first film.

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

This is a tough one because I don’t like to overwatch something that I really like, but I feel like it could be any of the original three Star Wars movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, or Tremors. Return of the Jedi is probably the reason I fell in love with movies, though.

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

I can’t think of any changes I would make or suggest at this time.

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

I have used filmfreeway for years, and enjoy the platform.

10. What is your favorite meal?

PB&J actually. It’s a go to. I also really like fish.

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

We are currently doing promo for Stills, but when that is done, we will be starting on a feature film script. We’ve already made a few shorts, but Stills was a stepping stone towards a feature film for us.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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