Interview with Filmmaker Madison VanDerLinde (PRIMORDIAL)

PRIMORDIAL, 4min., USA, Dance
Directed by Madison VanDerLinde
A movement based film depicting the love story between Life and Death. Unable to be together, Life and Death send each other gifts, humans, to express their love for one another. An explanation for existence on Earth.

Get to know the filmmaker:

Q: What motivated you to make this film?

A: My childhood was filled with a lot of illness and death. Both my parents were sick, much of my family had passed away before I was born or when I was very young. As I got older death started to be a concept that I thought about a lot. This film is my way of viewing death in a positive light, viewing death as an act of love instead of an act of destruction and pain. I got the idea when I heard an old myth that says that life and death are lovers. Unable to be together, they send each other gifts, humans, to show their love for each other.

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

A: Around a year and a half.

Q: How would you describe your film in two words?

A: Existence Explained

Q: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

A: Finding the dancers! Life was cast very early on. But finding dancers to play Death and The Gift was difficult. Everything worked out in the end as I returned to my roots of growing up a competitive dancer and ended up hiring two lovely dancers that I grew up dancing with. We all went to the Fuse Dance Center in Binghamton, NY. This project was so special because we all got to work together as adults after dancing together for years as children.

Q: What were your initial reactions while watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

A: So happy! As an artist I often fear that what I create won’t be understood or the creative choices I made won’t be perceived the way I hoped they would. Hearing so many people completely get what I was trying to convey is so rewarding!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Q: When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

A: When I was 18 I moved to Los Angeles to study costume design. I immediately hated it. But in discovering that I disliked working in costume design I found my true passion for filmmaking and directing. Looking back on my childhood I realized that I have always been consumed by films I saw. My sister and I used to recreate our favorite scenes from movies. I even as a teenager made a few comedic short films for my spanish class.

Q: What film have you seen the most in your life?

A: It’s a tie between Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar and My Cousin Vinny.

Q: 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 think the audience feedback videos are amazing! The only other thing I would say is helping me to get my name out there to industry professionals. I’m just starting out in my career, Primordial is my second short film and third overall film I’ve ever made, so getting my work and name out there is so important.

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

A: It has been a mixed bag. I’ve had a lot of great festival experiences on FilmFreeway and will definitely continue to use the platform. However, there are a lot of spammy kinds of festivals on the site. Festivals that basically just want you to pay to submit and they accept you no matter what, give you a laurel,etc. I feel it dampens the integrity of film festivals and filmmakers. But if you avoid the spam and focus on the legitimate festivals FilmFreeway is an excellent platform.

Q: What is your favorite meal?

A: Vegan breakfast burrito!

Q: What is next for you? A new film?

A: Yes! I’m working on a couple ideas/projects but up first… I am adapting a poem written by Jordan VanDerLinde called “Panic” into a short film. I am also looking for a composer to start working with on my next dance/movement based film!


By matthewtoffolo

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

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