Interview with Filmmakers Ken Yoffe, Ellen Weisberg (FULL MOON)

FULL MOON, 5min., USA, Animation
Directed by John Vo, Ken Yoffe, Ellen Weisberg
Full Moon tells a story about a little girl and her big sister celebrating Halloween. The little girl wonders about the man who she believes lives on the moon, who she also believes might need her help. Her big sister helps the little girl carry out her well-intentioned deed.

Get to know the filmmakers:

1. What motivated you to make this film?
Our nonprofit, FACEPAINT, promotes social and cultural awareness through published books and produced videos and film. Like our earlier film, Justin and the Werloobee, the current animation, Full Moon strives to promote kindness and empathy, love and friendship.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
The story, Full Moon, was first conceptualized over a decade ago. It was actually a quick, 10-minute classroom assignment that we worked on while in an adult education children’s book writing class. We never really did anything with the story for a number of years, except use a few sentences from it as part of a young adult novel that featured a wannabe writer who we pretended wrote “Full Moon.” Later, we decided to collaborate with a former next door neighbor and friend, whose daughter was taking art lessons and wanted to do drawings for the story. Soon after this, we published the book, Full Moon, as a level 4 reader under a small press. Most recently, we republished Full Moon as an independently published children’s book. We reached out to Lonely Lane Productions, the same film company that produced Justin and the Werloobee. In late September 2021, Lonely Lane Productions drafted a screenplay based on our story, Full Moon. We emphasized that we wanted the screenplay to closely adhere to the original story. So since the screenplay was written, it’s been a little over a year for the animation to be produced.

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

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Whereas Justin and the Werloobee was two-thirds paid for by a royalty check we received for drug discovery, Full Moon needed to be paid completely out of pocket. Not necessarily an obstacle, per se, but it was a bit more financially challenging for us to fund this project.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
Pure unadulterated ecstacy. We were extremely pleased with the reactions!!

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
A long time ago, when we first started publishing children’s books, and we also started making video versions of some of our books, we fantasized about producing professional animated versions of these stories.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
We have watched the HBO series, Six Feet Under, numerous times- to the point where we have memorized lines. We think it’s a brilliant production that covers just about every topic you can think of that’s known to mankind.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Distribution and advice as to how we could generate some steady income from our productions would be most helpful. It’s so nice to see platforms being developed, which set out to help independent filmmakers do this. We know that Wildsounds is one of these festivals that has started doing this and applaud your efforts.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Beautifully. It’s been quite an easy site to navigate and the hosts of the site are extremely helpful if you are having any technical issues.

10. What is your favorite meal?
Takeout Chinese food!

11. What is next for you? A new film?
Ideally we would want to make another short film at some point, perhaps based on our story “What are Microscopes.” We would also be interested in possibly producing 2D animation based on a series of geography books that we have published, and which we are donating to Little Free Libraries across the country as part of our nonprofit’s missions to raise cultural and social awareness, and support education and literacy.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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