Interview with Filmmaker Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm (TRIGGERED)

TRIGGERED (Fan Fiction), 21min., USA
Directed by Mario Ricardo Rodriguez, Marcus Nel-Jamal Hamm
A brilliant madman known as The Director believes that Superheroes are a threat to humanity. With Captain Marvel and Blade in his clutches, their rivals Wolverine and Rogue must escape before they too are turned into one of his minions.

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Triggered is my 2nd Fan Fiction Film, with the first being The Black League of Superheroes which was also well received and audience reviewed by your incredible festival. Triggered was motivated by the desire to step things up a notch and to produce a film that featured more characters and a more mainstream storyline. The biggest motivation was our recently passed friend, co-star, and co-executive producer, Steven James Tingus who plays the character The Director. He was very persistent in his desire to have a lead role as a villain, and his character was developed to make him a powerful and brilliant one but with a potential of redemption.

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

It took nearly a year to make this film. I wrote a much bigger script in 2021 and we began pre-production in December. There were delays with wardrobe as well as issues with scheduling that led to a new script being written and filming everything in one studio location at JLFX Studios in Burbank, Ca.

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

Superhero Fun

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

Scheduling was the biggest obstacle. It seemed nearly impossible until it finally worked out and everyone was available and ready to go.

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

I was glad to see diversity in Superhero fan levels, it was great to hear that even if you aren’t familiar with the characters or their comic story arcs, there’s still an enjoyment of the film due to the production quality and the performances and writing. I was a bit overwhelmed by the positive feedback and very grateful.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

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

I spent the first half of my life being a movie lover, and in college I wanted to start my own Anime studio in the U.S. My focus changed a bit and I went into the world of Professional Wrestling, and later wanted to produce wrestling for TV. My first batch of scripts were mostly themed around professional wrestling and after I moved away from that realm, I dove into the fan fiction world as well as other genres including drama/thrillers/sci-fi/action.

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

I don’t think I can ever watch any film more than I have The Empire Strikes Back. Since I first saw it as a young child (Maybe around 4 years old), I’ve watched it dozens of times year after year well into adulthood.

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 think from my experience in the festival circuit, there’s no greater feeling than having the opportunity to showcase your work amongst your peers but also to be awarded in a gala setting. Getting to be part of a life awards show would be the best additional element I think I could recommend.

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

FilmFreeway has been a great platform, easy to use and very resourceful.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Crab Legs, I’m a Marylander 🙂

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

Yes, as an Actor I’m excited to be part of a new Western series called The S.I.N.S. where I have a lead role as a true to life historical figure named Adam Payne who was a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and incredible soldier. I’m also going to be working on a sequel to Triggered that I hope to have completed by summer/fall 2023 with a major motion picture with original characters to immediately follow.


By matthewtoffolo

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

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