Interview with Filmmaker Lauren Mary Kim (THIS IS THE WAY)

THIS IS THE WAY played to rave reviews at the April 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was very fortunate to work on season 1 and 2 of The Mandalorian stunt doubling a couple of actresses. I naturally became a fan of the show and wanted to do a fan film for mandalorian fans and baby yoda fans. I got the idea when I tried to order a baby yoda doll but it was back ordered and had to wait several months to get. And then the idea was born !

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

The pandemic of course caused a delay in production. We shot the comic book store location in a day and 2 months later we shot the fight also in a day. So all in all it was a two day shoot. Prep was a couple weeks

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

Intergalactic and fun

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

We had to wait a couple months for the weather to cool down in order to shoot the fight scene.

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

Happiness! We wanted to make a fun fan film for Star Wars fans- we love how it was a relatable to many people.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Being in the film industry ourselves. We usually help materialize other peoples ideas and concepts together. We wanted to have our own creative outlet and create our own content !

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

How to lose a guy in 10 days
6th sense

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It was super easy to use and very accessible ! I highly recommend all film makers to use this platform

9. What is your favorite meal?

Sushi!

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

Yes! Maybe a different genre

Interview with Filmmaker Tammy Klembith (WHAT IF)

WHAT IF was the winner of BEST DIRECTION at the April 2021 HORROR Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

It was a bizarre time. We were all deep into Covid lockdown, and I started questioning existence. Everyone was an image on a screen, so I thought, am I a mere projection in your life, only existing because of our interaction? Am I in your dream or are you in mine? One morning I woke up saying to myself — What if I never existed?

This prompted me to go deeper. I wanted to portray the concept of time as malleable, conveying how we are indeed expressing/living/existing in many projections across the multiverse. For this project I chose the name Maya because it means illusion, and which version of her character really exists, or do they all exist simultaneously? Ultimately, does it even matter?

That is the genesis of WHAT IF.

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

It was September of 2020 and I didn’t want that year to come and go without doing another film. I had written the words (which became the title) WHAT IF, in my cell phone reminders and writing notebooks among several thoughts and concepts, and chose that one to pursue. I wrote the script, did casting, and gathered together an incredible crew. I filmed for 2 days in November and completed post production by end of December 2020.

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

Simultaneous Time

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

There are no obstacles… only challenges. Filmmaking is all about flexibility and problem solving.

My last horror short film had a successful crowdfunding campaign. Due to Covid, I didn’t feel comfortable crowdfunding this time because of what everyone was going through, so money was the first hurdle. I ended up putting the entire film on a credit card. Even though I needed 3 shooting days, I was only able to do 2. There were a few shots that were in the script that did not make it into the film because it would have taken too long to light.

The only other obstacle was Covid itself. We had an extremely safe set, following all the Covid protocols and guidelines. Everyone wore masks and I also purchased the clear face shields for the actors after they had their hair and makeup done. We ate individually wrapped meals outside and created separate zones for HMU set apart from the rooms we were shooting in.

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

I experienced a visceral reaction while watching the Audience Feedback video… I actually burst into tears because I’ve never seen people that I didn’t know comment on a film of mine before.

Hearing their reactions was a unique and incredible experience for me. I am very grateful to Wildsound Festival for putting these videos together. It’s so helpful to filmmakers and I really appreciate it!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I literally was raking leaves by an outdoor shed back in September. I found a tiny baby shoe that looked as if it had been there for years, buried beneath the debris. At this point I was contemplating how I would present the concept of simultaneous time for WHAT IF and while walking on a separate day I found an old baseball. This was several blocks away near a park and it had the same worn patina as the shoe. It all started coming together after that.

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

I’ve watched many films numerous times, and every time I see something different, catching nuances and details that I didn’t recognize before. Each film is a new journey. There are several films that I’ve seen dozens of times – I usually spend my nights watching movies… unless I’m writing or filming. Ironically, I have always loved comedy, especially the old screwball rom coms, Hepburn/Tracy, etc. Yet, I also enjoy darker fare and resonate to psychological horror. For horror, one of my favorites is Rosemary’s Baby (the original) and more recently, The Conjuring.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Honestly, I love FilmFreeway because it makes submitting both films and screenplays extremely easy. Once I upload a film for example, add my bio, a poster if I have one, etc., then I can browse the various festivals and with the click of a button submit. FilmFreeway provides all the necessary information on each festival and keeps track of all my submissions.

9. What is your favorite meal?

I’m a purist. I used to be super healthy… a vegan raw foodist for 4 years. Now I’m back to eating “regular” food. I absolutely love wild caught salmon and I make a terrific pesto from scratch.

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

My goal is to raise the funds and direct my first feature. I have 2 low budget feature horror scripts that have now placed in the Semi-Finals in a few festivals, GLIMPSES and RETURN TO SENDER. Both take place in primarily one location with limited cast. I’ve created Lookbooks and budgets for each. My intention is to film in a state where I can utilize the tax incentives. My first choice is New Mexico, aside from the beauty of the terrain, the state is extremely filmmaker friendly and I’ve already been in talks with an incredible local Line Producer who can help me navigate their requirements. I actually lived in Santa Fe many years ago for a brief period of time when researching another script called Bluebird.

Interview with Filmmaker Anthony Martino (BRUISES)

BRUISES played to rave reviews at the April 2021 HORROR Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

There are so many horrors in real-life that aren’t a guy in a mask slashing through teenagers or possessed dolls. Domestic abuse is a true horror. I wanted to look at abuse from the perspective of the victim, her mentality, how she sees everything.

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

About five months. It was written over the course of two weeks, with two drafts. One day of shooting, then about three months of post work.

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

Stress-inducing.

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

Color correction. I am not even going to pretend like I know anything about it.

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

I was nervous before watching the video, shaking and short of breath. I played the video, then switched to a different tab and listened to it. I always have this shyness when showing people my work, and It’s silly because it’s not like I was with the audience in-person, I was watching a video of them talking about it, but it’s just how I am. I was pleased to hear the positive comments.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I like how mirrors are used in films, especially in horror movies, and the image of a woman standing in front of a mirror with a bruise on her face was strong in my mind. I wanted there to be some dream or supernatural element in there, so it was a matter of combining all those aspects into a story that made some kind of sense.

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

Either Revenge of the Sith or A New Hope.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s extremely convenient. All of these festivals I never would have known about at my fingertips. Everyone knows Cannes and Sundance, but I never would have found festivals like this or other genre-specific festivals that are more friendly towards indie filmmakers and indie filmmaker budgets.

9. What is your favorite meal?

I became addicted to fried egg BLTs with fries while I worked at Alamo Drafthouse, and I have missed them since Covid eradicated my livelihood.

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

I am in the process of editing two short horror films for St. Edwards’ University, and I am touching up the script for another surreal horror short I want to try to make within the next few months. After that, I would love to try to gather funding for a feature film. I have a few ideas, I just need to choose which one to flesh out into a full-length screenplay. Horror, of course.

Interview with Filmmaker Sydney Russell (PERFECT STRANGERS)

PERFECT STRANGERS played to rave reviews at the April 2021 DOCUMENTARY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

We filmed it back in October of 2020, when I was in my final semester of film school. At the time, I was working at the Garden Cafe, aka the subject of the film, and was absolutely in love with the place. I consider the owners, Mandy and Gary, to be my family, and I know all of our regulars by name. I also know their drink orders, their stories, their music, and their shared love of the coffee shop. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was hard for us all to adjust and keep things safe for everyone. We stopped indoor dining, but managed to keep music alive in the back stage outside. I made this documentary as a love letter to the place, and the sense of warmth and community I feel whenever I’m there.

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

I started planning for it around late August 2020, shot it in October, and then had it finished by December.

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

Warm and inviting.

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

Coordinating times that worked for the interview subjects, crew, and general hours of the shop, as well as making sure we were all as COVID-conscious as humanly possible.

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

I was pretty nervous as I clicked the link to view it, but quickly was overwhelmed (in a good way!) at how kind, generous, and thorough everyone was with their feedback. I appreciate everyone taking the time to view my film and give their thoughts. It means so much to me. I immediately showed everyone at the Garden Cafe and they were so happy as well!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

It was based on my everyday life at work. I’d wanted for a long time to make something that chronicled some of our more eclectic regulars, and when COVID-19 hit, it was a good opportunity to tell the story of the place and tell the stories of the musicians that make it so special.

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

Probably Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

From my experience, it’s been an incredibly useful tool that’s helped me keep my submissions organized and has also introduced me to a variety of new and lovely festivals.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Any type of pasta, probably.

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

At the end of April, I am shooting a narrative short film based on a feature length script that I’ve written. I’m so excited to get this project out there and I’m so happy with how it’s coming together!

Interview with Filmmaker Nico Amedeo (VIRTUOSO)

VIRTUOSO played to rave reviews at the April 2021 Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

There were two main reasons I made this short film. The first was that my first short film, done in August of 2019 was unfortunately derailed by a rare typhoon, leaving me unable to fully give it my all and gage if directing was for me. Thus I immediately started writing a few more, hoping for a good chance to actually direct a film. The second reason was, when I was writing new short films to make, I came across this script, which immediately spoke to me. As a writer I thought I’d have a hard time taking someone else’s work and making it my own, but when I read the original script for Virtuoso, I immediately started exploring the thousands of possibilities the script permitted. In the end, I think I made the right choice, as I feel I was truly able to make the script my own.

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

Considering the script was already written, and it only required a few rewrites to adapt the original comedic version to my darker, dramatic version, it took three whole months from first read to wrapping the shoot. Then, due to Covid19, the post production took a little under a year. In total from the moment I first laid eyes on the script to the finish product at the festival it took a little over one year.

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

I’ve seen the movie so many times, know every positive aspect and every negative one, making it very difficult for me to give an unbiased opinion. I can say that I hope others watching the picture use the words “engaging” and “thought-provoking.”

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

Strangely enough, none. I have worked on many films in my life, in many different positions, and in many different countries, and there was always something. This shoot was genuinely ‘smooth.’ The team had an impossible synergy, the equipment (except one very expensive busted lightbulb) had no mishaps, and the whole shoot was always on schedule. I guess Covid19 slowed down the post-production.

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

I was thrilled. It seemed to me that the different aspects and themes I had drilled into the movie had all been noticed, the reviewers also spoke well about the technical aspects of the movie, and they all seemed to have enjoyed it. Can’t ask for more.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As mentioned in the first question, the original idea is not my own. I will say that I changed many aspects of the film to suit my vision of the story, but the original Idea… Gotta ask Peter Walters that question.

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

It seems like a cop-out, but I really can’t say. I know LoTR, Pacific Rim and The Big Lebowski are up there.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s a fantastic portal: easy to set up, easy to use. I’ll say the only difficulty with it is, when you have so many festivals to choose from, it’s hard to actually make a choice.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Weird question. Also a cop-out, but don’t know. Anyone who’s ever met me knows that the only thing I love more than family and films is food, so how could I narrow it down to one meal.

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

Good question. I’m working on some features and series, you know the big fish projects, but I imagine the next thing I shoot will be another short film i recently finished writing.

Interview with Filmmaker Alex Wroten (ENDANGERED)

ENDANGERED played to rave reviews at the April 2021 FANTASY/SCI-FI Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to make a movie that represented my perspective in the (unfortunately) evergreen space of women’s rights. But I also didn’t want the movie to be preachy or overtly political. American politics have become so polarized and tribal that we cease to be able to keep our eyes on the nuances of issues affecting real people. So, I thought that a gender-flopped monster movie might be a nice way to divorce the argument from specific trigger words and gendered connotations and let it exist as something that could be political or could just be a weird little monster movie.

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

I wrote the first draft of the script in November 2018, and the post production was completed in February 2020.

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

Satirical Horror (?)

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

Shooting in Los Angeles with a minimal budget. More money on this film went to locations than any other aspect, and most of the time location rates (and definitely permit rates) are no different for non-student films with $1000 and those with $1MM. More money on locations means less money is available to pay people fairly for their work.

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

“Uh oh, am I ready for this?” — I received the email with the video while I was in the middle of something, and I totally dropped what I was doing and strapped in. Fortunately, it was all refreshingly positive and seemed that the reviewers really connected with the film!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

There was a lot of anxiety in the air (on all sides) during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation trial, especially around women’s rights and the spectral makeup of the court. That jogged the idea for me.

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

I’ve probably seen Empire Strikes Back the most, though Brazil is a close second.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

There are truly a daunting number of festivals, and it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Every festival has its own way of operating, with its own rules, regulations, and details — but it’s not wise to get emotionally invested in acceptance. Statistically, you probably won’t get in! Sometimes, it feels like a minefield more than an exciting prospect for your film.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Tacos.

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

I always have another project (or 2-3) in some state of development, but COVID-19 has slowed the momentum for me a bit. We’re working on a documentary, a feature, a cartoon. Stuff to keep the mind busy 🙂

Interview with Filmmaker Jake Hart (VOICES)

VOICES was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the April 2021 Fantasy/Sci-Fi Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I’m part of a very, very small theater/film production company called Some Assembly Required (SAR) here in L.A. Before the pandemic started, we were in our 4th year of producing evenings of one-act plays and short films every few months. The way we work is by literally pulling ideas out of a hat–for Voices, I pulled “tell a story where none of the characters speak the same language.” There were three things I knew for sure right away. First, I really wanted to work with Duality Filmworks again–we made a short called Cradle together a few years earlier that did well at the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fest in 2017. Second, I wanted to give my very talented friend Chris Gross a dramatic role to play for once. Third, I wanted American Sign Language to be a part of the film. Luckily all three happened.

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

The rules with SAR are you have 1 month to write; 1 month to produce. Those two months were October and November of 2016. But post didn’t finish until fall of 2020. I think the next questions will give me a chance to explain some of that, but the short answer to this question is it took the length of the Trump Administration to finish.

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

Inside joke. In the short, the imaginary green dragon that Nik’s daughter drew is based on my childhood imaginary friend. I used to draw him all the time and tell my parents that, when we flew on a plane, P.J. was flying underneath to hold the plane up. There are a lot of reasons I’m glad this short got done, but the biggest one is how touched my parents were that our family dragon was a part of it.

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

The sound. Unfortunately, very little of the production sound was usable, so we had to start from pretty much scratch on the audio mix. I still can’t believe how good it is given what a bad starting place we were in once we had the rough edit was finished. I had no real money to spend fixing it, so it took 4 years for the sound to get to where it is now thanks to pro-bono help whenever they had spare time from my friends Betsy Gain and David Holecheck. The last piece of the puzzle was going back into the tiny location on a very hot day with Chris Gross to do ADR for every line of his dialogue. Of course, the air conditioning had to be off while we recorded, so we were dripping by the end of the session.

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

As a working writer who has been gut-punched by Hollywood on more than one occasion, it was really nice to just hear some damn compliments. We had to make this quickly, in one location, with no special effects, so it was great to hear that all of those elements contributed to things the audience responders enjoyed. I have been a huge fan of Shoshannah Stern for years. When I got her the script, she said she’d only do it if we adjusted how exactly her character and Chris’s character would communicate. I learned a lot from Shoshannah about how incorrect some aspects of how Hollywood portrays such communications are, so it was really important to do it in a way that wasn’t a cheat. Given all that work, hearing the audience responders appreciate the representation of a deaf character meant a lot.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

I guess the answer to question 1 sums that up, but I’ll add here that I love stories set in one location, with few characters, and minimal motion. I’m really only trying to make TV and film to fund my dream of going home to New York one day and just writing plays for the rest of my life. Also, I really like being cryptic. There was nobody telling me to cram an expositional monologue into a character’s mouth so the audience would know what’s up from the jump. Watching characters explain shared knowledge they have to each other purely for the audience’s benefit is the worst, so this short and the others I have made are exercises in doing the opposite and letting the audience figure it out.

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

When I was very very young, my mom says I would always demand that she play the betamax tape of either Fame, Grease, or The Muppet Movie every day. So the answer is probably one of those three. If mom reads this, she might email you with the answer.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s exactly what it needs to be. I finished post on this short and another short called Harmonia Solid in the same week. They are both playing in festivals right now, and being able to submit both at the same time with just a couple extra button clicks has been a godsend in every way–except at how much easier those clicks make it to run up my credit card bill. 🙂

9. What is your favorite meal?

A tuna melt and a chocolate shake at any diner in New York. I’m still waiting for somebody in LA to make a good tuna melt.

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

I’m pitching and developing some ideas now. A project I developed with writing partners about a crazy piece of Cold-War history in the 80s is being shopped in Germany with Uli Edel (The Baader Meinhof Complex) attached to direct. I’m developing a screenplay about the actual history that inspired John Ford’s The Searchers–the cultural whitewashing that film did of the true story is infuriating. Those are two of the eight things I’m actively working on. My dad is a screenwriter, and if there’s one thing I learned growing up it’s that, to succeed as a screenwriter, you need to be working on a lot of things at the same time in order to bend the law of averages in your favor as much as possible.

Interview with Screenwriter Andrew Dean Pearson (THE DEPTHS BELOW)

1. What is your screenplay about?

In the not too distant future, a team of oceanic explorers equipped with technologically advanced diving suits become the target of a highly adaptive creature that teaches them a valuable lesson: Space was never the final frontier.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

sci-fi/fantasy/horror

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Because there aren’t enough alien epics anymore. Or creature features. And good underwater movies are few and far between. I feel like the tech is finally there for something epic like this.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

hydrophobically thalassophobic

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

2 years

7. How many stories have you written?

3

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

“Your “Love” by the outfield

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Having funds to pay for feedback

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

acting.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your experiences working with the submission platform site?

They’ve been great but I feel like they host some contests that feel like scams.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?

I thought it’d be a good festival since my script fit the genre and I enjoyed the feedback. It felt good.

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

In the not too distant future, a team of oceanic explorers equipped with technologically advanced diving suits become the target of a highly adaptive creature that teaches them a valuable lesson: Space was never the final frontier.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Val Cole
Crew Member: Elizabeth Rose Morriss –
Captain: Allan Michael Brunet

Interview with Filmmaker Àlex Tejedor (SERGI & IRINA)

SERGI & IRINA was the winner of BEST SOUND & MUSIC at the April 2021 ROMANCE Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

It was a decision inspired by the previous ‘version’ of “Sergi & Irina”, because originally it was created as a piece of Microtheatre (pieces of 15 minutes made in a small place for a small audience done in varios sessions) in the year 2012. That Musical Microtheatre piece was originally inspired by the place where the event was held, some very magnificent and gorgeous gardens called ‘The Alfabia Gardens’ that reminded me kind of the sets used in the old 30s, 40s and 50s Hollywood Golden Age of films that I loved watching when I was very young. When the show was done, a lot of people liked it and asked me why didn’t I write an entire musical based on the story, and I thought to myself ‘Well, it was inspired by these wonderful Hollywood Films, so if anything, “Sergi & Irina” should be a film’. So these were the events that lead to the decision to make the film.

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

For me, it took me about 8 years to accomplish! As I said, I wrote the story in 2012, so from there I rewrote the script to make it more visual and spectacular and after a few years doing other professional projects, I started pitching my film in 2017, where I knocked a lot of doors with a script, a usb with the songs in it and a dossier underneath my arm.

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

‘Flying dream.’

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

Financing it. The way I saw this film was not as ‘a short film’, but as ‘a short feature film’, meaning that even if the film was only 24 minutes long, it had to be as big as I could, because these Hollywood films it was inspired by, were BIG, so we needed a decent amount of money to be able to pay the two leading actors, the 30+ dancers, the 30+ musicians, the creative, technical and production team and all the endless rest of things, and so it took a lot of phone calls, convincing, negotiations, trips, meetings, discussions, paper work, headaches and many other tedious and boring things to be able to get all the money I needed. But it was woth it. I must add that I was also lucky that I had the help from my brother Cristian and my colleague and Co-director of the film Miquel Verd that believed in the project and helped me gather a team of people to make it so.

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

I have to be honest. I got emotional, I had goosebumps and I smiled the whole time because there’s nothing that pays off more than seeing these kind of positive reactions from an honest audience who had no previous contact with me and didn’t have to fake anything at all. I made this film because I obviously love films, I love musicals, I love to write, I love to act and sing and I love all the creative process involved in it, but I also do it because I try to tell a story as good as I can, and I try to reach people’s hearts to make a positive and emotional impact in them.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I think it was when I was a little boy and I watched a show called “That’s Entertainment – Part II” presented by my two most admired Hollywood stars Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. That show was a review of the best 30s, 40s and 50s musical films that had a profound impact in my inner artist. From there I wanted to be an actor, I wanted to sing, dance and also direct films.

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

It’s hard to know. I love many films from many genres and many nationalities. I don’t have a ‘fetish movie’ that I watch compulsively, but rather a very large catalogue of films I admire and could watch over and over again from very strange and experimental to very common, and from any genre and nationality. If I like it, if it catches my imagination, heart, mind or soul, I just enjoy it.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

For me, FilmFreeway is the best platform for filmmakers in the entire market, because their page has a very good searching engine with great filters and great results. It’s easy to navigate in its environment, it has plenty of info of the festivals and finding festivals is easy, fun, attractive and satisfactory.

9. What is your favorite meal?

My mother’s Danish smørrebrød with salmon with yellow curry sauce that she makes for Christmas. It’s once a year, but it makes my eyes roll back.

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

Well, “Sergi & Irina” was also born with the idea to become a feature film. It’s some sort of ‘presentation letter’ for possible investors and producers. So, hopefully, my next project will be the feature musical film of “Sergi & Irina”.

Interview with Producers Tim Finn & Nick Nadel (MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE)

MESSAGE FROM THE FUTURE played to rave reviews at the April 2021 COMEDY Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: We started a small company to write, produce, and post humorous short content.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Message From the Future was originally conceived as a live action comedy short. When the pandemic hit, we changed course and adapted the script for animation. Director/animator Dano Johnson had collaborated with Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director Kevin Maher on the animated short film Invaders From Above, so he was a natural fit for what we wanted to accomplish with Message From the Future. In many ways, the shift to animation allowed us to do things in terms of special effects, setting, casting, etc. that we wouldn’t have been able to do in live-action. While the pandemic created many complications, the production process for Message From the Future greatly benefited from the shift to animation.

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

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: The script was written pre-pandemic. But yeah, about five months.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Need sanitizer!!!

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Remember 2006?

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Getting microphones to our voice actors, who recorded remotely. Sorry, this isn’t a dramatic answer, but with a tiny team, this was all pretty smooth.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Recording voice actors on two coasts proved challenging. But this amazing thing called “Zoom” popped up around the time we started recording dialogue. What did we do before Zoom? Seriously, what did we do? I don’t remember anything pre-March 2020.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: We were thrilled to see a diverse crowd, and happy to get any reaction at all. You spend a few weeks or months sitting in front of a computer typing and animating, mostly alone, and here’s the reminder why you did all that.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: The feedback video was fantastic. It was wonderful and encouraging to get so many heartfelt, genuine reactions. Since we haven’t been able to watch Message From the Future with an audience, it was great to hear that the audience got what we were going for and connected with the film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: 4th grade. We had a Video 8 camera and the drama teacher let us run around doing whatever we wanted. Those shorts are all terrible, and so they’ll never be made public, but they are safely archived as uncompressed Quicktimes on several back-up hard drives.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Back in high school, executive producer Tim Finn and I made a 45-minute parody episode of the TV series MacGyver. In some ways, I’ve been making the same film ever since.

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: I saw Princess Mononoke five times during its theatrical release, but you’re probably looking for a funny answer. Police Academy 3 got a lot of rentals back in the day.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Probably Ghostbusters. Also the MacGyver parody we made in high school.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: It’s great, and I show it to my students every year.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: It’s an excellent resource. Definitely streamlines the often difficult process of submitting to festivals. Plus, if you get rejected, another festival is just a click away.

9. What is your favorite meal?

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Salmon, rice, steamed broccoli.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: Sushi. I hear they have great sushi in [insert location of festival here]!

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

Tim Finn, Executive Producer: Our little company, Atomic Abe, has several hilarious video essays on television in our “Behind the Backdoor Pilot” series in various stages of editing, and some short live-action scripts we’re figuring out how to make in the pandemic.

Nick Nadel, Co-Writer/Co-Producer/Co-Voice Director: You can visit AtomicAbe.com to see the comedy sketches and video essays we’ve made. More animation coming soon!