Interview with Filmmakers Bevin Hamilton, Rachael Murphy (INCALL)

INCALL played to rave reviews at the November 2018 THRILLER/SUSPENSE Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Bevin Hamilton, Rachael Murphy: We wanted to make this film to highlight issues that have traditionally been avoided by moviemakers because of a gender bias to stereotype women as softer and more compassionate.

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

From writing and casting to the end of post, it took us a year to complete.

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

Female power.

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

Location fees comprised a disproportionate amount of our budget – we were very particular about our sets as they played a crucial role in telling the story. We were forced to shoot ten pages in two days! Lets just leave it at that 😉

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

We were excited people wanted to share their interpretations of our narrative and insights into our characters! It was interesting to hear different points of view from diverse and enthusiastic movie goers.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

We wanted to tackle timely and controversial subject matter from a unique perspective in an experimental fashion. After watching a documentary on prostitution, we boldly and excitedly delved into the world of BDSM (which was unfamiliar to us), exploring female sexual relationships and power play. Our characters are enigmatic, passionate and complex, instead of one-dimensional, chaste and meek.

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

Bevin: I’ve seen Gone With The Wind the most over my lifetime. I love the epic filmmaking and attention to detail. Victor Fleming took a risk making Scarlett O’Hara a strong, feisty character at a time when women were portrayed as anything but…

Rachael: Dirty Dancing. Swayze oozes charisma… and introduced Gen X to “the lift” (a spectacle fit for a pool party).

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

We enjoyed using the FilmFreeway platform, it’s intuitive and comprehensive. We could easily navigate the site and upload materials as well as research and connect with festival curators/organizers. Also, opportunities we wouldn’t have thought to consider otherwise were brought to our attention, such as directing fellowships and the like.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Bevin: Lately its been my own record, Mirrors and Echoes (just released on iTunes lol! https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mirrors-and-echoes-ep/1381182764).

Rachael: Aside from, In the Name Of (Mirrors and Echoes ;), I heard Simply Red’s version of, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” every Sunday morning of my childhood (thanks Dad).

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

We are currently writing our first feature length script; a tragic love story set in a futuristic, consequentialist world. We’ll keep you posted 😉

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Interview with Filmmaker Marvin Nuecklaus (CROSSROADS)

CROSSROADS was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the May 2018 Thriller/Suspense Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Marvin Nuecklaus: Shooting a murder scene using a tire iron.

No, just kidding. I wanted to create a story that was entertaining and
challenging to follow but also comes with a deeper meaning when
you look close enough. For me, Crossroads is about a woman who
buried a traumatic event in her childhood and therefore was never
able to process it which resulted in a psychological disorder.

And those are the people we so often label as crazy without putting
in any effort to really figure out what happened to them.

We’re confronted with headlines such as: “10 years old girl sexually
assaulted” and hands down, what are the first questions you want to
get answered? Who did this? What happened to the offender? Is he
in jail? How many years did he get?

But what about the victim in 1, 2 or 10 years down the road? My
hope is that some people who watch Crossroads can see the
intentions I had with the film.

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

It took about 1 year to write the script as I worked on other projects
simultaneously. We had 2 days of principal photography with an
additional 2 months of post production.

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

psychological rollercoaster

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

Letting it go. When making a film, as a director you’ll always find
little things you want to fix, even re-shoot. It can turn into a never
ending project. Since I also produced the film, I had nobody giving
me a deadline or put an end to it so, I had to give myself a deadline
otherwise I would still be working on it.

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

For me, the reactions of an audience while watching your film and
afterwards are more valuable than any award. It was so pleasing to
see that people were able to guess my intentions behind the film and
that they won’t just see what’s in front but also behind the curtain in
terms of the characters and their world I created. Any positive and
negative critic is valuable to me to refine my craft. I want to thank
each and everyone in the audience for their feedback. Those are the
people I’m making films for and will keep doing so!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It really was a combination of a lot of things. First, I wanted to shoot
a psychological thriller that keeps the audience on the edge. A film
where you have to pay attention all the way through to understand
the ending. Second, I was always fascinated by mental disorders in
particular dissociative identity disorder (DID). Unfortunately,
Hollywood has used it too many times to shape the villain and
portrait it very inaccurately. So, most people have a very wrong
perception of what this disorder really is. While getting counsel from
psychologists and contacting people directly who suffer on DID and
were willing to speak to me, I started shaping my characters based
on the research and built the world around them. I was looking for 2
opposite locations that not only differ visually but also represent my
protagonists state of mind. Almost characters on its own. The desert
is wide and open without any boarders. She can run anywhere she
wants but really doesn’t get anywhere. She runs away from her past.
The interrogation room is small, claustrophobic. There’s no escape
except through the door but she has to go through Spencer the
psychologist in order to not be trapped.

Well, and this is how the story came together.

One thing I want to mention though is that the tire iron was there
from day 1. I guess it just inspired me when I had a flat tire.

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

Probably Inception by Christopher Nolan. His way of storytelling
fascinates me.

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

I really enjoy FilmFreeway and it is my favorite platform to submit to
film festivals. I enjoy how easy it is, how they categorize things,
their filters, and that I can find most information and feedback about
the festival right on their page.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

In the End by Linkin Park

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

I recently finished working on a remake of the classic german horror
film “Nosferatu” directed by David Fischer, starring Doug Jones as
Count Orlok which was amazing as I’m from Germany myself and I
remember writing papers about this film while I studied film.
I’m currently writing a psychological horror feature script which I
plan to shoot in 2019. There has been some interest to turn
Crossroads into a feature which I’m very intrigued by as well. Time
will tell.
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Interview with Filmmaker Erik Bloomquist (SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS)

SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS was the winner of BEST FILM at the October Horror FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Erik Bloomquist: My brother Carson and I grew up watching ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?, which really woke up and shaped our sensibilities as filmmakers and horror enthusiasts. We wanted to go back to basics — something warm and nostalgic and spooky.

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

Just over three months. It was a super quick one!

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

Campfire rollercoaster.

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

We shot the whole thing with a skeleton crew in just two very fast overnights.

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

Heartwarming. Truly. We’ve been very fortunate to play all over the world with this movie to very enthusiastic audiences. But to hear such positive, organic feedback from a group of people when I wasn’t even in the room is extremely special. I just sent the link to the whole cast. I’m still smiling.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The campground where we filmed triggered a distinct mood and aesthetic for both me and Carson. The movie just sort of spilled out of us from there.

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

Probably SCREAM or TITANIC. Pretty much the same movie.

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

Super user friendly. Great customer services. Awesome interface.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Between Toto and now Weezer’s cover, probably “Africa”. It’s a bop, dude.

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

We’re currently in the middle of a pretty intense USA tour with my debut feature LONG LOST. We’ve been getting some amazing responses and award recognition (including Grand Jury Prize at Laughlin Film Festival, Best Feature/Audience Choice & Director to Watch at Eastern Oregon Film Festival, and a nomination for Best Debut Director at Twin Cities Film Fest). It’s a dark domestic thriller that we shot right after SCFTW. Check us out at Facebook.com/LongLostMovie.
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Interview with Filmmaker Andres Passoni (3:32)

3:32 played to rave reviews at the October 2018 DRAMA Feedback Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Andres Passoni: My work is mainly focused in documentaries and I had never worked with actors. I wanted to work with Calu Rivero, an argentinean actress, and I had an idea of a character I thought she would feel related.

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

It took me almost a year to have the final script and then a year for the shooting and post-production.

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

Intimate and delicate.

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

A lot! but I think the biggest was to tell everything I wanted in 3 minutes 32 seconds.

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

That feedback is so important to inspire yourself and grow as a filmmaker.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Once I read an interview to a music producer stating that 3 minutes 32 seconds is the perfect length for a pop song. I’m a huge consumer of pop music, especially from female performers and thought it was a very interesting concept to develop a conflicted character and a short story with the same length.

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

The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock and La Mujer sin Cabeza by Lucrecia Martel, everytime I see them I discover something new about filmmaking and human nature.

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

It helps you to learn about distribution, find a lot of festivals in one place and it’s very friendly to use.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

Ray of Light by Madonna, every time I listen to it makes me feel very creative.

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

I’m writing and developing different ideas but I still haven’t decided my next project. I’m curious what the future holds for me.
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Interview with Filmmaker Deniz Campinar (THE REVELATOR)

THE REVELATOR was the winner of BEST FILM at the October 2018 Female FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Deniz Campinar: Oh God, that’s the question, right? And it’s a good one too! As a Turkish girl who grew up in Belgium and went to a Christian school, I could never fully understand the differences between the two worlds and religions I was living in. The question ‘but why?’ never went away. Why was my mother telling me that the Islam is the right religion while the priest at school told us that being a Christian is all that mattered? Growing up in a time where the Islam is so hated (and I can’t blame people for doing so) because of terrible people are doing terrible crimes in the name of a ‘God’. How come that things like terrorism is so sad, devastating and heartbreaking to us but people on the other side of the world are celebrating every defeat? That tells me that good and bad is rather a dark, subjective concept and it made me wonder. Belgium isn’t the religious little country that it used to be, it’s hard to be religious when nobody really is anymore. I want to believe but it’s a God damn struggle to do so! (Haha) Because WHY? I saw an interview of Stephen Fry, he answered the question ‘what would you tell God’ beautifully. That was the inspiration of the monologue Mason gave at the end of the film. I wanted to make the devil very likable, I wanted to explore his side of the story we find in the Quran. Wasn’t it kind of harsh to condemn him for eternity because he refused to kneel for something that eventually became a huge disappointment? I don’t know, you tell me. I wanted to explore all those questions and hope I succeeded a little bit. I can write a whole novel about a topic like this, but I’ll end it with that. (Haha)

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

It took us about two years. It was a real adventure (every production is though). Can you believe that we worked on this for almost 2 years but the actual filming part only lasted 5 freakin days?! (Haha) The whole crew turned into zombies by day 5, but it was worth it and I can’t be thankful enough for every single one of them.

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

HOLY SHIT! (Haha)

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

Definitely time! Although we worked on it for two years, we had to get it on film in 5 days because of an unfortunate misunderstanding. It fits with the theme of the movie though, because we went to hell and back!

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

I was pleasantly surprised, I was shocked, because for the first time I realized that people across the world watched my movie all together. That’s crazy! I loved the feedback, It’s nice that people picked up on such small details like the apple and the way we dressed up the devil. There were little Easter eggs spread across the film, it’s nice that people picked up on that! The whole conversation about The Monkees was a direct reference to the story of how the devil got ‘kicked out’ of heaven (in the Quran). The restaurant ‘Sidora’ is an anagram for ‘Dorsia’, the restaurant in American Psycho. I wanted to link the whole Yuppy culture to Mason so that’s where the anagram came from. Stuff like that made it more meaningful to me and I hope the audience agrees.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The writing process was a long and difficult road. I knew I wanted to tell a story that had to do with religion, something that would make the audience ask the same questions, I ask myself all the time. In the middle of the writing process I stumbled upon a story, a script, written by David Lambertson (shout out to this man!). The story ‘The Relevator’ was such a simple yet effective storyline, I immediately contacted David, asking for permission to film his script. But as time went on the story began to change, I added details and removed certain obstacles. The biggest changes were definitely the possibility that the elevator opens in a different setting (moments in Mason’s life), in the original script everything happened in the elevator. And a also the ending is very, VERY, different. I wanted a sad and a happy ending at the same time while still being satisfactory. So I killed off Mason, and there never was a God…

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

That’s a hard question. I’m a big Lord of the Rings fan! Inception (by Christopher Nolan) is definitely a favorite. Every movie Leonardo DiCaprio plays in actually. Leo for life! (Haha). But the one I’ve seen the most in my life… Is actually a series. Every time a new season of Game of Thrones comes out, I watch the whole story again starting with season one! Season 8 is on the way, so I’m starting with season 1 next week! I’m scared because: Valar Morghulis…

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

I like it a lot! It’s so freaking easy to use! Once you put in all the information you can just click away!

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

That’s a difficult one too. I think it has to be a Linkin Park song. ‘Somewhere I belong’ and the whole Hybrid Theory album are definitely the songs I listened too the most times in my life. Since I was 11 eleven years old I’ve been a huge fangirl! Chester Bennington was the first man I ever fell in love with (haha). So yeah… He will never be forgotten. EVER!

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

Who knows… January is the start of something new! It’s too early too share, but The Revelator is definitely not the last story I’ll be telling.

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