Interview with director Eugenio Villani (OTHERS LIKE YOU)

Eugenio’s short film “OTHERS LIKE YOU” was awarded “Best Cinematography” at the April 2017 Horror/Thriller Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Eugenio Villani: After our first short film “Haselwurm” we took a break because of several businnes issues. Then we felt the urge to write a new story. We love horror movies and every kind of queer and odd story.

Through this years we saw a lot of films expecially from Europe. We wrote a screenplay wich is not fully into the horror genre but is more in tune with an European concept of film ( Fabrice Du weltz and Ben Wheatley jus to to name a couple of example)

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

We worked very hard on the screenplay.It took us six months for the script and about three months for the pre production.

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

A weird shriek.

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

The biggest issue was to find the actress who fit the role of the evil doctor. The location also was a big deal because we needed a very special place to set the women in the cabe scene.

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

We really love when the audience comes up with a lot of questions because we think that movies are built for that. We would have liked to be there to answer all the questions: especially the cat one.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO from the April 2017 Film Festival:

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

We started from an imagine I had in my mind. A woman who finds an umbilical cord. Everything started from that.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

My favourite is The Locatarie by Roman Polanski

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

Bohemian Rapsody (Eugenio)
Dammi una lametta (Raffaele)

What is next for you? A new film?

We are working on a script inspired by The white People, a novel by Arthur Machen.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director Oliver Park (STILL)

Oliver Park’s short film STILL was the winner of “Best Film” at the April 2017 Horror/Thriller Festival. It was a joy to chat with him about the film and his future:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Oliver Park: I had a dream that inspired the feature idea for STILL and wanted to make a short to raise awareness for it.

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

It took about nine months as I had to spend time working on a crowdfunding campaign for it before filming. After we had the money, we moved very quickly as we had festival deadlines to hit.

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

Sweet dreams.

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

The biggest obstacle with many short horrors is shooting at night. When you’re using a friends house as a location and the sun starts to come up, you’re out of time. We were lucky enough to be able to go back to pick up the shots we were unable to get but t’s never easy when you’re against massive time constraints.

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

Joy! I was so happy that people liked it. You make horror to scare you and just hope it will scare others. I was glad that small things were picked up on like “finish your wine” for example. I agree with the fact that one probably wouldn’t have a shower under those circumstances and I don’t think it’s an excuse that ‘it’s a horror so it’s fine’. If I could go back, I would have put more effort into giving her a reason to get into the shower (she gets dirty from the greasy boiler suit, for example).

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO from the April 2017 Film Festival:

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

I had a dream about a masked figure arriving at my front door…

What film that you’ve watched in the last 5 years has inspired you the most?

There are FAR too many! Great modern horror is hard to find but I am a huge fan of the recent ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night’.

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

I love to listen to film soundtracks and classical. Anything by Glass, Newman, Zimmer or Einaudi works and I adore Chris Young (composer of Sinister).

What is next for you? A new film?

There are many things going on right now, mainly feature development, so I certainly plan to make many many more films very soon and rest assured, I will stay in horror for now!

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director Ian Schiller (KONG’S)

Ian Schiller’s short film KONG’S played to rave reviews at the April 2017 Horror/Thriller Film Festival. It was an honor catching up with the very talented filmmaker.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Ian Schiller: I work in film but mostly documentary sports and commercials. I want to broaden my story telling ability. Kong’s, the market you see in the film is a block from my house. I had been thinking about a short film for a while and the story sort of presented itself walking into Kong’s one day for some beer. I guess the motivation in summary was to challenge myself to develop a short soup to nuts.

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

Script started maybe mid February 2016
Script finalized in April of 2016
Shot May 2016
Post completed August 2016

About Six months.

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

Very intense

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

My own self doubt. And an actor who I had to fire for showing up a day prior to filming drunk.

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

Initial reactions to the feedback – I like how the audience fills in some of the backstory. The criticism is great as well. The last comment, doesn’t feel like an independent film but something larger is what I was going for. So, overall, I’m happy and grateful for the comments.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the short film: 

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

We set a world/box to play in. I wanted to lead the audience with breadcrumbs. Kong’s per my mention above is close to my house. The art direction was already there for a seedy noir-ish story. The idea sort of presented itself.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Big Trouble in Little China

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

Something either by the Horrors, The Kills, or the Eagles of Death Metal

What is next for you? A new film?

After financially recovering from Kong’s, I’d like to pursue either a feature length script idea of mine or a television show. More soon hopefully.

Thanks everyone coming out to watch the films and comment. Much
appreciation

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with actress Linette Beaumont (THE PROWLER)

linette Beaumont 1.jpgLinette Beaumont was the winner of “Best Performance” in her short film THE PROWLER at the April 2017 Horror/Thriller Film Festival. It was an honor to chat with her about her role and what’s next for the talented actress:

Matthew Toffolo: Describe your character? How was the process in executing this performance?

Linette Beaumont: Eva is a tormented character, who is struggling with heart break after her husband has had an affair and left her. Eva is unable to let go and finds herself in a very dark place, manipulating her daughter into being instrumental in something that will change their lives forever.

As an actor I believe I have a responsibility to the character that I am playing, it’s my job to tell my characters story without judgement.

I tried to do that, and to be as honest to Eva (my character) as I could, and act exactly what was on the page.

How did you become attached to this project?

Tim Kent ( the director ) and I had worked together beforehand at Pinewood Studios. We discussed the possibility of doing a film together.

Tim introduced me to Daniella Gonella (our wonderful producer) at DG Productions. We then all had a meeting in Soho London with the very talented writer Matthew Arlidge, who had worked in television for many years and had written for one of my favorite BBC drama series Silent Witness. Matthew had also recently launched his bestselling crime debut Eeny Meeny. He agreed to write a short film specifically for me which I was delighted about and very flattered.

We then worked extremely hard to make it happen.

Coincidentally, James Friend BSC, (director of photography) BAFTA award winning, Rillington Place, who had just shot Matthew’s episodes of Silent Witness agreed to shoot the film.
An amazing team.

How would you describe your short film in two words!

Psychological thriller!

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

Time restraints were challenging. We used very high-end cameras and lens from Movitech at Pinewood Studios. The end result is fantastic, but when you use such high-end equipment things move very slowly. It takes 3-4 people to move everything. Also the interiors were shot in a cottage, so it was very tight for space.

Also Christmas! Kate Plantin CDG (casting director) who was amazing, was phoning agents to confirm actors when they had closed for Christmas, it was crazy.

And Budget, you never have enough money!

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

Of course as an actor, I was very happy to hear they liked the acting! I smiled at the comment regarding the ‘leaves on the trees’ we shot the film during winter, just after Christmas, and we did have leaves on the trees!

Feedback is great, and it’s important. I think it is always very interesting to hear feedback from people, industry and non industry professionals.

I think film is an observer of life. Everybody loves to watch a film. But we all feel so differently about what we see when we watch a film. It was interesting listening to what they had to say, how an idea resonated, or how the film made them feel. For me film making is magic, full of twists and turns, highs and lows, to quote the film director Danny Boyle, ‘to be a filmmaker, you have to be relentless. You have to be psychotic in your desire to do something and keep working. People always like the easy route. You can’t, you have to push very hard to get something unusual, something different to stand out.’

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video of THE PROWLER:

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Very difficult question as I have films for different moods! But I would say these films are in my top ten of most watched.

The Godfather and Deer Hunter, Star Wars. Street Car Named Desire and Annie Hall, Some Like It Hot, Singing in the rain. Cinderella, and the Fox and the Hound.

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

Clair de Lune- Debussy its the first thing I learnt on the piano, and reminds me of so much. But I also love Stevie Wonder.

What is next for you? A new film?

Yes I’m working with writer-director Daniel Yost (co-writer Drugstore Cowboy) co-writing and playing the lead role in Melody’s Tune, a project where I will play both the negligent mother of a homeless nine-year-old and the girl’s imaginary good mother. “ I can’t wait!

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director Oliver McMillan (WHAT’S WEARING MUMMY)

Oliver McMillan’s short film “WHAT’S WEARING MUMMY” played to rave reviews at the December 2016 FAMILY Short Film Festival.

Tt was an honor to interview the director:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Oliver McMillan: My motivation to create What’s Wearing Mummy stemmed from how the script resembled aspects of my own childhood. This nostalgic element along with Matti (Rebecca Strang) and Sofia’s (Annabelle Tavener) obsession with science-fiction was what initially hooked me but the opportunity to explore the dynamic of a young family was where I saw the heft.

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

OM: Around 7 months I think. We had our script locked down quite early which was a huge advantage for our child actors. A vast part of pre-production was dedicated to rehearsing with Rebecca and Sofia as it was their first onscreen performance! They did a fantastic job though. Their attitude onset and the improvisation they have definitely had us chuckling between takes.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

OM: Two words? Sweet fun.

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

OM: Our biggest obstacle as a team was getting everything we needed in a very limited amount of time. The entire shoot was catered around the working hours of the children. Ben Murray (Director of Photography) did a great job of streamlining our shot list so when the time came, we knew every shot was essential.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

OM: Totally constructive and positive. It is always great to hear thoughts from those who have no prior knowledge of your work. It’s fresh, honest and crucial to listen to. I’m glad that people saw the film as a portraiture of modern family life as well as the entertaining aspect.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Film:

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

OM: Our writer Lexy Anderson was the genius who came up with this story. We haven’t seen many short live action films that fit into the family genre so the opportunity to do something different was too good to refuse. I remember visiting Lexy before starting the project and we both had the same desire of telling a story about a family coming together, plus I had worked with child actors before so I knew it was always something I wanted to do again.

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

OM: Most watched film? That’s a tough one! I think the last film I remember watching over and over was probably Inside Out (2015, Dir. Pete Docter). It resonated with me on so many levels and I see a film since that’s had such an impact on me. I’ll probably watch it tonight!

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

OM: What’s next? Another short film. A black comedy thriller about a hotel critic staying in the worst hotel in England. Complete tonal shift from my last film, I know! I can’t wait to get it made.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director/animator Mads Johan Øgaard (I AM DYSLEXIC)

Mads Johan Øgaard’s short film “I AM DYSLEXIC” was the winner of Best Film at the December 2016 Animation Short Film Festival.

Perhaps one of the best films to show at the festival in 2016. A film that received great acclaim from the audience

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Mads Johan Øgaard: I realized that not many talk about learning differences such as dyslexia. I wanted to share my story, I learned how to turn my struggles into an advantage, and I believed that my views and story could potentially help others. Wanted to show what it feels like being dyslexic in today’s society.

As I often say: I want to help my 10 year old self and give him the support he should have received.

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

MJØ: I had the idea in my head for a long time! But from when I really started to develop the idea at the end of second year of my animation bachelors,it took one year and 3 months to finish it.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

MJØ: DYSLEXIA AWARENESS!

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

MJØ: Actually writing the script, I almost didn’t make the film due to struggling so much with the script, because of my dyslexic struggles which caused me great anxiety and stress.

I knew what I wanted, I just wasn’t able to get it out and down on the paper.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

MJØ: I cried, seeing the audience express that they can relate to the feelings that I wanted to show, its truly truly amazing and very emotional for me… thank you so much! I am so proud and grateful!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Film:

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

MJØ: Continuing from point 1 – In the beginning the film was a very close addoption of my life dealing with dyslexia, in animated form with some sequences where the boy where climbing the mountain.

It evolved away from being about my life and more and more about the struggles and emotions that I felt through school, one of my biggest struggles as a kid, was homework. I spent 6 hours or more after school every day fighting homework. So the mountain of books was a huge part from the very beginning.

I always liked the film Cast Away with Tom Hanks, and it was a huge inspiration for plot, the main character and the world.

It is important to note that without my crew the film would never been this good!

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

MJØ: Hehe, ever since I was a kid I was a huge Disney fan, so the Disney classics. I know I’ve worn out a few VHS tapes.
Ranging from the shorts especially the Donald Duck ones to the feature films.

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

MJØ: Because of I AM DYSLEXIC, I decided to do a Master in special educational needs, which I currently are doing at Exeter University in England.

I also recently done illustrations for a information book about dyslexia for children, teens, in collaboration with Dyslexia Norway and Infoliten.no. The book launch will be in Eldorado book store, Oslo, the 09 of March.

And I am really considering starting a youtube channel, talking about learning differences. I AM DYSLEXIC have showed me how much I can share with the world, and receiving several emails everyday from people who have seen the film only further motivates me, so lets what the future brings! 😀

I AM DYSLEXIC have opened many opportunities for me! And for that I am truly grateful for.

If you are interested my art and what I do, please consider following me :

Mads Johan Øgaard:
Website: madsjohanogaard.com
Instagram: madsjohanogaard

Tumblr: madsjohanogaard.tumblr.com

Twitter: @MadsJohanOgaard

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director Mary Gerretsen (ORANGE YOU GONNA DANCE WITH ME?)

Mary Gerretsen’s short film “ORANGE YOU GONNA DANCE WITH ME?” played at the first ever LA FEEDBACK Film Festival in 2016.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Mary Gerretsen: I wanted to make this film because I love comedies and I wanted to showcase old people in a bizarre romantic scenario. So often older people are seen as a grandparent in films, I wanted to change that.

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

MG: It took me a month to make this product.

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

MG: quirky romance

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

MG: The biggest obstacle I faced in making this film was the heat. One of my actors had prostate cancer and had just taken some medication that caused him to sweat profusely. We were able to make him as comfortable as possible but was defiantly a concern, in terms of his comfort and the amount of shots we could take.

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

MG: It was such an amazing feeling to see people respond to my film. Their feedback was super helpful and went above and beyond my expectations.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

MG: I came up with the idea for this film by starting with the idea of an orange falling out of the sky.

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

MG: Stand by Me

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

MG: I’m about to go into production on a short documentary called 7/8ths of the way there. Its an intimate look on death and life after loss through the Martin family.

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.