Interview with Director Richard Paris Wilson (A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES)

Played at the Fantasy/Sci-Fi FEEDBACK Film Festival – July 2017

“A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES” was the Winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the festival.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Richard Paris Wilson: I’m fascinated by monsters and magic and I was just drawn to the idea of a beautiful fantasy that was born out of a very dark reality. The bleaker the boy’s home life became the more his visions of the monster crystallised. That felt like a very rich clash to explore.

The idea of actually making it into a film started because I was teaching 14 and 15 year old kids the importance of media at the time, in a council-run centre in South London. I thought if we could get these kids involved in making an actual film together, I could spark a bit of creativity in them, and perhaps demystify a lot of the scary things about filmmaking. All of the dozen or so students involved had big responsibilities, whether they were a camera trainee handling the lenses or our 14-year old first AD running the set. It was the funnest and most chaotic media lesson ever.

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

It took awhile; too long. I think I wrote the script in early 2014, got approved for funding in the summer, shot in the winter, and then worked on post-production on-and-off for 12 months. We ran out of money at the end and we started to rely a lot on people working on post on the weekends. And I started to have new ideas and we started to layer music and VFX on top, and it just kept growing and growing, but at a very slow pace. I think it premiered in its first festival in Spring 2016, and it’s still playing at festivals into the second-half of 2017.

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

Dark Fantasy

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

Money was probably the biggest issue since many of the ideas – namely the monster – were going to be expensive, but we cracked that so early in the process it wasn’t something we battled with for long.

I do remember our first day of shooting. We had a 10-year old lead actor who we were pushing to the brink. It was midnight and we’d been shooting all day and we needed one more scene. We had a baby on set and a man in a monster costume on stilts in the mud, a crew full of students who were due home hours ago and, then it started raining. Thankfully everybody turned up to the second day.

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

Pure joy. It was a real thrill to hear people talking so thoughtfully about many of the issues and themes of the story. I am very thankful for seeing some of the discussion.

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

The idea was born out of a writing group I used to go to, where you’d have to present a new idea every fortnight. Two of the people in the group, Tommy Nagle and David Balfe, get a credit since they were integral in the story’s infancy. The actual screenplay grew very organically from the basic premise. I think the key was figuring out the monster had to eat the family dog – that created a very specific kind of tone.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably Hook as a kid, Batman as a teenager and Donnie Darko as a 20-something. Now I’ve just turned 30 I’m rewatching Hook again

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s incredibly user-friendly. It’s very easy to search, submit and then keep track of all your entries. It’s the best system I’ve used.

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

How to Disappear Completely by Radiohead, because it captures melancholy so perfectly.

What is next for you? A new film?

For short films, it’ll either be a fantasy set entirely inside a laundrette or a drama set on an island in Phuket. It depends on funding.

Otherwise I’m making a short video for the John Muir Trust as I try and get more into commercials.

 

A MONSTER CALLED CHARLES, 15min, UK, Fantasy/Drama
Directed by Richard Paris WilsonThe story of a Boy who lives in a caravan park with his Mother, and a Monster who lives in a nearby woods…

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Interview with Director Holy Fatma (PLEASE LOVE ME FOREVER)

Played at the Fantasy/Sci-Fi FEEDBACK Film Festival – July 2017

“PLEASE LOVE ME FOREVER” was the Winner of BEST FILM at the festival.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Holy Fatma: My own heartbreaks. As they were repeating themselves in the same exact way, I tried to understand why.

And I discovered that my emotional obsessions were due to my difficult upbringing. And of course, my relationship to my mom.

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

Two years and a half. I really wanted the film to be a well crafted piece of art.

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

Horrific Tale

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

The coloring process took forever due to many unexpected technical issues. It was hell haha

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

A LOT of emotions. It’s incredible to hear & see people across the world commenting your film.

We really tried to deliver the best film possible and seeing how people react to it is just everything.

Thank you so much by the way. It’s an unbelievably sweet initiative.

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

It all started with one strong vision. This image of me cutting open my latest boyfriend’s heart.

I really wanted to understand why he didn’t love me. But the answer wasn’t there of course.

It was in me. The attachement inherited from my unstable childhood led to an healthy approach to love.

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

I’m hesitating between The Godfather & The Nightmare before Christmas !

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s just great. Very easy & efficient.

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

It’s hard but I’d say “Smile” by Michael Jackson.

What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently working on another short for next year & a feature for 2019.

Stay posted 😉

 

PLEASE LOVE ME FOREVER, 27min, France, Fantasy/Romance
Directed by Holy Fatma

In a surreal world, Lili, a 14-year-old albino, lives alone with her mother Claudie (50) who over-protects her from the outside world. Obsessed with her own appearance; Claudie regularly replaces aging parts of her face, alone in her operating lab, while Lili dreams of Lyesse, her 16 year-old handsome neighbor. But scared by so much love, Lyesse gently pushes her away. Devastated, she decides to operate his heart to understand why he doesn’t love her…

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Interview with Director Liv Mari Ulla Mortensen (65.5)

Short Film played at the first ever EXPERIMENTAL/MUSIC VIDEO FEEDBACK Film Festival in July 2017.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Liv Mari Ulla Mortensen: Women in sexual situations are often objectified in film, and therefore I was fascinated by statistics. Like in the film, I could easily have been reduced into only being «the girl with the father who loved Bob Dylan», like I and my friends also have reduced guys into different nicknames and characteristics. I wanted the girls to take ownership of their statistics and challenge the guy who wrote it. They didn´t want to be remembered as mere statistics.

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

About 2 years. It was written over a couple of months, then it sat for a while before we shot it in two days, with over 30 girls in one small room. The editing process was quite long and challenging.

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

Confronting and calculated

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

I decided to make the film without a score, only depending on the ambience. With many different short clips jumping in time it turned out to be quite challenging to make dynamic ambience that «sows» the film together.

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

It is amazing to be invited into the room of the viewers even though I am in Norway on the other side of the world. A lot of the comments were quite close to my intentions for the film, so seeing the video was both interesting and very motivational.

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

«65,5 women» is based on a poem by Alexander Fallo. When I heard him reading at an event I immediately though «this is a short film!». We have written the script in collaboration, and the film is my free interpretation of his text.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably «The Never-ending Story»!

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

A simple and informative way of navigating through the jungle of film festivals.

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

“Tears in heaven». Broke my heart when I was 6!

What is next for you? A new film?

I am looking forward to premiering my new short film «Flightmode” in festivals this fall, and I am also writing a new short and a feature film.
 

65.5 WOMEN, 6min, Norway, Experimental
Directed by Liv Mari Mortensen

To understand a recent failure, a young man writes a statistic of all the women he ever slept with. As he tries to simplify all of his affairs into simple characteristics the memories start to take over, leaving him to face the only one he truly wanted.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Interview with Director Roman Rubert Bernat (REQUEMBARREN)

Short Film played at the first ever EXPERIMENTAL/MUSIC VIDEO FEEDBACK Film Festival in July 2017.

REQUEMBARREN was awarded “BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY” at the festival.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Roman Rubert Bernat: The stories of JL Borges

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

8 months

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

Black atmosphere

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

The numerous natural decorations

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

I was pleasantly surprised

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

Filling the book Pedro Paramo

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Viridiana

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

Very happy

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

Marieta, of Tarrega

What is next for you? A new film?

A film based on the aphorism of Gustav Mahler ‘Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.’

REQUEMBARREN, 16min, Spain, Experimental
Directed by Roman Rubert Bernat Beatrice is a young woman who leaves home to look for Requembarren. After listening to the sad man, to the profaner, and to the incestuous man, she reflects on what happens to her on the journey.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Interview with Director Michelle Bailey (DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN)

Short Film played at the first ever EXPERIMENTAL/MUSIC VIDEO FEEDBACK Film Festival in July 2017.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Michelle Bailey: I really struggle with my mental health and my own perspective of myself. After I made my first film “Dad” which was so honest and emotionally draining for me, I promised I wouldn’t do that to myself again. But when I made Dad I made it for myself and no- one else and after going through so many script ideas i had written I kept asking myself who am i making this film for? Am i connected to this story? When I decided that I needed to make a film for myself again it gave me that freedom just to do it. I had been through a bad relationship where these horrible things were said to me and they were forming my idea of myself and I wanted to manifest it from my head into film so I could hopefully break the cycle. My films are my therapy and I say I make them for myself but I also make them so if anyone else has been through what I’ve been through they can relate and not feel as alone and for me that is important.

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

When I finally made a decision to go with this idea it took a couple of months pre-production. I did a lot of work with Ellie and Karl Herbert before the shoot. Karl is the wonderful choreographer and used to be my dancing teacher when I was Ellie’s age and the two together made such a beautiful passionate dance. The shoot took two days but the post production was where the struggle began. Mostly in sound design as it was really hard to have re live the things being said to me. I actually couldn’t be in the room when it was recorded by Mason Le Long who did the sound design and whose band Batsch was the soundtrack. I gave him a script and left him to it and then would give him notes after listening to it. This emotional struggle i was facing meant that it wasn’t ready for about 8 months after the last shoot day.

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

This has strangely been the hardest question. The two words that come to mind is building resilience. For me them two words are about the film itself, the film making process and my own personal journey as well.

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

Myself, definitely myself . I struggle with my self worth and confidence a lot not just in day to day life but mostly in my film making. It took me 5 years to make a second film and it was because I kept talking myself out of it or that I didn’t think I was good enough. I had to fight myself and if i’m honest I’m still in that battle especially trying to make my third film. There would be days when I couldn’t face editing it because I couldn’t listen to the abuse and relive it so i would avoid it but thankfully I had Mason and the camera crew Brian Harley and Ben Cook to tell me to get on with it. This is why I made the film, to remind myself that i can do it and not that let the bastards grind me down. That and the annoyingly unhelpful security guard of the high rise car park that said we couldn’t film there and refused to give me and the producer, Rachel Carter, contact details to ask someone more higher up. We thankfully got to film there because of Rachel not giving up. We didn’t let that bastard grind us down either.

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

It was surreal. I actually had a bit of a cry because to hear people understanding the film and to truly see what I’m doing means the world to me. I loved that the woman in the audience got the Handmaid’s Tale reference too. I read that book in school and ever since “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” became my manta of life and as a feminist film maker too.

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

I actually used to do what Ellie, the amazing dancer does in the film. When I was in a bad time in my life and would find myself sobbing uncontrollably and i thought about giving up on life, I would pick myself up and dance. It wouldn’t be on top of a car park but in my living room and it would usually be to The Black Keys Lonely Boy video. That dancing dude in the video got me through a lot. Thanks dancing dude!

What film have you seen the most in your life?

I’m probably supposed to say some fancy Italian film here but actually its probably “Mean Girls”. It came out during that flood of terrible American teen films where the “nerdy” girl was actually beautiful and popular if you take her glasses off and can get the jock. Mean girls took that formula and put a good strong feminist message in there which was so needed at its time or what I needed at the time at least. I also loved “Return to Oz” since I was a little girl, its dystopian 80’s take on Oz was fascinating to me and I could listen to the sound of Tick Tock walking for hours.

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the new(ish) submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I think its great and give filmmakers easy access to the film festivals. I wouldn’t have found out about this festival if it wasn’t for it and I’m very grateful for that.

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

Tough one. Like everyone different songs get me through different times in my life. I love Billie Holiday. She puts everything into her songs, you can hear her pain and her joy. “Lady sings the blues” and “Summertime” are two of my favorites. And if i’m honest probably anything by Spice Girls (I listened to them on repeat when I was 10 – 12 to the annoyance of my neighbours)

What is next for you? A new film?

I’m currently writing a feature script which looks at similar themes of “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind you Down” and I’m in the middle of shooting a horror short film about depression which I’m having a love/hate relationship with. Hopefully I won’t talk myself out finishing it!

DON’T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN, 4min, UK, Experimental
Directed by Michelle Bailey

A young girl girl searches for a safe haven in an urban landscape and finds solace in her own creative expression.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!