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 Mark Howling (O.B.E. THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE)

O.B.E. THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE played at the Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2018 to rave reviews.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Mark Howling: This is my 3rd micro budget short that I’m doing, I try to keep the execution simple with a minimal cost. It is just an hobby (..time consuming hobby…)

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

I would say one full year from writing to final render.

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

What? Really?

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

This short is a micro budget project, was done mainly with a powerful but old laptop. I had multiple hardware failures, multiple software and hardware updates to do, with only handful software and plugin able to run on that machine. (for the record the laptop blew up one month after the short was done)

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

They seems to know what the short was talking about so I guess … did it right lol

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I always read on the internet very strange stories. What did inspire this short film is maybe a multitude of them glued together.

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

Star Wars

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

I love it! Simple and easy to use.

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

Too many to list here. Sorry.

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

I’m working in the film industry so yes I’m always working on something entertainment related.

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 Nesli Ozalp Tuncer (THE RETURN)

THE RETURN was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the September 2018 Documentary FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Nesli Ozalp Tuncer: I realized that I was always looking so far away for stories that were the subject of our films, and that I could start storytelling in my own environment. I looked at my own family and I remembered that we had an immigration story that I didn’t know. I wanted to make a movie for my family with my family. I completed the film with full motivation thanks to the harmony with my grandmother during the filming.

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

In 2014, I had the idea of making a documentary about this issue. I couldn’t get the result I wanted because of lack of experience in my first attempt because my limits were sharper. I decided to try again and made the “The Return”. So from the idea stage to the finished product reached in 3 years.

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

Intimate, hopeful.

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

I had a financial obstacle to take my grandmother to her hometown. But I think I can overcome this by using creative methods. Like VR and animation. I’m making a plan to take my grandmother to the village where her parents were born. Not give up.

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

I was alone when I watched the video. I had tears in my eyes with a big smile on my face. I was filled with enthusiasm and immediately wanted to share it with my loved ones.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I made a list of stories in my own life, that could be the subject of the film. The subject that attracted me most in the emotional sense was the memories of my family’s exchange. I wanted to go on this journey with my family.

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

Spirited Away – Miyazaki

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

I think that Filmfreeway has a very comfortable and functional use. The filtering system, the system to inform us of the results is working well. I wouldn’t know how to follow the festivals in the world so easily without it.

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

I’m not sure but the tune of this song came to my ear. “What Else Is There? – Röyksopp”

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

Yeah, I have a new film. At present, the first screening will be held in Izmir on 27 October. I’d like to share it with you next year. “Gadje in The Neighborhood” is a documentary that has been filming for 5 years. The Gadje, who went to pull the Ederlezi celebrations in a Romany neighborhood, called Tenekeli Mahalle, tells about the 5-year adventure of me and Yunus. You can find more information about the film in English at http://www.mahalledegacovar.com. After that, I have new films in my dream.

Yeah, I have a new film. At present, the first screening will be held in Izmir on 27 October. I’d like to share it with you next year. “Gadje in The Neighborhood” is a documentary that has been filming for 5 years. The Gadje, who went to pull the Ederlezi celebrations in a Romany neighborhood, called Tenekeli Mahalle, tells about the 5-year adventure of me and Yunus. You can find more information about the film in English at http://www.mahalledegacovar.com. After that, I have new films in my dream.

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