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 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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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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