Interview with Filmmaker Catherine L. Allard (THE CORD)

THE CORD played to rave reviews at the August 2018 Under 5 Minute Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Catherine L. Allard: I had this short script written for a while and I wanted to improve technical settings and crew for my next long script. So I asked everyone if they would do this film first and they did!

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

I would precise that the script was already in place. I just rewrite some quotes, shoot and edit in 2 months.

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

Social Schizophrenia

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

To make believe that the 6 friends were real and the Man unreal or awkward.

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

I was pleased and impressed to see how easily they understood the idea. Also glad to see the young age of the crowd.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I was talking with my partner about Schizophrenia and joking about what would be the most troubled situation and we made a link that social media and cellphones obsession become some kind of disease and social illusion, as schizophrenia can affect brain reality. It’s was a long process but I just tried to put it down in a critic and a suspense with a punch but not too serious!

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Top 3

La belle verte, Coline Serreau

Starwars (original trilogy)

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

Great platform , very usefull and interactive.

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

I really have no idea, funny question though.

What is next for you? A new film?

Writing a long motion picture, 2 actually, trying to go in prod next year. working on different projects also.

 

 
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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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Interview with Filmmaker Randy Kerr (BROTHERS)

BROTHERS was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the August Under 5 Minute Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Randy Kerr: While my background has been in landscape / travel still photography, I’ve been shifting more into nature documentary film work since it touches on my love of music and story as well. Any time I can embed myself in a story with people pursuing their passion, I’m always eager to capture the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of what they do. As I got to know Tim Burke (narrator, co-producer), I suspected a compelling story might come from spending time with him.

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

Nine months, though we let it simmer at times for much of that.

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

Perseverance rewarded.

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

Beyond the technical hassle of shooting in wet windy conditions, the biggest obstacle creatively was abandoning my own preconceptions of shooting a sunny, beautiful, easy day of fishing on the river. Nature delivered us just the opposite conditions, and finally we realized the backdrop was the perfect metaphor for the brothers’ struggle and perseverance story in their lives.

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

Delighted and gratified our universal message of family bonds, perseverance through adversity, and passion for the wild and a sport came through. Flattered that the footage effectively communicated the beauty and awe we feel on the river to the audience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Tim Burke (narrator, co-producer) initially approached me to create some footage of him guiding his fishing clients, but as we became closer friends and he revealed more the backstory of what fishing has meant to him and his brothers, we realized we had a narrative possibility for a short film.

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

Lawrence of Arabia.

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

As a first-time festival-submitter, I can’t imagine doing it any other way than online through Filmfreeway. It has been quite a friction-free process of bulk-submitting to festivals I think would appreciate our film.

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

In a previous life I was a classical pianist, so it’d have to be Ballade #1 in G minor by Chopin.

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

A grizzly bear wildlife documentary in British Columbia, a thriller (narrative) shot I’m toying with, and who knows what other outdoor documentary I might bump into.

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Filmmaker Farman Abdalrahman Karim (ISIS WAS HERE)

 ISIS WAS HERE was the winner of BEST FILM at the August 2018 Documentary Short Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Farman Abdalrahman Karim: My motivation was focus the human rights and I wanted to document the ISIS crimes.

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

I needed about three months.

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

Tragedy is continuous.

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

The big challenges for me was threats from ISIS because ISIS in the beginning until now…..they want to kill me. Now I left my country.

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

This was a big for me. I feel that I’m on my way to became a global documentary filmmaker.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I visited the city and I saw they destroyed it. So I decided to document that story.

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

The Pianist and the documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.

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

Filmfreeway is easy, great and an amazing website to help filmmakers participate and find good festival for their films.

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

Bezhan Kamgar. He is a Kurdish signer.

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

My new project is documentary film about the Ezidy girls who were raped from ISIS.

 

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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Filmmaker Stuart Everitt (BURIED)

BURIED was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the European FEEDBACK Film Festival in June 2018.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Stuart Everitt: As I was growing up my Dad introduced me to collecting. He’s a big collector of militaria. He was born right at the end of the World War Two and the beginning of his life would have been very influenced by its aftermath. By the time I was born thirty years later war felt like an exciting thing that once happened, due to the Hollywood films that glorified heroism and war. That generational perspective shift really interested me. Now of course we’re much more aware of the effects of war and the threat of conflict looms over us. The innocence of youth has gone.

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

I started writing in October and I submitted it the following October, so a year.

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

Unwelcome reminder

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

Casting Grandad. There are not a fantastic number of older male actors willing to work on budget films.

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

Really lovely to hear strangers views. Of course the film has been shown to cast and crew on a private screening, but it was great to hear what people made of the script and took from the film. There were some surprising comments.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I’ve had this idea knocking around in my head for a while, but I wrote it over a number of sessions over about five weeks.

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

Possibly Jaws.

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

It’s good. It simplifies the process, but it does illustrate to me just how many festivals there are. If I submitted to all the festivals I wanted to i’d be broke!

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

Foreigner – I Wanna Know What Love Is

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Filmmaker Jamie Shannon (THE LEGEND OF RASPUTIN)

THE LEGEND OF RASPUTIN was the winner of BEST FILM at the July 2018 Family FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Jamie Shannon: I have always found Rasputin fascinating character, being the first tabloid character in History. Around the time i wrote this we had our own Rasputin … “Rob Ford” Who became infamous the world round. I think it is very interesting the way people make these people out to be bigger than life examples of there worst fears, or they become huge fans. I read a book about Rasputin where there was a sign on the door saying “no talking about Rasputin!” But of course they did, like we can’t stop talking about Trump at the moment or whoever captures our projections. It is an enigmatic quality, that sort of mix of disgust and fascination and amazement that captures people imagination in times of trouble, and mine!

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

It took quite a whole just because i had my whole career going on at the same time – so between 3-4 years.

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

persnickety enterprise

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

Post sound! i will always have a greater respect for the art of sound, it is truly the other half of film making. It is the secret part of the film where all of the feeling lies and all the oversights will be paid for!!

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

I feel so proud any time anyone laughs, so that was lovely to see and feel that.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I read just five of the dozens of books, watched two of the many films and ate Raspoutine while I wrote.

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

Fantastic Mr. Fox 🙂 2. Ghostbusters

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How was your experience?

It’s good. Sure is an expensive part one should budget for in the beginning. My producers suggestion was to pay $2000 for film festival submissions.

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

Couldn’t get bored of.

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Filmmaker Lia Williamson (DAUGHTER)

DAUGHTER was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the April 2018 Under 5 Minute Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Lia Williamson: Daughter was made for my mom. I know that she would do anything for me, no matter what the circumstances. So the film is a little bit of a thank you, and recognition to her.

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

In the end, It really only took a few months to get this film made. I had a great crew, and everyone worked very hard to make my vision come alive quickly.

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

I had faced a casting obstacle the morning of our first shoot day. My lead actress had pulled out so I scrambled to find a replacement that day, and thank god I did.

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

I was so happy to see people other than friends, or family watching my film and commenting on it! I was so pleased to hear that even though some people didn’t interpret the film the way I had originally intended…the emotion was still there, and even though it might be a little bit unclear who the character’s were, the audience still felt something, and that’s what matters to me.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

Well I always want to make films that make audience’s feel something, as I said in my last answer. And I also knew that this film would be for my mom. I just finished a film that focused on the love between a brother and sister- that film is an ode to my siblings, and one day I’ll make one for my dad.

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

Probably Moulin Rouge, Step Brothers, and Hot Rod. Hahaha

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

I love the submission platform. It makes it easy for young aspiring filmmakers like me to have their films viewed, and talked about. That’s what any filmmaker wants. The notoriety is nice too, but a discussion about your film feels even more validating.

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

Young and Beautiful by Lana Del Rey

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

I just finished post production on my second film “Rosie”. And will hopefully shoot another one this fall!

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Filmmaker James Miller (PREY)

 PREY played to great reviews at the May 2018 Action/Crime/Thriller FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

 1. What motivated you to make this film?

The motivation for this film was mostly based on us not having made anything that was truly ours in a long while! We had spent a lot of time creating music videos and commercial projects for clients and just felt like we had an itch that needed to be scratched.

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

A long time… Well a lot longer than planned!, The initial idea came to me in 2015 which also happened to be the same year I turned 30 and the same year I got married. Both these events along with a huge new client prevented us from actually going out and making the film. So nearly a whole year after coming up with the idea we finally got to go out and shoot something!.

But after filming the bulk of the film we realised the story wasn’t working and this prompted us to shoot a lot more footage to fill in the gaps which did affect continuity, in particular the changing shape of the wrapped up baby.
Filming actually wrapped around the beginning of 2017 but we didn’t finish working on the film in its current form until just recently with its conversion to 4k and new grade.

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

Intense and claustrophobic

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

Time! And lack of it, with only 2 of us doing the bulk of the work on the film barring the music and Foley it was an uphill struggle to find time to just sit down and work on the movie especially when you throw in the fact that we both have full time work commitments and families and of course friends social engagements etc.

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

Mostly intrigue, it was fascinating to hear other people’s honest opinions about something we’ve effectively been working on in isolation, not many people have seen this film at all so for us to get feedback at this stage it’s actually very helpful.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

The idea and concept itself came to me while I was on a flight home from a short holiday in ROME. I had wanted to create a ‘chase’ type film for a while and originally the protagonist was actually a werewolf.

After some basic research into different mythological creatures we stumbled across the Tik Tik or Aswang, which is essentially a Filipino folklore usually possessing a combination of the traits of either a vampire, a ghoul, a warlock/witch.

These traits worked perfectly for our film and it meant we weren’t treading the usual vampire route like many other people.

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

I want to say the 1989 Batman movie but it’s most likely Star Wars.

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

I think it’s pretty good it’s nice to get at least a little something for entering like the feedback etc that you guys have provided as it makes parting with your money a little easier.

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

Eminem – Loose Yourself

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

We have a few projects up and running mainly music video based, as well as our daily 9-5 projects which are for a major car company.

Film wise we have a lot of project ideas and hopefully we get to start one of them this summer called ‘Terminal’ which is just a working title, it’s much more sci-fi than horror/thriller and is something we can’t wait to start.

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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 single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to http://www.wildsoundfestival.com for more information and to submit your work to the festival.