Interview with Writer/Director Jon Silverberg (DISAPPEARED)

Canadian Director John Silverberg’s short film played at the January 2016 FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Jon Silverberg: Growing up in the 1980s, my dad had a collection of hundreds of older films and television series. I loved the science fiction stories – particularly “The Twilight Zone”. While creating Disappeared the series was on my mind – not only for its wonderfully bizarre stories, but also for its rich and often everyday characters. Sometimes it was comedy, sometimes it was drama, sometimes it was romance – but it was always science fiction. These are the stories that I love to tell!

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

JS: I wrote the film in one night, but it took 6-8 months before we had the window of opportunity to film it. Budget was very tight, and so post-production took an additional 8-9 months of tinkering – mostly with the VFX and Sound Design.

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

JS: Accidental Magic

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

JS: Definitely budget was the biggest obstacle. It’s a small film with big ideas, and we were creating it with basically zero budget. The entire film was shot in just over 4 hours – in the morning before another production.

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

JS: I was very pleased to hear people really understand the twists and turns of film, the conflict of the lead character, and the desire to see what was on ‘the other side’. As a filmmaker, you make lots of little decisions based on your instinct, and it was wonderful to hear people really connecting with the material.

MT: You made some great cinematic choice in this film with tone and style. Was this film always in your head in black & white? What about the main performance – he has a bit of a sweet edge to him?

JS: Thanks! My mantra was: “What if Billy Wilder had directed an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in the early 60s?”. I wanted to create something that felt vintage (no cell phones to the rescue), and had the eerie/sci-fi elements, but also had charming comedic and romantic elements. It was definitely an homage to “Twilight Zone”, but lead actor Mackenzie Gray really dove into the Billy Wilder-esque madcap lead character. Mackenzie often plays villains (General Zod’s right-hand-man in “Man Of Steel”), and I thought he did a lovely job of playing a gentler, more eccentric everyman in this film.

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

JS: Either “Jurassic Park”, “Back to the Future”, or Tim Burton’s “Batman”.

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

JS: I have just finished producing a new sci-fi/mockumentary funded by Telus’ Storyhive campaign, titled “Unit Bryan”. It will be on Telus Optik and YouTube on Feb 29th. I have also just finished writing my first feature film, which I am aiming to direct by the end of the year.

_____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

 

Interview with Filmmaker William Mussini (F**KING WORLD)

The short film F**KING WORLD is a must see 1 minute blast. It hits on a lot of emotions that many of us are feelings, plus it’s really funny. William Mussini’s film played to rave reviews at the WILDsound FEEDBACK January 2016 Film Festival.

Interview with William Mussini:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

William Mussini: I wanted to depict the fleeting scenes of everyday life, through the eyes of an ordinary man, in one and half minute at most, bringing out his thoughts, his pains, his actions and his disasters.

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

William: It took me two days to make this short movie after finding the inspiration.

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

William: A sudden awareness.

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

William: Looking for a fitting location.

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

William: I felt curious and amused.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the Festival:

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

William: In a moment of anger, I wanted to shout to the world why there was so much useless evil affecting us.

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

William: The Thin Red Line, directed by Terrence Malick.

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

William: Oh yeah! Even four movies per…….month! Waiting for the inspiration…..

 

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with filmmaker Hani Eskander (OH MY OH AGAMI)

Hani Eskander’s poetry short film played at the best of Under 5min. Short Film Festival in January 2016. A film filled with a lot of feeling and emotion that the audience truly loved.

I recently chatted with Hani and talked more about the film:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Hani Eskander: Agami, sort of was like the Miami beach of Egyptians… Lately, it has been almost unrecognizable. This poem started as a conversation on Bianchi beach, on of the famous spots of Agami, between Mohamed El Tayef, a talented and witty contemporary poet from Sohag who wrote and delivered the tribute. and myself. Having lived most his life in Agami, the poem had an instant nostalgia and subtle anger tone that appealed to me and I thought was very relevant. The musical score and special effects were later done by Ali Sedky, who is also a composer living in Agami, and that is considered his first film score ever.

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

Hani: I think at most about a week. It all happened very fast and the approach to shoot was very basic without a lot of crew. I was the crew basically. Principal shooting happened over 2 days and editing another 2 days… Music took another 3-4 days.

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

Hani: Difficult to answer such a question but I’ll give it a try… Thoughtless Destruction.

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

Hani: Thank God I was lucky with this film and everything happened too smoothly. Both Love and Having a clear goal in mind, made the process very simple and quick. Also, when one’s intentions are clear… things sometimes just easily fall into place, which happened with Tayef approaching me with his poem, to him suggesting his son as his younger self and also finding a great talent such as Ali Sedky, the composer, who was a definite addition to the narrative.

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

Hani: Almost surprised that this film isn’t on my iMac at home, not even in the cyber world… Here are actual people, physically there, physically commenting and reacting to something I had created earlier at home, almost alone. I loved what most had to say and I cannot descrivbe how happy it makes any filmmaker I’m sure, to watch audience feeling and reacting to the film he/she helped create. It’s a very reassuring feeling… that film is powerful… it DOES transcend space and time and gets a message and an emotion through very well.

Matthew: Where did you find your two lead actors who played the younger and older version of the same person?

Hani: The Older version is the poet himself… He was a little camera shy, but how intimidating could one man behind a camera get? So, I convinced him that it’ll be simple and easy and that I have my storyboard shots in mind already and promised I won’t take much of his time… As for the kid, his younger version, well that kid happens to be his son. So, it was no problem at all. I didn’t get to choose the kid, as a director would usually do, I saw him the first day of shooting, when Tayef promised to bring his kid. I had no options and believed that things will fall nicely into place… and they did.

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

Hani: Well, many. Narrative films: Forrest Gump, JFK, City of God, The Corporation (documentary), The Century of the the Self (documentary), TPB (Documentary), Whiplash,… honestly many many others but these come freshly on the top of my head.

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

Hani: Yes, I have a 45mins film, a documentary as well, called “Drifters” a story of an orthopedic surgeon from Agami and how his close relationship to the sea, philosophy of life, firm principles and passion for woodwork led him to rediscover his true potential away from what most societies call success routes. On his journey he encounters kindred spirits who flock together in pursuit of happiness, freedom and self-expression. This film is done and right now also in festival circuits. And there’s another feature doc, which is currently in production called “Wa Agami”, which is a depiction of Agami, since the 1940s until today and the constant metamorphasis that the town went through, which is a microcosm of what’s happening socially, culturally and politically in Egypt.

 

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

_____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Screenwriter Bruna Rubio (VAMPIRAS)

Bruna Rubio’s short film was showcased at the best of Under 5min. Film Festival in January. An extremely unique, funny, and scary story about Spanish Female Vampires living in Los Angeles.

I recently chatted with Bruna and chatted with her about her short film:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Bruna Rubio: As a Latina I was always wondering why can we have our own vampire TV show 🙂

It’s never been done in Spanish a vampire TV series so my idea was create the first Spanish vampire TV series . So I did Vampiras with the idea of a sizzle reel for a TV series.

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

Bruno: Everything happened really fast…one day I stayed up all night and wrote the script and 1 week later I put a credit together and did some auditions. Since I have my own movie studio in Los Angeles I was able to get done fast . So took me 3 weeks from start to fully edited.

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

Bruno: Surprising and funny

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

Bruno: I really didn’t have any … I was 100% focused on getting it done ASAP and everything went well.

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

Bruno: I love the first girl totally got my original idea of Vampiras been a TV series 🙂 The porn part was also funny. ..you have to understand that Spanish TV it’s always a little cheese lol .Also that was my intention … to have the old school vampire formula… of dark comedy mixed with surprises and a little bit of sexy.

Matthew: What is the future of Vampiras? This seems like a film that is a setup to a large film.

Bruno:  I would love for Vampiras to be a TV series but I am also looking into making it as a full movie and I already wrote the script and it has so many cool things !! Luna is actually a detective and when the judge can not put a bad guy in jail the Luna take justice on her own at night …

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

Bruno: I must admit the answer is Indiana Jones 🙂

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

Bruno: I just finished my second one and we are on post ending the film with animation… This one is in English and it’s very dramatic …and it mix real with animation.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK for VAMPIRAS:

_____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with filmmaker Sam Brewster (Misstep)

Sam Brewster’s MISSTEP played at the best of Under 5min. Film Festival in January 2016. I was fortunate enough to ask him a few questions about the film and his reactions to the audience’s reactions to his short film.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

The film started out as just an idea that I had; a steadicam shot waltzing around an alienated couple, as they go through their methodological morning routines, moving around each other with indifference. This grew into a mini-fable; a short tale of morality set in modern London.

As I’d only made a couple of 1 minute shorts before, from a technical point of view, I wanted to challenge myself by shooting in some varied locations (a train station, a moving car) and to practice using green screen.

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

I wrote the short and held the auditions for the banker within a month, then shot the film over three days. The post-production was less efficient; as I was learning on-the-go, using basic techniques such as chroma keying etc. was a messy process and resulted in some compromised final shots.

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

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

Money & people. Well, you can always hire more people when you have more money, so money. Just like most fledgling independent filmmakers, I financed this myself in an expensive city on a meagre salary.

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

I really appreciated the empathy that the audience had with the morality of the tale, so I’m glad that I got that across in the film. It’s by far my least divisive story, so I think it is more palatable than some of my other shorts, where the protagonist rarely learns a lesson.

6. Great locations in this short. How were you able to lock them down?

I used a friend (and co-producer’s) student status to shoot at Liverpool Street Station in London for a hugely discounted price (£50!) for 2 hours on an empty platform. The Health & Safety steward appointed to us was not happy about the liberties we were taking, (running a magliner down the platform to get the tracking shot, erecting a 10x20ft green screen) but I’m glad that I pushed the allowances to get the scene shot as I had imagined it.

For the Banker’s home, I wanted somewhere that would work well with a meticulously choreographed steadicam shot, so it had to be relatively open plan. I found the apartment via an Airbnb-like site, and luckily the owner was an arts lover and was very keen to support us in the production.

The car was rented through Zipcar (the hourly rental car service), and was also used to ferry some of the cast and crew to and from locations. Everyone else had to take the bus..

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

It’s difficult to say, but perhaps A Clockwork Orange. Good question! Better than what’s your favourite film, which no-one can truthfully answer.

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

Hopefully. I’ve made a few shorts since this one, and I plan on making another film this year. There’s a chance it’ll grow into a zero budget neo-noir feature, but that all depends on the script (and money!).

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

_____

Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Kami Asgar, Oscar Nominated Sound Editor

A sound editor is a creative professional responsible for selecting and assembling sound recordings in preparation for the final sound mixing or mastering of a motion picture.

I was fortunate enough to sit down with the brilliant Sound Designer Kami Asgar. He has been the Supervising Sound Editor on over 100 films including, “Ride Along 1 and 2”, “Sisters”, “Pitch Perfect 1 and 2”, “The Muppets”, “Country Strong”, “Secretariat”, “Obsessed”, “Passion of the Christ” and “Apocalypto” which earned him an Oscar nomination.

kami_asgarMatthew Toffolo: In a typical studio film, how many post-production sound crew members are there? Do you usually work with the same team?

Kami Asgar: As far as the first part, that really depends on the budget the schedule and type of project. Typically you have Supervising Sound Editor/s, ADR supervisor, Dialog editor/s, Sound FX editor/s, Assistant/s, Foley artists, Foley mixer, ADR Mixer/s and Re-Recording mixers. The number shrinks or grows based on work load.

As far as the team, we have a core group in our team of editors, and we bring on freelance editors as needed.

Matthew: In the initial stages do you generally have a lengthy discussion with the director about themes, tone etc..? Are some directors more hands on than others when it comes to sound design?

Kami: Yes typically we have a spotting session with the director and picture editor to get the tone and feel for the project. We also discuss ADR and problem scenes as far as dialog and sound design.

Some directors only come for playbacks and give notes and leave, Others listen to every sound that is placed in the track and approve what works for them.

Matthew: You’ve been working in the industry for the last 25 years in over 100 productions. Is there is a film or two that you’re most proud of?

Kami: You spend so much time with every film that they are so much a part of you. There is moments in every film that challenge you, and you have to creatively find a way to overcome them. So there is moments that make you proud to have worked on. But as an entire package my personal favorite sound job is The Passion of the Christ. We spent almost nine months working on creating that world through sound.

Matthew: In recent years you have worked on many successful comedies. Is there is a distinct difference in comedy sound design in comparison to working on your other films, like The Taking of Pelham 123?

Kami: In comedies sound is so much a part of the punchline and finding the right sound to make you laugh is sometimes hard and demanding. Action movies are different there is a flow that has to happens from scene to scene, the sound design encompasses the whole sound scape, from atmospheres, foley, dialog and sound effects to how designed sound elements work with the score to keep the audience engaged.

Matthew: You seem to be the guy to go to when you need sound design for musicals, as you supervised The Muppets, Pitch Perfect (1 and 2), and Country Strong (to name a few). Is working on Musicals something you really enjoy?

Kami: Musicals are such a collaboration between the music camp and sound camp.
It’s unlike a regular movie where each camp shows up to the mix and you work out a balance. In a musical, our sounds really have to be worked out with the music in advance, they have to play seamlessly. Like with the Muppets, the sound effects and the foley have to be in time with the music and have to hit comedy beats too. All of that comes with close collaboration with songwriters, composers and music editors.

Kami: I’ve been blessed to work on a varying body of work, and all have been fun and challenging. Luckily I have been typecast in to a genre.

Matthew: What are you looking for when you first listen to the on-set sound recordings?

Kami: Clean Dialog, the rest we’ll build.

Matthew: When do you first come aboard the film? Most assume it’s after the last day of production, but I’m assuming it’s way earlier than that?

Kami: Depends on the project, Like on Pelham 123, we came on during the shoot to record subway trains in NYC, motorcycles and cars in and around Los Angeles, and supplied the picture editor and his staff with sounds effects throughout the editorial process. By the time we did our first preview screening, 95% of the sound track was already built and approved.

Most other movies we come on right before the first preview and build a temp track for the screening, and then build on that for the final mix.

Matthew: You seem to have consistently worked on 4-5 projects a year. How long do you typically work on a movie?

Kami: That depends on the movie and a lot of outside influences, typically anywhere from 10 to 20 weeks.

Matthew: How often does an actor have to come in and do ADR work (process to re-record dialogue after filming) to complete the dialogue sound mix?

Kami: On every movie. Sometimes we complete all other work and wait till an actor is available to come in and finish the movie

Matthew: Is there a type of film that you haven’t worked on yet that you would love to work on?

Kami: I’d like to do a big action super hero movie, come close a couple of times but that would complete the genre mix

Matthew: How has sound design changed from a technology and creative point of view from the year you started in 1990 to today?

Kami: I literally came in to this field because I worked on Macintosh computers doing graphic design. I was asked to show the guys in my father’s sound studio how to use the new Mac 2 computer with 1st version of sound tools (later protools) they had purchased so they could cut sound effects with.

I taught the editors how computers worked and how to utilize the programs to cut sounds with. In return the guys showed me how to work on an upright Moviola (useless knowledge now) and how to cut dialog and sound effects.

Everything used to be a lot more time consuming and cumbersome.

As an example you had to go down to the sound library and search through reels of sound fx (later CDs) armed with a notebook looking for one sound effect. You usually picked the first one you found, took it back to your room, and sampled it in to the computer and synchronized it to the picture and went to the next effect and the repeated the cycle. since you could only do very short sequences because of lack of computer memory, you laid back to tape and hand wrote (legibly) each event on a cue sheet for the mixer.

Now you audition sounds from your database of hundreds of thousands of sound effects available to you remotely and pick just the right sound, and if you want to alter the sound, you have at your disposal a dizzying amount of plug-ins to change every aspect of your sound to fit the picture. You then upload it for the mixer to open in his session. (no more carrying reels and reels to the stage)

Matthew: Besides the films you’ve worked on, what movie have you seen the most in your life?

Kami: There is three that I can safely say I’ve watched over and over “Top Gun” (best sound movie of all time) “Shawshank Redemption” (best movie of all time) and don’t laugh “Fletch”

—-
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information.

Watch LAPSUS Short Film / The Most Awarded French Short Film Ever

LAPSUS, the award winning short film from France played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in November 2013. It had a very polarizing reaction from the audience. Some called it brilliant. Others called it…..

The film is now available to watch online.

WATCH LAPSUS NOW:

LAPSUS – 62 AWARDS / 103 OFFICIALS SELECTIONS
http://www.lapsus-film.com
prod@come-on.fr

Directed by KARIM OUARET
http://www.karimouaret.com

Terry ARBEN BAJRAKTARAJ
Rose SOPHIE MEISTER
Jackson JAMES GERARD
Lewis FABRICE SCOTT
Martin NIELS DUBOST
Steeve HYGGINS SANSA
Angie NOEMIE MERLANT

Additional Voices DAVID ATRAKCHI

Screenplay JULIEN DIRIS KARIM OUARET

Producers JALANE PLAUT JULIEN SERI KARIM OUARET

Co-producer OREL SIMON

Director of Photography MATIAS BOUCARD

Production Designer MARC SAUSSET

Editor RICHARD RIFFAUD

Music by LOÏC OUARET

Sound Designer ALEXIS JUNG

Supervisor Special Effects OLIVIER VILLEAUD

Costume Designer CELINE EL MAZOUZI

Production Manager DELPHINE BELONNET
1st Assistant Director STEPHANE “STANE” REUS
2nd Assistant Director LAURE ANNE NICOLET
Script Supervisor SOPHIE BOUTEILLER
Storyboarder TARIK HAMDINE
Comic Strip Artist IVAN GOMEZ-MONTERO

1st Assistant Camera FRANCOIS VIGON
2nd Assistant Camera EMMA CHENET
Additional 1st Assistant Camera RAPHAEL
Steadycam Operators NICOLAS CAGNIARD GUILLAUME QUOILIN

Gaffer JAMES LANCRY

Electricians QUENTIN BOUCHER STEPHANE GAUTHRON BASILE JOYEUX

Key Grip ROMAIN LEO
Grips GREGOIRE DEL CLEMENT CANTIER

Sound Mixer NASSIM EL MOUNABBIH
Boom Operators CLEMENT JUSFORGUES ALEXANDRE GALLERAND OLIVIER LUCE GUILLAUME PELLERIN

Sound Editor ALEXIS JUNG

Sound Re Recording Mixer NIELS BARLETTA

Camera & Light Equiment EYE LITE PARIS

Grip Equipment NEXT SHOT

Sound Equipment DINOSAURES

Wardrobe Mistress VERONIQUE TREMOUREUX
Wardrobe Dressers PAULINE PENELON CLAIRE MAINGUENAUD
Wardrobe Dresser CHRISTIANE FANCHONE

Make-Up Artist / Hair Stylist CAROLE HOZATTE
Make-Up Artist MEYLINE FAUCHON

SFX Make-Up Supervisor OLIVIER AFONSO
SFX Make-Up Artist ANTOINE AILLOT HAROLE LEVY

1st Assistant Decorator AURELIE VIDAL
Assistants Decorator ELSA MAZIERES STEPHANE SARTORIUS

Location Manager CYRILLE MADELEINE
Assistants Location Manager MICKAEL COHEN BENOIT ETIENNE

Colorist ARNAUD LAURENT
Baselight Assistant ALPHA DIALO

Conforming MAXIME LETURCQ

Music Composed & Produced by LOÏC OUARET

Music Mixer STEPHANE LEGRAND

Making of MANU SIMON

Photographes Plateau MISHA AZNAVOUR MARC OBIN

Set / Parking / Garding CREATIVE REGIE

Weapon and Uniform MARATIER

Vehicule Rental CREATIVE REGIE

Shooting Insurance RUBINI et ASSOCIES

SPECIAL THANKS to

ANGELE & SALAH OUARET
JEANINE PLAUT
SABRINA OUARET
FREDERIC ASTRUC
BRIGITTE & ALAIN KALAYJIAN
HAMED EL KASSOUANI
GEOFFREY ZAOUI
HABIB M’SADEK
BENJAMIN DARRAS
YOUSSEF EL MOUDDAKHIR
PHILIPPE JOURNET
ANDREW HOUADEC
ARESKI FERHAT
SERGE ARTHUS
DAVID « DIEZ DEDOS » BONENFANT
MATTHIEU TERTOIS
CAMILLE DELAMARRE
KURTIS OUARET
ATELIER 69
MUSIC PREMIUM
ONE MORE
EYE LITE
STUDIO LUMINI
DIGIMAGE CINEMA
KIOUI STUDIO

Co-produced by SPOA FILMS

Produced by COME ON PRODUCTIONS
DAIGORO FILMS

LAPSUS

a KARIM OUARET film

(c) 2013 – COME ON PRODUCTIONS – All Rights Reserved

VISA d’exploitation n°135.122

Interview with George Pogatsia, filmmaker/actor “Family on Board”

George Pogatsia’s short film “Family on Board” played to outstanding reviews from the Toronto FEEDBACK Audience at the November 2015 Film Festival.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of “Family on Board”

Matthew Toffolo: First off, I have to ask….what happened at the end? Did he take off in the car with the family like most of the audience members thought?

George: He leaves in Ms. FREE-MAN’s Audi (Urban dictionary: Audi adj. or v. to leave, or to be leaving).

He takes his brother’s advice. His family is on board with the plan … wait for the feature.

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

George: Three things …

1) I lived downtown durring 9/11 & I probably suffered from a degree on PTSD. The towers striking the towers actually woke me from bed.

2) The Joe Horn story in Texas, he saw 2 men breaking into his neighbor’s home & called 911. He told the operator that he’d shoot them if they came on his property & that’s exactly what he did. He did not serve a day in jail. I thought the outcome would be very different in New York.

3) I had a friend that was scheduled to report to prison downtown on 9/11. He got as far as Canal Street & was turned away by police who told him “Not today, call your lawyer and figure it out.” He ended up walking to a Midtown facility to check in. He only served a year. I asked myself “What would he have done if he were facing more time?”

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

George: About three years.

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

George: Thought provoking.

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

George: Cutting it down. We left some good material on the cutting room floor. Tusting the material enough to allow people to feel without telling them how to feel.

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

George: I wanted to create characters that people cared enough about to think about them after they left the theater. I think we accomplished that. I like having the audience “participate” in any art form. If they care enough, here they get a chance to wonder, imagine & write their own ending. I found it funny that the woman who seemed frustrated with the title got the exact reason for it.

Matthew: As the people in the audience stated, you had some heavy hitters in your cast. How did you bring them on board? How were their reactions when they saw the completed film?

George: Thankfully, everyone responded well to the script. Tony Sirico & I have the same manager, he absolutely loves the film, he’s very proud of it. Eric Roberts signed on almost immediately after reading it, he thinks the sky is the limit. Karina Arroyave auditioned & blew everyone away. She a huge supporter, she thinks it’s amazing. I’m sad to say that Matthew Cowles never got a chance to see it, but his wife Christine Baranski thinks it’s beautiful.

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

George: Rocky

That would be my answer too!

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

George: I just got cast in a exciting, cutting edge film “Bushwick” starring Dave Bautista & Brittany Snow. I’m developing Family On Board into a feature. John G. Avildsen is slated to direct. I’ll be directing a beautiful short story “Where There is Love There is Life” this winter.

Thanks for your continued support! George Pogatsia http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1784765/ http://www.familyonboardmovie.com

Interview with Adam Beal, filmmaker of the Horror/Comedy short THE LITTLE MISSUS

Adam Beal’s short film THE LITTLE MISSUS played at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2015; part of the best of Horror/Thriller short films of the year event.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of THE LITTLE MISSUS:

I chatted with Adam Beal recently and talked about his very funny and very scary short film:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Adam Beal: THE LITTLE MISSUS was made for a horror filmmaking contest; contestants were tasked to choose one word and make an under-3-minute short film based around. I went with Magnet,” and came up with a few variations on the concept that ends this short. The script I wrote for this version turned out the best, so that’s the one we went with.

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

It was late August when the idea struck me and the contest deadline was an appropriate October 31, so about two months. Plus a little bit of tweaking here and there after the contest deadline for the festival version.

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

Matronly vengeance.

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

We had an elaborate rig that we’d built to shoot wide shots of the climax, with hot glue and springs and ripcords and more, to show the metal bits popping out of the husband’s body and hovering there under his shirt. But it just didn’t work on camera. So the editor and I went back a week later to do some extreme closeup pickups of the metal bits popping out using a far simpler method. A ton of time and effort and ingenuity tossed aside for something basic — that’s filmmaking for you.

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

As with anything I make, I went into the feedback cringing, but as soon as people started talking, I became overjoyed. It was really positive and really appreciated! I’d have been way harder on it myself, but then I tend to be hypercritical of anything I make…

The film was called by the audience as a live-action Road Runner cartoon. Was that you intention when making the film?

100%. That’s another thing I really appreciated about the feedback — the specific things everyone said really nailed what I was going for (and was never quite sure if I pulled off). Hearing the Looney Tunes and Sam Raimi comparisons was very reassuring, as those were absolutely two of the biggest guides I looked to when putting THE LITTLE MISSUS together.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably Ghostbusters. Of all the movies I watched on perpetual loop when I was a kid with my family’s first VCR, Ghostbusters is the one I still watch fairly regularly as an adult.

What is next for you? A new film?

Right now I’m focussing on writing. I’ve already written a dozen or so feature screenplays and I’m always working on the next one. Right now I’m balancing two of them, one about werewolves and the other a traditional slasher. Neither has quite the goofy, Looney Tunes tone of THE LITTLE MISSUS, but both are aiming for fun. Beyond that, I’m working with some of the LITTLE MISSUS team on a comedy webseries.

Interview with Daniel Reimer, short filmmaker BELL TOWER ENIGMA

Daniel Reimer’s short film BELL TOWER ENIGMA played at the best of Horror WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2015.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of BELL TOWER ENIGMA:

I recently sat down with Daniel Reimer to talk to him about his short film.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Daniel: Bell Tower Enigma was one of the graduation films from the Filmmaking Diploma of the London Film Academy. We were able to pitch for various scripts written by the students. I loved the idea of Bell Tower Enigma as it reminded me of Hitchcock and Lynch. I’m very much drawn to mystery and the surreal in film.

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

We had about 2 months of pre-production, we shot for about a week and finally another month for post-production.

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

Psychological Mystery

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

As the audience experienced as well, the story/plot might be a bit of a challenge to follow. That is because unlike other projects in the same year we had less time to work on the script. Ironically despite that, the writer and me came up with this huge intricate background story, which might have been a bit too ambitious and complex to squeeze into a short that wasn’t allowed to go over 10 minutes 😉

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

It was amazing to see the audience interact with the film. As a short filmmaker you rarely get the opportunity to get that much of detailed feedback from an audience. The general statement “It looks beautiful, but what the hell is going on” didn’t come as that much of a surprise as it is similar to reactions we received from other audiences 🙂 However, I myself enjoy films (or any piece of art for that matter) where there is lots of room for personal interpretation. So it is not that much about the intention of the writer or director, but more about what the audience makes of it for themselves. So in that sense I very much enjoyed the different interpretations and speculations concerning the story.

Your film had an amazing church location. How did you find it?

The church is a popular filming location in London due to its mystical and creepy crypt in the basement. Part of the 2012 Les Misérables was shot there as well so we felt pretty good about ourselves filming on a location which previously had been visited by big Hollywood stars 🙂

What film have you seen the most in your life?

The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky is probably one of my favourite movies. In my childhood me and my sister watched Star Trek Generations every night for a long time.
Hide original message

What is next for you? A new film?

At the moment I am in the process of finishing a short romantic comedy called Lovigation, which is a bit more “down to earth”. It is about a driver who falls in love with his passenger and resorts to the advice of his GPS which magically comes to life and gives him romantic and sexual advice.

    * * * * *

Also, Free logline submissions. The Writing Festival network averages over 95,000 unique visitors a day.
Great way to get your story out: http://www.wildsound.ca/logline.html

Deadlines to Submit your Screenplay, Novel, Story, or Poem to the festival: http://www.wildsound.ca

Watch recent Writing Festival Videos. At least 15 winning videos a month: http://www.wildsoundfestival.com