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.

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Interview with Filmmaker Terez Koncz (THE LETTERS)

THE LETTERS was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the June 2018 Thriller/Horror FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Terez Koncz: I wanted to give voice to those who are not heard due to their age, social situation or any other reason.

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

It took about two years, including all rounds to get sufficient funds, and a 6 month break (caused by an unrelated issue).

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

Teen opera.

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

I would say: time, and I mean the time we had available for shooting. We had to reduce our days with one, and we weren’t allowed any overtime, so at some points we really had to be creative on set.

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

I was very thankful and touched. It is such a great feeling to see that people on the other side of the globe were interested in the film and understood it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

I sat down to my desk every day to write a story. For six days nothing special happened. On the seventh day I started to write and this story came out in one go, in about three hours. I didn’t expect this idea to happen, it somehow made itself happen.

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

It was probably ‘Megáll az idő’ (Time Stands Still) by director Peter Gothár and writer Géza Bereményi. Fun fact is that years after I first saw the film Mr Bereményi became my teacher in screenwriting, and Mr Gothár became my tutor in directing at the Uni.

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

Does it sound cheesy if I say that FilmFreeway was a life changer for me? But it’s true. Via FilmFreeway the world kind of opened up, which means that our wonderful crew had the chance to show their work to people from all over the world. Isn’t it the best what a filmmaker can ask for? The platform is so modern and easy to use, and it makes a filmmaker feel safe, understood and supported.

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

What a lovely question! I think it was ‘Fényes utakon’ (On shiny roads) by a Hungarian band called Republik. It’s a song about a soul who wants to ‘walk freely on bright roads’. When I was a child I really resonated with the message of this song, and I didn’t have many cassettes to play with my walkman, so I kept rewinding and listening again and again :). I still listen to this song every now and then, as I feel that it reconnects my soul with my family, especially my parents who are sadly not with us anymore.

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

I’m developing a feature right now, hoping for the best! 🙂

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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 Robin De Cock (TRUMPETS IN THE SKY)

TRUMPETS IN THE SKY won BEST FILM at the May 2018 Fantasy/Sci-Fi FEEDBACK Film Festival in Torotno

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Robin De Cock: The idea of a sound that terrorized the world came to me in a weird moment while listening to dubstep (I know that’s pretty terrible motivation). But when I talked to my friends and peers about the idea, a muslim friend of mine said that in the Koran, the end of the world (or signs of the hour) was introduced by a worldwide horn sound. And that made me do more research in the more biblical narrative of my idea. As it turns out in the bible, koran and even in the Norse mythology (the gjallerhorn of ragnarok) the horn was something that was clearly stated and connected to the end of times. I thought that it was an interesting take and narrative direction to take the script to a new perspective. And with the character of a deaf child we can explore the difficulties and extrimities of the idea through an innocent view. Take the horns out of the equation and what we have left is a small family drama between mother, child and father. And I think it’s important in every story, sci-fi or otherwise, to tell a intimate story that people can relate to. The pressure is just on a higher level due to the higher power that is affecting the world.

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

It was a difficult 2 years from the initial idea to the final result. I was struggling with some personal problems wich made me procrastinate a lot and I ended up just never being sure if this is the story I want to tell. After some self reflection and an awful lot of rewriting I got the final draft and started the production. I got the privilege to get an awesome crew (very compact but awesome) and we just made it happen.

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

Post-apocalyptic drama

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

My biggest obstacle in completing this film is the obstacle i’ve been facing all my life. It’s myself. I tend to sabotage myself and end up not finishing my projects. I am pretty harsh on myself (and others) so i’m never really content with what i’m making or doing. But just pulling through on this project gave me the motivation and self respect to push further and harder on my goals.

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

Damn that shit amazing. I’m from Belgium and just starting to make films, and seeing people from across the world discussing your film is so exciting. I started making films to get an audience for my stories, and just seeing it happening gave me chills.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of your short film:

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

As I said, a little bit of dubstep and a whole lot of talking, learning and rewriting.

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

Children of men. Sci-fi with it’s feet on the ground. Where the scary thing are the people and the sci-fi is small, well executed and close to the way things are today.
+ dat sweet sweet camera work. Best oners in history!

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

I used it for the first time for this project and I like it. It’s a intuitive, filmmaker-friendly platform to showcase your projects. It also motivated me to make a trailer just to showcase my project some more. As it is a schoolproject (My second year in the film academy in Brussels) It’s nice to have the option to show your early projects to a large audience and maybe get some recognition along the way.

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

Damn, that’s a hard one. I guess, Eminem: Cleaning out my closet. It’s also my go-to karaoke song but I fail every time.

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

Next year I’m starting my Bacheloryear in Fiction Film in RITCS (Royal Institute of Television Cinema and Sound – Brussels) and I have an idea that keeps me up at night (in a good way) It’s going to be a psychological thriller. The rest i’ll keep a secret. 😊

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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 Michael Lane (HANDS)

 HANDS was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the May 2018 Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

My film is about diversity. I live in a city,Leicester uk, where there are a range of people from all over the world. We do mix peacefully: it can be done. I thought it right to celebrate that and send a wish that the world may move towards that. Also, I wanted something thoughtful and meditative. Short films give that opportunity in a way features cannot.

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

The film only took a day to make but about six weeks in the edit.

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

Meditative Dance.

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

Keeping my own faith that it would be as I imagined. Especially as much of the movement choices were left to the participants.

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

I was delighted that people were able to interpret its poetic drive. I was puzzled that someone thought it a parody. But I thought I should have helped an audience by credits- ” Meditation, A Dance, A Hope’ clearer at the beginning of the film.

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I wanted to experiment as most of my films are dramas , even recorded stage work. This fulfilled a different need.

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

‘Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid.’

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

It’s been fine for myself. I have felt free to report to them and trusted that there would be an understandable reply.  

 hands

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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 Robert Guthrie (EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY)

EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY played to rave reviews at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival on Valentine’s Day.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Robert Guthrie: So many LGBTQ films, especially coming-of-age films, focus on difficulties. Violence, unrequited love, isolation… etc. Yes, it can be difficult. But, also, yes, it can work. Some families are supportive. Some kids are strong. The folks who made the film do believe in happily-ever-after. Years ago, after a tumultuous, clandestine relationship with a fraternity brother, I started dating the guy I would marry. That was senior year of college, and we’ve been together ever since. It can be easy.

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

The first plan for EASY – a 3-minute romance was to film it north of Seattle where my partner and I lived for four years. He ended getting a job back in Boston, so we moved back home a few years earlier than we had planned. So we moved the location from a farm and small town in Washington State and relocated to an urban environment. From conception to filming was about three years.

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

Happy together

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

Adjusting my expectations – this would no longer be a small-town, rural film. I had to let go of my dreams of specific scenes we had scouted out and arranged for. The best thing I did was decide not to push it, to let it go, and accept that we wouldn’t film on the West coast before the move. I love what EASY grew into, but it took initial disappointment to get there.

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

How thrilling to watch a roomful of people paying attention to something I’d created! The characters Jonathan and David have been living in my mind for several year; it was almost overwhelming to sense that they have lives that don’t involve me.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

I had a favorite cafe in Edison, Washington, where I wanted to set a film. And I was intrigued by a small-town guy unabashedly himself. I believe in happily-ever-after, have been living happily-ever-after and want to share happily-ever-after.

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

In college during an internship in London, the film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Maurice came out. I saw it every Wednesday night for three months until I flew back to that states.

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

Enormously helpful.

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

Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony is my go-to.

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

Publishing a novel. Feature film is ambitious. We’ll see how it goes.

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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 Gonzaga Manso (EDEN HOSTEL)

EDEN HOSTEL was the winner of BEST FILM at the January 2018 Comedy FEEDBACK Film Festival. 

Get to know the director of the film: 

  What motivated you to make this film?

I suppose it was loneliness . When I was 18 I wasn’t very sure about who I really was and often felt like I didn’t belong. In fact everything was OK, it was actually going better than what most teenagers could expect… and, nevertheless, I often felt lonely. Unconnected. Based on that feeling and on a conversation I had about the subject with my then-girlfriend, I wrote this short film.

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

It took us approximately one year. I spent the first three months writing on my own and developing the idea, then we spent about two months preproducing it, 4 days shooting it and about 7 months post-producing it. The postproduction took us way too long because we didn’t have a proper budget and we had to ask for many favors… it was not the best workflow ever.

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

I would do it badly. Just kidding, maybe: holy loneliness? I don’t know

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

Actually it was a financial obstacle: finding the way to produce it with very little money.

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

My initial reaction was to smile like a child. I enjoyed so much watching the different points of view about the short film and its characters. It was an amazing experience to see all those people talking and reflecting about our shortfilm. I loved it. Thank you so much. I always learn a lot about my own film when I talk to the audience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Fight club

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

Actually, Ismael Martin and his team handle the distribution of our short film, so we didn’t get to do this ourselves.

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

No idea, I’m always switching between different genres.
I played on a rock band for 10 years, so probably one of our earliest songs… we were rehearsing them nonstop for years.

What is next for you? A new film?

I’m a photographer too, and right now we are developing a new series of photographies. We also have a second short-film, Fortune-teller, which I hope Ismael has submitted to your festival, or will do so when you open for submissions. We are also starting to write the script of a feature length film, that project really excites me.

 

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