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.

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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.

easy_a_3_minute_love_story
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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.

 

eden_hostel

 

Interview with director Dinh Thai (MONDAY)

MONDAY was the winner of BEST FILM at the January 2018 FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: Dinh, what motivated you to make your award-winning HBO APA Visionaries short film?

Dinh Thai: The motivation for making MONDAY came in three ways; I was spending an abundance of time with my two filmmaker friends, Fidencio Casas and Gregg Furuoka. They’ve been writing and directing high-quality micro-budget films for many years. So just being around them, I learned I could do the same. Although this short film is far from being a micro-budget, their constant push for creation was motivating enough. Secondarily, last year HBO announced their Visionaries short film contest. That simply gave me a goal and a deadline. Thirdly, my business partner, Josh Falcon and I started a commercial production company a few years back, so we had the support system and resources to execute a project of this scale. The culmination of these three things provided me confidence and reason to write and direct my first short film since graduating from film school in 2002.

Side note- MONDAY is currently streaming on all HBO platforms.

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

The total time spent working on the short was approximately twelve weeks, broken up into two timelines. For the HBO submission, I spent about four of those weeks writing. Brian Burgett (producer) and Josh Falcon (executive producer) spent close to two weeks prepping and we were able to finish principal photography in under four days. Our key crew members are all friends from working on previous projects, including the DP, Adriaan Kirchner. So we were blessed with a shorthand approach. Our post team, led by Matt Detisch (lead editor), spent the next two weeks cutting and finishing to hit the final deadline. A month or so after our initial entry, I went back in and spent five grueling weeks audio editing and finessing minor details. Our friendships and collective commercial experience really gave us an edge.

3. Describe your short film in two words?

That’s a tough question to answer, so thought it would be fun to ask some of the actors in the short to share their two-word descriptors. Alexis helped me come up with mine.

“Dealing Love” – Kevin David Lin (lead actor)
“Authentic Conflicts” – Intae Kim (supporting actor)
“Diverse Morality” – Alexis Clayton (supporting actress)
“Consequential Intersections” – Dinh Thai (writer/director)

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

The biggest challenge was the audio editing. During that five-week process, I spent days and nights making sure as much of the spoken words and subtle sound design was the best it could be. To give you an idea of the painstaking work, I would find myself obsessively searching various takes for just words and syllables that sounded clearer and cleaner to edit back into the picture. In addition to that, I used Adobe Audition to clean up much of the noise that production audio normally contains. Perfect audio is something we take for granted in films and I still feel as if I could have done better.

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

There were four of us in attendance (lead actor – Kevin David Lin, supporting actors – Intae Kim and Steve Castillo, and myself). It was a very warm audience and they seemed to laugh and gasp at all the right moments. We had a great time feeling the vibe of the room and that sensation was very satisfying, so the feedback wasn’t surprising. Many of the comments were compliments and even the criticism was on-point. It’s priceless to be in the theater with an audience that connects and understands our movie. So thank you for creating such an interesting environment for filmmakers to showcase their work!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The story is based on real-life moments. I wanted to address some of the racial nuances of growing up in Los Angeles. Many of the characters and scenes are exaggerations of my personal experiences. And to avoid incriminating myself even further, I’ll stop here.

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

I’d have to say Weird Science, Back of the Future 2, and Beverly Hills Cop.

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

FF is simply the best. Their website is far superior to the rest. They properly catalog your submissions with all the right details and provide reviews and ratings for many of the best festivals. I highly recommend FilmFreeway. Sometimes I won’t submit to a festival if it’s not on FF. I just don’t want to deal with the other sites’ lack of detail and usability.

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

I’ll just say it’s a very famous N.W.A song.

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

Along with creating commercial content for ad agencies and clients, I’ve been trying to get into television making. We’re hoping to turn MONDAY into a series. So that’s the current push.

Here are some links for readers to follow and support the short film. Feel free to reach out to us!
https://www.facebook.com/mondayashortfilm/
https://www.instagram.com/mondayashortfilm/

And if you want to read more about MONDAY, here are two articles.

The Hollywood Reporter
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hbo-marks-asian-pacific-american-heritage-month-winning-short-998387

Angry Asian Man
http://blog.angryasianman.com/2017/05/adapt-or-die-navigating-worlds-of-dinh.html

You can check out some of the commercial work. http://www.ArtandState.tv and http://www.DinhThai.com

Interview with documentary filmmaker Jenna Gartlan (MISSING PEACE)

MISSSING PEACE played at the November 2017 Short Film Festival to great reviews. It is by far one of the most unique films the FEEDBACK Festival showed in 2017.

 
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

I was really shocked to learn about Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), but I was instantly intrigued. I have always been interested in ‘fringe’ or unique aspects of people’s lives. When I read more about the condition and spoke to those who suffer from BIID, I realized that their stories weren’t being told properly. The media had been sensationalizing their plight and was more interested in criticizing than helping bring awareness and understanding. I also realized that people with BIID just want to be happy and accepted and I really relate to that and sympathize.

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

I came up with the idea in November of 2015 and we finished the film in the summer of 2016. So about 9 months.

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

Provoking acceptance.

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

The biggest obstacle was filming in two countries on a small budget for a short timeframe.

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

I liked hearing what people had to say, and at the end of the day, there are many things that I would have liked to have done differently but time, budget, and availability of our subjects were tough to navigate.

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

I came up with the idea after reading about BIID in an article.

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

Hot Fuzz (2007) or the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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

I think Filmfreeway helps a lot of emerging artists by simplifying the submission process and clearly explaining what needs to be done.

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

I can Feel a Hot One by Manchester Orchestra

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

I have been working away in the industry while writing on the side. I hope to be working on a comedic web series in the next coming months.
 

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

MISSING PEACE, 17min., USA, Documentary/Drama 
Directed by Jenna Gartlan

Missing Peace follows Chloe Jennings-White and Jeremy as they struggle with Body Integrity Identity Disorder. Chloe wishes to be paraplegic, and Jeremy wants to cut off his hands.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!