Interview with Filmmaker Kristin Gorell (THE FLOWER GATE)

THE FLOWER GATE played to rave reviews at the May 2018 Sci-Fi/Fantasy FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Kristin Gorell: I set out originally to make a puppet play to participate in a local theater program for fun- but as I started the script, it turned into a short film rather quickly and I decided to just go ahead and make it instead. I also saw the making of this film as an opportunity for healing in action for several of the people involved in different ways. I actually didn’t think much about showing this film until I started editing and found I was making something I truly liked. It was a lovely surprise to make something for different reasons than creating a product and then to love the finished piece as if it had been approached in a more precious fashion. I wrote/shot with very personal, immediate, and intuitive goals and it turned into something that felt like a piece of living poetry to me. I am so delighted to be able to share it now.

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

It was shot in about a week on a trip to Israel, with one scene being directed over skype for an extra shooting when I started going through the previous footage. I started writing in February and finished the film entirely by the end of September that same year. It took me some time to find the right editor- a couple of months in the middle were mostly lost to that- but once I found Antonio, everything clicked.

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

inside outside

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

Living in a different country than my location and having no real budget, working with limited borrowed equipment on a tight time frame, all of this was challenging. Additionally, shooting a film about the realities of a failing relationship with your recent ex has its own challenges.

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

It was overwhelming in the best of ways to feel the moderator’s genuine affection for the film as well as the audience member who bravely spoke so eloquently as well. I felt a real mix of astonishment and contentment to reach the audience in a way they could personally relate with while also engendering a layered process of intellectual engagement.

Watch the AUDIENCE FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

The idea for this story came while I was reading the original tale by Hans Christian Andersen. I stopped midway and started wondering what it might be like if told today from the eyes of a similarly isolated female character. By the time I finished reading the original, images from scenes and and dialogue were starting to arise. I began rough work on the script that night.

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

I haven’t counted but it would be between these perhaps… Groundhog Day, Ran, Rear Window. I also love films from the early days of cinema.

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

It’s easy to use and overall a good experience working with that platform. There could be some improvements made on the information available to film makers about the different festivals and better ways to search festivals that might be a good fit for your work.

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

Really hard to say… probably something that tracks back to my childhood like – Here Comes The Sun (Beatles). I’ve loved that song since I was a wee lass.

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

Definitely more films. I’m also working on drawings/paintings, a stage play, and a novel.

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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 Vincent Cappello (MONSIEUR HERNST)

 MONSIEUR HERNST won multiple awards at the February 2018 SCI-FI/FANTASY FEEDBACK Film Festival: BEST FILM, BEST PERFORMANCES, BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY.

 1. What motivated you to make this film?

I was always interesting by the trauma, the memory, and the oversight.
And every kind of therapy, mainly therapy by hypnos and altered state of conciousness. I entered a scriptwriting competition on a whim, and I wrote this story.

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

A long time! I wrote the scriptin 2006, and I shot the film in 2016 !!!

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

Trauma. Oversight.

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

The biggest obstacle I faced was to find the trauma. I had the story, a beautiful story I think because it won the first prize in the competition I submitted to, but I didn’t understand the ending. I didn’t know the trauma. There was already the memory of accident, but I didn’t know who was with him in the car. In the other memories there was a woman, her mother, her first girl frend etc… And I needed a long time to undertsand that through the faces of all women of his life, Monsieur Hersnt was looking for the love of his wife who died in this accident.

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

I was very very touched. Imagine: Peolple of the other side of the ocean touched by my story !!! I think I do cinema for that: to communcate all over the world !!!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

Apocalypse Now !
Or Ragging Bull !

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

Paint it black. At the beginning Monsieur Hernst was calling “Paint it black”
Before the accident The radio was playing the song of the Rolling Stones, the remake of Eric Brudon’s song.

Paint it black was an inspiration.

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

I wrote some feature films that I try to do : L’odore della tua pelle” in Italian; and “Au ban public” and “Sans jamais se rencontrer” , this a trio of story about Immigration.

  monsieur_hernst.jpg
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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 Philippe McKie (BREAKER)

BREAKER played to rave reviews at the February 2018 Fantasy/Sci-Fi Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Philippe McKie: A deep love of Cyberpunk!

BREAKER is my first attempt at expressing some of the great potential contained in Japan for cinema within the genre, and contains references to many of my favorite Cyberpunk works ranging from film / literature / anime and beyond!

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

We shot the film in just two frenetic days, with most of my small crew bunking together in a love-hotel overnight! From pre-production to completed film the process took less than a year altogether. With all the shooting done in Tokyo, and the post-production done in Montreal.

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

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH C̼Y̜̫̣͓B͍͎̮E̙̜ͅR̠͖̥̞P͍̳̬U̪̼N̦̦̦̦͇K̮̳̰

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

The film was pure indie, a skeleton crew working with no time and limited resources.

With no assistant director on set or production manager behind the scenes I was responsible for all the planning going in, which isn’t my forte so it was a challenge (especially since I was also taking care of building the props and organizing the art direction simultaneously)

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

I was BLOWN AWAY by many of the comments!

For instance the first gentleman who figured out the meaning of ‘URK’ in the script, wish I could give him a high-five! The comments were mostly very heartwarming and I was touched by how keenly the audience watched my film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

For BREAKER I sought to make a film with a storyline that would be accessible to viewers who haven’t been down the Cyberpunk rabbit hole too deeply before, while showing Tokyo’s potential for the aesthetic with very little VFX manipulation, balancing fresh ideas and visuals with a sprinkle of references to some classics.

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

Princess Mononoke
Gets better with every single viewing.

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

It’s AMAZING, submissions are easier than ever before.
I remember sending out my first shorts through DVDs in the mail, it was a struggle in comparison!

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

I’d say the album ‘The book of secrets’ by Loreena McKennitt is one I find myself returning to endlessly over the years.

On the note of music I’d like to add: to all you filmmakers out there looking for fresh sounds for your films- look for up and coming artists on ‘Soundcloud’! There is SO MUCH talent out there waiting to be heard, and as indie filmmakers we can all benefit from collaborating. ALL the music in BREAKER was from artists I reached out to through Soundcloud, so don’t be shy and contact artists whose music you discover there!

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

I am currently working on my first feature film. The genre is very different from BREAKER, but it will similarly shine a spotlight on the incredible richness of Tokyo subcultures!  

 

breaker.jpg

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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 Director Jeremy Garcia (STAR WARS: TRIALS)

Played at the Fantasy/Sci-Fi FEEDBACK Film Festival – July 2017

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Erlend Bjelland: I’ve always been a huge Star Wars fan and it’s probably the films that originally got me into film making. I had recently gotten my girlfriend the lightsaber prop and thought, “I bet I could light an entire film with this lightsaber”. From there I began brainstorming and that eventually led to ‘Star Wars: Trials’.

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

I was doing nothing but working on this film for probably a solid two months. Doing several camera tests with the saber to make sure we could in fact light this whole thing with the prop. All together I spent about 40 hours rotoscoping the lightsaber effect in each shot frame by frame.

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

Dark, Lonely

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

For this project it was definitely the music. Trying to find something that wasn’t specifically Star Wars but could get you general mood of the film and the setting was tough. I went though several different versions and at one point had just a slowed down version of the Imperial March.

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

Elated! I loved being able to see everyone’s feedback and thoughts. It’s great to see people understand and figure things out about the film that I wanted them too.

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

Part of the lore of Star Wars has always been the Trials that the Padawans must do before becoming a Jedi Knight and we’ve never been able to see that. And at one point our main character was a Jedi. Then I thought that it would be a lot more interesting if the audience (because of the name and the color of the lightsaber) only thought they were seeing a Jedi but who turned out to be not only a darkside user but Vader’s new apprentice. I thought it would be a really cool reveal if we could pull it off.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

That’s a tough one! Probably Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back or one of the Indiana Jones films. (Not Crystal Skull

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

So far I have nothing but good things to say about Film Freeway. They make the process super easy and convenient.

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

Another tough one. The songs I listen too most are normally tied to a good music video. Probably Hurt by Johnny Cash.

What is next for you? A new film?

I currently do a lot of work and help out with a production company called Wages of Cine. I’m about to start production as Cinematographer on one of their short films and then later in the year will be Directing a short horror film for them as well.

STAR WARS: TRIALS, 5min, USA, Action/Adventure
Directed by Jeremy Garcia

Rowan awakes in the dark depths of a cave with nothing but her lightsaber. As she navigates the dark environment she learns she may not be alone.

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