Interview with Screenwriter Bo Liebman ((A) UTOMATED (I)IRRITATION)

 (A) UTOMATED (I)IRRITATION played to great reviews at the May 2018 Comedy Feedbaack Film Festival in Los Angeles.

 1. What motivated you to make this film?

A friend had asked me to contribute a short for an anthology series he wanted to do about artificial intelligence. Knowing that most people take a dark, dramatic approach to AI, looking at the world-changing ramifications it could have (ie: Terminator), I wanted to take a different approach and see how it would effect smaller, mundane aspects of life in a comedic setting. The script I wrote was a little too far off from my friend’s vision for his series, so I decided to move forward with the script and get it made myself.

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

Overall the film took around a year to complete – 1 day for filming, and then the rest of the year for editing, voice overs and VFX.

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

Satirical Sci-Fi

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

Getting it edited – we didn’t have a lot of money for post, and our original editor took forever and eventually had an accident with his equipment, so we needed to start over with a new editor.

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

It was exciting to hear such positive responses from people who I had never met. It showed me that the film really spoke to people and that the themes came across (and that some people found nuances in it that I didn’t notice myself).

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

As mentioned above in question 1, I had wanted to take a completely alternative look at what kind of future artificial intelligence may bring us, and see how it could complicate even the simplest of daily tasks (like making breakfast). I’m sure I had the animated film The Brave Little Toaster in the back of my mind as well!

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

The Truman Show. My all-time favorite.

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

FilmFreeway is very user-friendly, and does a great job of making the submission process quick and easy. I love that it has a laurel generator, and makes it simple to keep track of the festivals you’ve entered (since we entered a lot).

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

Probably The Mighty Mighty Bosstone’s “The Impression That I Get”. I’m unashamed to say I am a big fan the 90’s ska-punk music.

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

With the director of (A)UTOMATED (I)RRITATION, we will be developing an anthology-style series in the same world as this short. For the web at first, but eventually a broadcast version. I’m also editing a second collection of short stories I hope to have out this year.

 

 

_____

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.

Advertisements

Interview with Filmmaker Robert Nazar Arjoyan (I PROMISED HER LIFE)

I PROMISED HER LIFE was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the April 2018 FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Robert Nazar Arjoyan: First, I just wanted to get out there again and make something new. It had been a while since my previous short film and felt the time was now. Second, the whole ritual of washing hands after a funeral was something I grew up with and wanted to explore further.

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

About 8 months, all told.

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

Wash away.

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

To be honest, the entire process was pretty smooth. The biggest obstacle, as I’m sure is the case with many filmmakers, was raising the money for the budget. With the help and generosity of an angelic handful of folks, we were able to meet our goal.

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

It’s a mixed bag – everyone takes away what they want to from anything in life, including a short film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

As I mentioned, the ritual of washing hands post funeral was something I grew up with. Well, one day I came home after a funeral and forgot to wash. After an initial self-reprimand, I thought “what if the dead could actually come back because one doesn’t wash their hands?” That was it.

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

Either ET, GoodFellas, or Back to the Future. They vie for the top spot always.

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

I love FilmFreeway. Simple, intuitive, and straightforward.

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

I don’t have an answer for that one, I don’t think.

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

A new short, possibly. Music videos for some wonderful musicians. A feature is still in the distance, but we venture ever closer.

i_promised_her_life_1.jpg

_____

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 Daeryun Chang (CALL COHO)

Daeryun Chang’s short film CALL COHO was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the December 2017 Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Daeryun Chang: I made “Call Coho” to have people think about how we interact with other people. I wanted to flip the spotlight away from the usual person of interest to the “supporting player.” In the case of the film, it is the surrogate driver who are often used but who hardly ever gets any attention. What is he like, what does he feel, what life background does he have? I wanted to build a story in very small but revealing pieces around him, the supposed “server,” and his clients who now have the tables turned on them since they are “serving” him at least from the storytelling standpoint.

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

From the inception of the story to the post production of the film, “Call Coho” took about 8 months. The production (the shooting excluding pick up shots) itself was undertaken basically over an intense 36 hours in countless number of locations, often with different cars on a process trailer. While it was fun, from a technical standpoint, it is a demanding shoot. The headache with a driving movie is that we have to be constantly on the move.

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

Inner Peace

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

During the year the movie was made my father fell very ill and it was obvious that he did not have many months to live. Family members had to take turns nursing him and especially going into the pre-production meeting it was touch and go as to when we could actually shoot the movie. But he regained his health for about a week or so allowing me to confidently tell the cast and crew that we could finally shoot it. Sadly he passed away as we were in post-production and he never saw the finished product. I dedicated “Call Coho” at the end of film to his memory and his love of movies, especially westerns.

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

It was quite gratifying to see that the movie resonated as strongly as it did given that “Call Coho” is about South Korea, an unfamiliar profession (being a surrogate driver) and in Korean but with subtitles. It proved to me again that some themes such as the ones that I wanted to evoke such as the banality of superficial vanity and the need for mutual respect are universal. Films, even a short one such as mine, allow different cultures to connect with each other.

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

I was watching a documentary one day about a fast-service motorcycle courier who was raising a young daughter by himself. He made just a few dollars for each delivery and sometimes he took on jobs that required him to ride in heavy rain or even snow. He said he did it because he wanted to make up for his past misdeeds to his parents and the wife who left him by taking good care of his child. He was saving money to buy her a big doll. I adapted that story into mine and converted it into a surrogate driver since I wanted the protagonist to have varied interactions with his different clients that would reveal different facades of Korean society but also through them an arc of “Coho.”

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

“Tucker, the Man and his Dream” (1988) by Francis Ford Coppola. It is one of his lesser known movies but one that I have seen at least 50 times. It revolves around the true story of an innovator like Steve Jobs. I use it to teach Marketing because there are many lessons that can be easily conveyed. But even as just a movie, it has become my favorite film because it has a star performance by Jeff Bridges as Tucker as well as great supporting roles by three of my favorite actors, Joan Allen (pre-Bourne days), Martin Landau and Federic Forrest. The movie has emboldened me to always have a dream and even to dare to make them come true -and it has as I now make movies.

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

I am very happy about the FilmFreeway as it has allowed me to submit movies in a very economic and efficient manner. Los Angeles Feedback is the 12th festival that has accepted “Call Coho,” and so as they say the proof is in the pudding. The movie has been screened world-wide not only in LA (twice) but also in NYC, Ferrara (Italy,), Copenhagen, and Sydney. Needless to say I cannot say enough good things about FilmFreeway.

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

That is a tough question. I think it might be “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor. A really close second (certainly in the last 15 years) is “The Nearness of You” cover by Norah Jones.

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

I have almost completed a romantic-comedy-horror mash up short called “The First Timer” on men’s grooming. This will be my first film to be shot entirely in English -so no subtitles needed! It will be released in the spring of 2018.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

CALL COHO, 16min, South Korea, Drama/Mystery
Directed by Daeryun Chang

Coho is a proxy driver who gets paid to drive other people’s cars so that they can freely go drinking. His clients only think they see a man who is all out of luck but what mysterious past is he actually hiding?

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

call_coho_6

Interview with Filmmaker Nikodem Rautszko (DE GLACE)

Nikodem Rautszko’s short film DE GLACE was the winner of BEST FILM at the December 2017 Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Nikodem Rautszko: At first, I wanted to make a film in an ice rink at night. The ice rink of my childhood inspired me. It was dark, it was gloomy. I wanted to talk about an emotion (the fear of being alone, without help, in indifference), and a hard social reality, but in a different, original way; that the public feels a emotion before understanding it.

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

This short film was prepared and shot very quickly. I wrote the script in early December 2016, prepared in two months, and shot in late January 2017. Then post production took 2 months. The film was ready in March 2017, 4 months in total.

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

cold and dark

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

We had to shot a second night because it lacked images for the logic of storytelling, and the machine that was cleaning the ice broke down. So we had to clean the entire rink by hand the second night of filming. Time management has also been very complicated.

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

The feedbacks are always very interesting on this film, because everyone brings his interpretation, and that’s what I like.

I’m always surprised and I discover new things I did not know about my own movie. This is the strength of cinema and art in general.

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

The vision of a lonely woman in the locker room of an empty ice rink at night. Then I followed the thread.

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

Fight Club by David Fincher

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

It is a very interesting platform that makes it easy to find festivals that correspond to everyone’s project. It allowed our film to travel a lot.

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

May be “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, or “Last Dayz” by Onyx.

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

I’m working on different short videos for the web, and I’m writing my first feature film, a fantastic and social thriller.
 

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film: 

DE GLACE, 6min, France, Drama/Thriller
Directed by RautszkoAt night in an empty skating rink, a young artistic skater launches on the ice, and begins a training. After a bad fall, she finds herself in blood, alone in the middle of the track. Unable to get up, she calls for help, when the ground starts to tremble …CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

 

Interview with Filmmaker Parry Majmudar (LOSING CLAIRE)

LOSING CLAIRE played to rave reviews at the Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival in December 2017.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Parry Majmudar: I’ve observed and read certain incidents regarding still born child and also have closely witnessed where there was a high possibility that a girl child couldn’t have survived… SHE was kept on LIFE SUPPORT and after a couple of days, She was removed from it and everyone present there were hoping and praying that she could survive the deadline given by the doctors. FORTUNATELY, God’s grace, SHE DID SURVIVE and SHE IS DOING QUIET WELL NOW. Few months back her family celebrated her fifth birthday. Hence, I got the motivation to make this film this year as a part of final project at the film school . I was present there with the family while all of this was occurring and it somehow got stamped into my heart as I had seen it firsthand and all I could do was to give them hope and observe their emotions and reactions towards the same. I was 22 then.

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

I was doing a research on the mothers who lost their child during the birth and also after that. (We’re told at the film school from the very beginning that we’ll have to make a short film at the end of the course as our graduation project, but like most of the student I was enjoying the course and London city. We had a Christmas break after attending 45 odd days of school and before parting for the break we’re reminded by our mentors to start working on the final project. As it was Christmas time and everyone’s on a festive mood so, I couldn’t think of any idea then – throughout the break.)
It had also to do with me being completely new to this field therefore I wasn’t able focus or reflect on the ideas for the final project. I started working on the idea in the end of January 2017. We were given a deadline that everyone must be ready with their scripts by the first week of March 2017. So, for me It was like do or die… and to be honest I took up the challenge and in-fact, I was happy that I have a deadline set and a target to achieve. I did submit my script in time and also requested my course leader to shift my date of production to the very top. We began shooting on the 21st of March 2017. It was a two days shoot. The post production activities took couple of months as I took a bit of time while editing the film and completing the other activities.

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

A silent despair.

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

When I was streaming through various ideas and when I finally decided to make a film on the aforementioned subject, I was deeply concerned about my confidence, because for a first timer like me plus preparing to make a short on such a sensitive subject was a real test for me. Also, when there is money involved, one has to carefully take each step a time. I don’t know how, during the pre-production, inspite of all the questions hovering in my mind about making this film, there was no negativity around me and that thing took me all ahead with this film. Slowly, I gathered confidence and since then there’s no turning back. Being this my debut film, the whole journey was fantastic. On the set or during the post production activities there wasn’t such obstacle with completing the film. Only that my visa my getting over on the last day of my course and I had fly back to India where I did my post activities which was a bit tedious.

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

I was thrilled…. Absolutely thrilled. I did not at all expect such feedback from the audience. I literally feel delighted for my cast and crew who worked hard for the film and made my dream come true. Cheers to the audiences who were kind enough to give the feedback and all the others for watching the film.

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

While in London, I got to meet the family in January 2017 and I was really happy to see them with the little one and there we’re sitting on the dinner table talking about the child with all that she had been through and the emotional journey of her parents at the time of her birth. So there I got the potential idea of creating it into a short film. Than I started my research.
The reason, I thought of making it from a male’s perspective was that The impact of pregnancy loss on male partners has been largely overlooked. When a baby dies before birth the loss can be devastating for fathers yet, very often, the world that surrounds them tends to discount their loss and emotional support. Whereas grief is assumed to be a predominantly maternal domain.

It is the perception that men have only a supportive role in pregnancy loss is unjustified, as it ignores the actual life experiences of the men, and the meanings they attach to their loss, in what may be a very personal emotional tragedy for them where they have limited support available. There is consideration of the need for the wider community to acknowledge the male partner’s grief as being a valid response to the bereavement suffered.
When men do express their grief, they tend to do so in culturally prescribed ‘masculine’ ways. As they are more reluctant to express their grief openly and hide it in order not to overburden their partner. Men exert more control over their emotional expressiveness and intellectualize their grief, whereas women are more expressive in their grief.

Men have few opportunities to express their emotions cathartically because they respond in a manner they feel that culture demands. It is important to ensure, therefore, that failure to identify the particular nature of the father’s grieving process, does not generate conclusions regarding the intellectualisation of feeling on the basis of stereotypical concepts of emotional expression.

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

Revolutionary Road (2008) and Kabhi Kabhie (Hindi Film, 1976

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

It is an indeed a great platform which helps the filmmakers in showcasing their films to various esteemed festivals around the globe. An interesting and easy submission platform where filmmakers get an array of choosing the festivals and also can apply to many of the free festivals in the world. The website is simple to understand and it caters to the need of an individual filmmaker. It is an emerging submission platform with all the the necessary changes and innovations film freeway does time to time.

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

Well, to be honest it all depends on my mood. But I do like listening to soft songs like You’re beautiful by James Blunt and Perfect Duet by Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.

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

Next for me is getting a job here in India or abroad as an assistant to the director. Like the 3rd or the 4th A.D as you know one has start from the grass root and climb the ladder. But its really difficult to get an entry into the industry because of cut throat competition. Also, I’m developing an idea for a short.
 

LOSING CLAIRE, 6min, India, Drama/Relationship
Directed by Parry Majmudar 

A story about psychological anguish from a male’s perspective on having a stillborn child. The main characters are Emily and Perry who are finding it difficult to cope with the devastating loss of their stillborn daughter – Claire and this is having a detrimental impact on their relationship which is becoming strained.

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

losing_claire

Interview with Director Andrea Behring (BAGGAGE)

Andrea Behring’s short film “BAGGAGE” played at the COMEDY FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles in September 2017.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Andrea Behring: I really wanted to have fun and tell an atypical comedy that poked fun at the norm and also pushed people’s boundaries a bit. Anything I could do in order to direct my own films, I was willing to try, including writing! My dad is also a director, and I’ve always been so inspired by him. I’ve also been challenged to make a name, style, and career to myself, separately from him, on my own merit. I needed to really challenge myself, and this was a challenging short film to make.

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

I first wrote the script in college at Sacramento State it in 2010, then rewrote it in 2013, fundraised through 2015, and then filmed and completed post production in the fall of 2016. So six years in total.

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

BLIND SIDED

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

We had two giant green screens outside a train car we had rented to shoot the subway sequences, and a very small single window of time one day to do it. Our train battery died over 30 times that day and made all kinds of noises, so a 6 hour filming day turned into a 13 hour day. Luckily my actors were total pros about it and managed to jump in and out and keep their composure as needed, and thankfully we did not have to reshoot the day.

Also learning how to produce, it is incredibly demanding!

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

I really felt pride in the fact that people at least wanted to take time to discuss it. Too often at film festivals they hold a 3 minute sugar coated Q&A session that doesn’t really get much discussion going. I sincerely enjoyed the different reactions people had at your festival; it reminded me of my class discussions back in film school.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

It was a bit of an urban legend to start, as I knew several people who claimed they had a “friend of a friend” who had really had this horrible crazy day in NYC. I would tell the story at gatherings and people would always laugh and feel slightly guilty about it. So I started building on her story and the backstory behind it, and wanted to make sure to give it a complete story arch.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Clueless (it inspired Baggage!)

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

I liked it and preferred it over without a box, it’s very user friendly. I wish I could search for event more specific festivals, or festivals by region.

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

To Live and Die in LA by Tupac

What is next for you? A new film?

I have written a 30 min comedy pilot script with my partner Andrew Nicholson called “Picture’s Up” that just won an award in the Hollywood screenplay awards, and am looking forward to building on that and hopefully getting it shot sometime in the next year. I have formed my own production company called &D Productions and will hopefully continue to build that up as well!

In the meantime I am currently also a location manager in Atlanta on the TV show “Dynasty”. This job has allowed me unique access to work with each episode’ directors one on one and study their various techniques. It has also allowed me to have creative input in the extravagant design of the show by helping find and select the locations where we film in Georgia.

____
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 twice a month, and every other month in Los Angeles. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director David Holechek (CRADLE)

Short Film played at the June 2017 Sci-Fi FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

WINNER of BEST FILM at the festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

David Holechek: Short films are an amazing way to push yourself creatively and to venture into new territory as a filmmaker and ‘Cradle’ provided a great opportunity to try something truly different. Jake Hart wrote the script and had been living with this concept for years and the complexity and nuance of the story was something that excited me and made me want to pursue the project. It’s rare to work on a film where so much of the action and complex plot happen off screen or are presented to the audience but not fully explained. The world and rules in Jake’s script were so detailed and the challenge for us was to present all of these big ideas in a visually comprehensible way. We wanted to withhold information and keep people guessing but also wanted to give them enough to stick with us until the end. In short, it presented a creative challenge that was a bit new for me so I wanted to take it on and bring this fun, complex, weird sci fi tale to life.

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

Well, the idea had been with Jake for a long time but I was pitched the project just a couple weeks from when we started production. For me, from the first time I heard the idea to the completion of the film was about 4 months of sporadic work.

How would you describe your short film in two words!

Mind games.

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

We had completely wrecked a good friend’s converted attic space to use as the location for the film. After two long, hard days of filming we had to pick up our mess…that was not fun.

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

5. I’m always interested to hear if an audience generally “gets” what the film is trying to do and am relieved when the connection is made. Was really nice of the festival to provide the opportunity to hear what people took from it.

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the short film:

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

Jake Hart, the writer, has had the basic idea for a long time, since childhood I believe. He was challenged by the filmmaking group Dare:LA to write a film that featured many moments but in one location and that inspired him to craft his time-jumping idea into ‘Cradle’.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably either The Two Towers, the 1989 Batman or Return of the Jedi.

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

That’s a tough one. Either an R&B track from the early 90’s or an emo song from the mid-00’s. Not sure I’d admit to any one particular song though 🙂

What is next for you? A new film?

I run a production company called Duality Filmworks with my twin brother Daniel Holechek so we’re always pretty busy with television and film projects. Currently developing a biopic feature film and am waiting for Jake to finish the feature version of ‘Cradle’!

____
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 twice a month, and every other month in Los Angeles. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.