Interview with director Marina Meijer (CARGO)

Marina Meijer’s short film “CARGO” was the winner of “BEST FILM” at the May 2017 European Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Marina Meijer: I needed to make a film about the importance of women and love, in an environment where she is absent. So I went looking for places at sea (the birthplace of Afrodite, goddess of love), to find a small men’s microcosm, where only men live and work together, seperated from land and the women in (their) life. And then I met Frans, a rough sailor who had lost his love.

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

I did two months of research, and in this period I lived on several ships to meet different crews and men. After I found Frans, I wrote a filmplan, and then my cameraman, soundsman and me, stayed on the ship for a month to shoot. Our school gave us a 6 weeks to edit the film, and then another month for sounddesign, music and other postproductional things! So I think in total it took us half a year to make the entire film.

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

Waves, Women.

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

The fact that is was my graduation film, gave us quite some limitations in our shooting and edit period. But I learned a lot, so it’s not all that bad… And of course the fact that I did a lot of puking at sea, hehe.

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

It made me very happy..! Some things people said, really touched me. I loved it that although it’s quite a subtle story, some people do feel the emotional layer underneath it.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the short film:

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

As a woman, there are places that are almost unattainable for me, places where men are among themselves, isolated from the outside world. This film takes place in such a ‘man’s microcosm’ at sea, a place where men and women are physically separated. It’s a place that intrigues me, because it feels out of balance. It’s a small world that symbolizes the world in which we now live, where the ‘hard’ and strong often dominates, and where the soft and sensitive is still struggling to break through. For me this film is a portrayal of this struggle with feelings. About a man who lost his wife, his unexpressed feelings and loneliness within this men’s world. A small film about the importance of women and love, which becomes even bigger when she is no longer there.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Beau Travail, from Claire Denis or Three Rooms of Melancholia, from Pirjo Honkasalo.

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

‘Maggot Brain’ from Funkadelic or ‘If you want me to stay’ from Sly and the Family Stone. And I still don’t know the lyrics.. Words are not that important to me, i guess.

What is next for you? A new film?

I hope so! Working very hard on a new idea.. I’m very uncertain about a lot of things in my life, but filmmaking is the one thing I’m very sure of, that I really want and need to do.



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 month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Editor Tod Modisett (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Bachelor)

crazy ex girlfriend.jpgIt was a privilege to chat with the talented editor Tod Modisett on the art of editing.

Matthew Toffolo: You have edited many television shows. Do you have a favorite experience?

Tod Modisett: The best experience is when you understand the show you’re working on. You get the director or the producer, and he or she gets you. Then interesting things can happen pretty quickly. Some editors can talk articulately when they’re working. I usually can’t.

Sometimes I mumble. It’s great when a director can hear me mumble something and he or she knows what I’m saying. It reminds me of how some dentists can understand you even when you have all kinds of crap in your mouth. Jeff Schaffer, the creator of “The League,” was like that. Once I mumbled something as I hit command-Z to put the edit back to what it was before I started messing with it and he said, “It’s okay. I know what you were going for.”

I have to ask about the “Bachelor” experience as there are tons of fans out there who want to know. What was the process like editing an episode together? Was the episode already written and you simply needed to piece together the story with the hours of footage you had? How much footage did you (or your assistant) have to go through?

I had to look this up on my calendar program. I stopped working on “The Bachelor” in December of 2008 and my last “Bachelorette” was July of 2009. So it’s been a while! Back when I was there, the story side of the show was run by Martin Hilton, who is certainly one of the smartest people I’ve met in Los Angeles. Martin always had a strong point of view about how the storylines should unfold, and he wouldn’t let the actual footage stand in the way. I learned a lot from him about how to shape the footage to achieve the desired result.

More importantly, he helped me realize that an editor needed to have a perspective when cutting a scene. There’s no point in being passive.

Martin started as an editor at Next Entertainment, so he empowered editors there to work the stories out themselves and pitch him their ideas. The story producers were there to help the editors find the interview bites the editors wanted. Not every reality company worked that way.

There was, of course, a lot of footage on those shows. But usually I didn’t watch everything. If something amazing happened in the house during a down period, a field producer would note it for us. You can’t watch every frame on that kind of schedule.

Did the TV show “Redneck Island” actually happen?

Yes! But I wasn’t on it for very long. I think I only cut one or two episodes. I don’t know why they put me down as having worked on all of them in IMDB. I left that show to cut
“Burning Love” for Ken Marino.

What is the biggest thing you’ve learned working as an assistant editor early in your career that helped you grow as an editor?

Every show ends. No matter how bad it gets, it’ll be over sooner than you realize.

What makes a great editor? What skills does he/she need?

First, you need all the stuff people talk about in seminars, like sensitivity to performance, a sense of pace, etc. A lot of editors I know are former musicians, so they feel rhythm and dynamics better than other people. But that’s only half the battle. You also should understand how you come across in a room and how you’re best able to work with other people. You need to know how you can personally convince others of your ideas without being overly combative. It’s different for everyone, because what works for one guy might not work for another. In the beginning, I was too much of a push-over. I’d say, well, it’s your show, do what you want to it. I’m just the editor. But what happens is, after a couple of years directors and producers have a way of forgetting what it was they insisted on in the cutting room, and they blame the editor if the show is bad. So now I try harder to push back if I think someone is making a real mistake. I don’t always prevail.

What is an editor looking for in their director? What is a director looking for in their editor?

Just to be on the same wave-length. With comedies, we have to think the same general stuff is funny, otherwise it just won’t work.

Is there a type of film or TV series that you would love to edit that you haven’t edited yet?

So many! I like a lot of stuff.

What film, besides the ones you’ve worked on, have you seen the most times in your life?

Through no design or intention, I’ve probably watched “The Godfather,” “Alien” and “Blackhawk Down” the most. The first two are kind of obvious. I don’t know why I find “Blackhawk Down” so watchable, but I’ve seen it five or six times.

What suggestions would you have for people in high school and university who would like to get into the industry as an editor?

I don’t know those people. Most kids want to write and direct. Or act. Usually if they’re in high school and they’re talking about wanting to edit, it just means that they lack the confidence to say they want to direct, because very few teen-agers know what editing is all about. So my suggestion is, don’t say you want to be editor. Just go make short films of your own. Write them, shoot them and edit them. And see how you feel after doing all of that. Maybe during that process you’ll find you have a comparative advantage in one area.

Where did you grow up? Was working in the Film Industry something you always wanted to do?

I grew up in San Pedro, which is the harbor of Los Angeles. I lived with my Dad. Every Friday night, he would take me to pizza and then afterwards we’d go to the Wherehouse and he’d let me pick out a VHS movie to rent. I was maybe 12 or 13 then. He never looked at what I picked, so I got all kinds of inappropriate stuff. After watching Scorcese’s “Taxi Driver,” I thought, wow, that seems like a cool job; I’d like to do that.


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 month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with director Cassie De Colling (GULMARG – PARADISE ON EARTH)

Cassie De Colling’s short film played at the March 2017 DOCUMENTARY Short Film Festival

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

A lot of factors came into play when making this film. I was struck by the situation in Kashmir and I wanted to help create a perspective for the western skier to see I wanted that to strong but also not negative as I am very aware that they are injecting a lot of economy into the area, its a double edged sword. It was a challenge as the topic is a strong one and I didn’t want to use my own voice, as admit I am not an expert on the melting pot of issues that are revolving around Kashmir politically and socially.

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

5 years. It took me about 4 years to find the time to get it to a 45 minute edit which was a really strong piece but I just didn’t feel as though it was balanced. It was also my first film as a observationally documentary and I personally didn’t fee like I had adequate infrastructure in place for a smooth distribution. That is when I decided to cut it down to make it shorter, more palatable to the short film circuit and audiences.

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

Rough Diamond

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

When I returned for Kashmir my parter who helped me film it was particularly difficult and didn’t’t want me to use the footage. I basically had to wait a year for things to cool off before seeking legal advice to negotiate obtaining his permission to use the percentage of footage he had shot. It was very emotionally draining. The story also we really difficult to string together I didn;t feel expert enough to go into great detail about issues, so it was the struggle to set up my scenarios and tie them off whilst not getting too invested. Also maintaining relationships with both Kashmiri people and westerners through out the experience has been tricky, some people see the film as something that could portray Kashmir in a negative way, which it isn’t, But Kashmir is a complicated place, I just want tourist to have some understanding of that when they are making a journey their.

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

It was great. The film has been such a struggle for me to get together. It was lovely that it sparked conversation and considerations to the people in the audience. Especially in Toronto a multi cultural city, in a country that is known for snow and mountain culture.

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I originally set out to Kashmir to do a pro-bono film a documentary on a NGO that were providing Snowboards and training to Kashmir. When I arrived the company was no where to be found and they went silent. I never heard from them. So I was in Kashmir with my partner and I was dedicated to filming something… We had lugged our DSLR’s and filming gear through the military enclosed airport of Srinagar, we had to make the most of it.

The tension with the westerner and locals sort of lays dormant in Gulmarg. I could feel that but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Over the time I was their I supposed I saw and filmed more and more things that proved this to me. So it was just a matter of capturing those the best we could and at the same time making friends and building relationships with the people I interviewed.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

I am a bit of a one time film watcher… So don’t know

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

It would be some kind of 80’s Australian anthem. Money for Nothing – Dire Straights

What is next for you? A new film?

I am working on a very exciting VR project called Uku360 It is an underwater 360VR project looking at the first peoples of the world connection to the ocean. Check out for more information. We are about to film the pilot in April 2017.

Interview with the Brazilian Film Collective “we are magnolias” (The Grenade)

“we are magnolias” made an amazing short film called “The Grenade”  that was shown at the December 2016 FEMALE Feedback Film Festival. It was awarded “Best Music” at the festival.

Before I interviewed them, they wanted to introduce themselves:

We are an artistic collective from Brazil, formed by three women: Barbara, Nat and Valentina. We all met working at the same production company, and created We are Magnolias, seeking to express ourselves in our most genuine way. Since, 2013, when we made our first short film “Desamores” we kept together making different kind of movies and telling particularly stories that represents ways inside us in that period. We usually write, direct and produce our films and we are absolutely passionate about what we do, always looking forward to what new adventure is coming ahead.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

we are magnolias: Since the beginning of our collective we had done basically sensitive films, with a very female and delicate perspective. So when this picture came up in our minds, we knew it was time for us to express ourselves in a more aggressive and visceral way. Not only because we wanted to take this new step in our carrier and style, but also because we were portraying a generation that it’s personality went smoothly along with this concept. We wanted to explore a darker atmosphere, puzzle characters and an explosive love in midst to the chaos of this eruption generation. Because we didn’t want to be only that, we wanted to show that even in all this chaos and drama of a teenager life, you can always find a poetic beauty in it, it’s all about the point of view. From that thought, we start developing the script and decide that it would be better to make it in two different perspectives, of the same thing happening: the cosmic and rough feeling of being in love. The Grenade was important to us because it showed ourselves that we could dive into our artistic vein and create this universe of sensations and reflections.

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

wam: Because we had a low budget, we took almost a year, from the first small talk to the screening in Brazil. Nine months to be exact, from December 2015 to August 2016. And we had to create and develop The Grenade while making other projects, all at the same time. Therefore we extend the deadline two times. It was 9 months of a lot of work, engagement and a lot of love for our amazing crew. We found in this project beautiful minds and talents that helped us bringing this story to life. Definitely all worth.

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

wam: Chaotic beauty.

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

wam: Definitely the budget. Because as we said before, the idea of making this short film was ours, so it was born as an independent piece. We made the most of what we had, like shooting almost the hole film at one location: a very huge, plural and poetic shed, working with a really small crew. Natural lights in most of the scenes, and also working with two sets of camera at the same time, during our tree shooting days. We also had weather problems at the shooting days, a strong storm affected not only our abandoned location but also our entire city. Unfortunately, the biggest lost we had to face, was a particulary scenario, because the rain damaged all of the props and the area. But certainly this chaos helped us inserting our characters in this obscure universe and made all the experience so unique to us.

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

wam: It was amazing. We really appreciate being able to listen to all the comments, even being more than 5 Thousand miles apart. It was also very constructive and beautiful hearing people from another continent, another background and culture, telling how they felt the picture. We always love to hear all kinds of critics, in order for us to keep evolving and moving ahead. We also liked to see that there was women and men at the audience, the two genders supporting women’s films and stories, because it should all be about equality and admiration from both parts. Thanks for sharing that with us Feedback, we will always keep this sensations in our thoughts.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

wam: This picture had a really odd and particularly beginning. A couple of friends that own an art magazine and a fashion brand wanted to make a fashion editorial about this new generation of teenagers that they’re targeting on. So we got back to them saying: Ok, sure! Sounds amazing, but we want to make this bigger. We suggested to make a short film too. Once in a blue moon we have this kind of project on our hands. So we convinced them to make the picture, grabbing the opportunity and then putting our minds and souls to create this narrative and portray a little bit of this new, visceral and eruption generation. To show the beauty in the chaos of their thoughts.

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

wam: Well, we are three, so we should respond it by person, right? So it would be: Barbara: Memento, Cristopher Nolan and Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino very hard to say just one. Nat: Delicatessen, Jean-Pierre Jeunet/Marc Caro and Boogie Nights, PTA. and Valentina: La male educación (Bad education), by Pedro Almodóvar. It maybe not the one that I’ve seen the most, but It’s definitely one of the most special to me.



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 month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 2 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Graphic Designer Tina Charad (Maleficent, Fifty Shades of Grey)

Graphic Designer creates the props and set-pieces for film productions and works directly with the Production Designer. Depending on the period and genre, these can be newspapers, love letters, shop signs, posters, cigarette boxes, logos. Basically, they create the original materials needed for a film that haven’t yet been invented.  

I was fortunate enough to interview the extremely talented Graphic Designer Tina Charad. In the last 10 years she has worked on over 30 productions including the films “Robin Hood”, “Edge of Tomorrow”, “World War Z”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”, “The Fifth Wave”, and “RocknRolla”.

Matthew Toffolo: Is there a film or two that you’re most proud of?

Tina: Well, in terms of pure indulgence, of being spoilt and designing beauty day after day, it would be 47 Ronin. Perhaps Maleficent too – for the same reasons.

Tina created images in the film “47 Ronin”:

Matthew: How long do you generally work on a film? How early do you come on in pre-production? Do you stay until the end of filming?

Tina: It really does depend. On the whole, a large studio film in the UK could be 9/10 months work. The prep time is longer as is the shooting schedule. I have worked both in the UK, where I started and the US, where I now live. In the UK the Graphic Designer is really responsible for a large amount more work than the US. That may sound bizarre in terms of the work load varying but in the US there are a lot more print houses and production places that can facilitate some of the graphic design parts where as in the UK, the Graphic Designer creates all the Art department, set dec & prop pieces – no matter how big or small.

Matthew: What’s the difference when working on different genres? From a straight up drama like “Body of Lies”, to a pure fantasy like “Maleficent”?

Tina: Well there is a huge difference. With something like BOL, you’re not creating fantasy. Often you are recreating reality but in a different location. So you’re making mobile phone stores, embassy clinics, roads signage. They are a huge part of what makes the film real, but not wildly creative. You have to be on the nose accurate, especially when working in foreign languages and alphabet like that film. We shot in Morocco, but were predominantly set in Jordan. The Arabic is different in these two countries. I had to have a translator who knew the differences. I then had to set about researching contemporary Arabic branding and identities as you would in the US. I had to create large scale banks and corporations but in Arabic. I spent a lot of money purchasing good contemporary Arabic fonts.
With Maleficent, I was re-united with a favorite designer. He wanted me to create a large scale tapestry for Sleeping Beauty’s bedroom. Whilst there were suggestions of medieval tapestries etc thrown in, he was very clear that he wanted to design something original. Also he pointed out that we were not a historical film, but a fantasy and the tapestry should show that. I think the brief was “Grayson Perry Meets Flemish”. So I worked on a fantastical forest scape that was a day and night scene. It has a wealth of lovely references and feels both fresh and stylistically fitted the brief.

Tina created the Sleeping Beauty bedroom images in “Maleficent”

Matthew: What about your experiences working on “American Ultra” or “The Crazy Ones” TV show? Is a straight up comedy an entirely different experience? Is your creative process all about making people laugh?

Tina: Well to be fair, In American Ultra I was doing reshoots especially of all the insert work. The producers and director found that the stuff didn’t work once they had shot it. For many reasons it had to all be recreated so it wasn’t really humorous at that point. You are just trying to get all these pieces and stick them together. In fact I didn’t get the script for that so I had no idea it was a comedy. It all seemed like a typical spy caper to me at the time.

I did a little on The Crazy Ones as they wanted to elevate the look and feel of the show. I had also worked at Leo Burnett where the show was supposedly based on. Despite what the designer hoped for, there is still only so much you can do with a comedy show – the jokes have to be pretty brash and in your face. No room for subtlety. It’s not my best genre – TV comedy. I find myself always fighting for the more subtle joke, and losing…

Matthew: What is the most challenging aspect of being a graphic designer?

Tina: Going to have to be clearances & the legal side.

Matthew: I have to ask you about the “Fifty Shades of Grey”

Tina: One of the most anticipated films of 2015. Were your design themes all about power and sex?

I started with David Wasco before any other art department. Initially we worked on researching the sex furniture for the red room of pain. David knows that I can do illustrative work so I looked at initial pieces of what these key pieces of furniture would look like. I have worked for a lot of designers sourcing reference and style imagery so we looked at humanizing the story. The book is pretty 2 dimensional as are the characters, so between Sam the director and David, they wanted to add life into it. In terms of the graphics in that film, trying to design a logo that doesn’t look like a film graphic and that could carry through 3 films and maybe 5 years without looking dated or getting changed, was a challenge. But I did several passes at first and Sam knew straight away which to choose. That initial Grey Enterprises logo is what Universal based their entire marketing campaign on. The other key logo was SIP – Seattle Publishing which actually didn’t make it into the film but is a key part of book2. I bet they use a new logo but that would be a huge pity. I rather liked my SIP work!

Tina’s created logos for “Fifty Shades of Grey”:

Matthew: You worked as a Graphic Designer on the David Fincher directed music video “Justin Timberlake Ft. Jay-Z: Suit & Tie”. How long did you work on the video, what did you do, and how was working with so many iconic people?

Tina: Good Question! I watched the video again to remind myself. Well that and sifted through my back up folders. I remembered doing a lot of etched mirror and glass for that video and sets. I remember there was a nightclub that was branded (signage, props etc) and had an old rat pack feel. What one has to remember is what is in the final edit does not show what was made. We prepare for what is initially discussed but things can change on the shoot day, the director or cast and request changes and then a whole scene can be cut. David Fincher is very particular about everything so the designer had all sets covered from an art direction, graphics and prop side. Better safe than sorry.

Matthew: Do you have a Production Designer or Graphic Designer mentor?

Tina: No – not really;

I spent 10 years in the real world of branding & advertising before moving into film. I loved Fabien Baron -you might guess from the fifty shades ;). So I didn’t really need mentoring when it came to graphics in the film industry with a designer so to speak, as I already had the skills. I have a couple designers I would work for regardless of pay or the job (let’s hope they don’t read this) they are David Wasco & Gary Freeman. Love the projects David chooses, they are often smaller and more interesting pieces. He is a designer that graphics are hugely important too. Gary uses me more as a Graphic illustrator on large scale pieces. Installations that normally are dreams briefs.

Matthew: What movie, besides the ones you’ve work on, have you seen the most in your life?

Tina: Another great question. There isn’t 1 but 3.
Gladiator – no explanation needed
Team America – I will never stop laughing or being furious I didn’t work on it
Love Actually – it’s on every Christmas

Matthew: You’ve worked as a Production Designer on more than a few short films. Is that a position that you aspire to hold in the Hollywood feature film world? Is there a place where we can watch your short films?

Tina: I have done that. I’ve also worked quite extensively as a stylist and assistant set decorator which is something I did pursue for a while I never wanted to design. All my design jobs have honestly been decorating jobs. Then I moved to the US and had to choose between 44 or 800 and I decided to focus only on graphics. I have no idea if you can watch these shorts. I’ll have to investigate…..

Matthew: What Production Designer and/or Director would you love to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?

Tina: That would be KK Barrett for Production Design and Tim Burton.

Matthew: You’re working on the new Bourne Identity sequel. Can you give us a sneak peek to what to expect?

Tina: No! Haha

For more information on Tina, please go to her website:

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 for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Getting to know the 2015 Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies 2015 baseball season is all about who they trade and what they get in return.

This team isn’t going anywhere soon for at least the next few years, and they need to move their veteran players and salaries for blue chip prospects. If you’re a Phillies fan, you’re actually in a pretty good position because you can rebuild and when you assemble a good team eventually with your draft picks, you have the resourses to keep those players and begin a new legacy.

There’s the old saying General Managers have when trading players: Do it a year too soon and never a year too late.

Translation: Trade the good players when they are assets and you know are in decline. Not when they move past their peak and you can’t trade them for anything worthwhile. That was the Phillies problem in 2013-2014. They needed to move their aging playing and start rebuiling. But emotions towards their 2008 World Series championship and feelings for Jimmy Rollins etc… gave them the notiion that these players had one more good year in them.

So now they need to trade Cole Hanels, Cliff Lee, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, and Ryan Howard (even though with his salary, no one will take him). And whomever they get back for these trades is how you chock up whether 2015 is a success or failure for the Phillies.

Bill Parcells 11 Commandments of Being a Quarterback (or leader in any field)

To jump on yesterday’s Bill Parcells article, here is Parcell’s commandments on what is takes to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. You can easily take this list and translate to any leadership job.

Quarterback commandments:

1. Ignore other opinions – Press or TV, agents or advisors, family or wives, friends or relatives, fans or hangers on – ignore them on matters of football, they don’t know what’s happening here.

(Translation: Don’t take advice from someone who doesn’t understand the job you’re a part of or doing. That’s like an actor getting advice from their father who was an accountant. You can’t give him advice and he can’t give you advice.)

2. Clowns can’t run a huddle – don’t forget to have fun but don’t be the class clown. Clowns and leaders don’t mix. Clowns can’t run a huddle.

(Translation: Act so people respect you. No one ever looked up to the funny kid in grade school, no matter how funny he was)

3. Fat QBs can’t avoid the rush – A quarterback throws with his legs more than his arm. Squat and run.

(Translation: Make sure you don’t look like a slob.)

4. Know your job cold – this is not a game without errors. Keep yours to a minimum. Study.

(Translation: Discpline and hard work = success. Don’t be lazy.)

5. Know your own players – Who’s fast? Who can catch? Who needs encouragement? Be precise. Know your opponent.

(Translation: Understand everyone’s job, plus your own. Sign of a true leader.)

6. Be the same guy every day – in condition. Preparing to lead. Studying your plan. A coach can’t prepare you for every eventuality. Prepare yourself and remember, impulse decisions usually equal mistakes.

(Translation: Don’t be inconsistant. No one respects someone who is up one day and down the next.)

7. Throwing the ball away is a good play – sacks, interceptions and fumbles are bad plays. Protect against those.

(Translation: Know when to take chances. You risk too much and you lose.)

8. Learn to manage the game – personnel, play call, motions, ball handling, proper reads, accurate throws, play fakes. Clock. Clock. Clock. Don’t you ever lose track of the clock.

(Translation: Whatever road you choose to journey down, make sure you know how to get there in the best possible way. Make sure your followers have trust when they walk behind you – or else they are gone!)

9. Get your team in the end zone – passing stats and TD passes are not how you’re going to be judged. Your job is to get your team in the end zone and that is how you will be judged.

(Translation: You better succeed or else what you say or do doesn’t matter.)

10. Don’t panic – when all around you is in chaos, you must be the hand that steers the ship. If you have a panic button so will everyone else. Our ship can’t have a panic button.

(Translation: You’re going to have good days and bad days. Be the same person on both days and control your emotions.)

11. Don’t be a celebrity QB – we don’t need any of those. We need battlefield commanders that are willing to fight it out, every day, every week and every season and lead their team to win after.

(Translation: Understand why you are doing your job. It needs to always be about the work – not about obtaining fans.)

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Matthew Toffolo

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes, Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Go to and submit your film, script, or story to the festival.

Go to and watch recent and past winning writing festival readings.