Interview with Filmmaker Andy Fortenbacher (ORNAMENT OF BEAUTY)

 ORNAMENT OF BEAUTY played to rave reviews at the Under 5 Minute FEEDBACK Film Festival in April 2018.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Andy Fortenbacher: My producing partner, Stephanie, and I were interested in extracting a fantasy/horror from Shakespeare’s Sonnet #70, which is ultimately about slander. It seemed like a challenging opportunity to tell a story very different from my other work.

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

On and off, it took us about 2 months to complete this project.

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

Overcoming oppressors

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

A single day shoot that was consumed by a tropical storm.

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

It was a rare pleasure to receive video feedback from a film festival. Probably one of the coolest things I’ve received in a while. Nobody else does this! As a filmmaker, it’s always good to hear what the audience thinks about the work, especially when you’re not able to attend the festival and hear firsthand. My hat is off to you!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Many elements of the sonnet were used as inspiration, but I took ample artistic liberty when working through the surreal visual approach, story and characters.

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

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

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

I’ve been pretty happy with Filmfreeway. When withoutabox was years outdated, Filmfreeway came in with a fresh, cheap, and simple approach to getting my films to festivals.

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

Grateful Dead: China Cat Sunflower

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

I’m currently developing three feature films and always writing.
 

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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 Declan Quinlan (BOY)

 BOY was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the LGBT FEEDBACK Film Festival in April 2018.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Declan Quinlan: I wanted to tell a gay story that highlighted how being gay and repressed because of your environment can really alter a person’s state of self and treatment of other gay people.

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

November until December was writing. Production was January 19 and 20. Editing was until May.

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

Bleak, honest.

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

Time constraint and so many locations on short time! Too much moving about. Filming in the apartment was the easiest because it was one space all day.

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

Very proud to have a reaction and understanding like this. I was too nervous to watch immediately. I love the responses. It gives me confidence to pursue unique stories in the future and also makes me happy that the story was understood the way I wanted it to be.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

After multiple failed attempts to try write something that wasn’t me. This idea came to me one night and I finished it over three nights. It felt like a secret that cracked out of me. Not autobiographical, but metaphorical.

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

Titanic.

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

A great tool and social media network.

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

Probably Toxic by Britney Spears. Listened a million times when I was very young.

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

Yes writing a feature, taking my time.

 

 

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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 Sari Eran Herskovitz (TRAIN)

TRAIN was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the April 2018 Under 5min. Feedback Film festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Sari Eran Herskovitz: The film is a music video for Train, the first single of Longing Songs, the debut album of Sari & Moshe, a music duo consisting of me and my husband. As an animator, I wanted to create a visual expression of the song.

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

It took about 6 months to make the film from the idea to the finished short. Most of the time was dedicated to choosing the right images and exploring the animation technique combining watercolors and cutouts.

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

The host of the conversation in the feedback video described it as liquid joy. I really like this description and would like to adopt it here.

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

I created the animation like a jazz improvisation – drawing live under the camera. This was difficult because we had very limited time for shooting the film, for budget and timing reasons.

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

It was very exciting and moving for me to hear the people in the audience talk about the animation and the music. It’s a special experience to be deeply understood by people I don’t know, who could feel the joy and the flow I felt creating the animation, and could relate to the childlike experience of morphing into the moment. I was surprised by the fact that the translation of the lyrics was not clear to some of the people, but this feedback was helpful.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

The music video is based on my feelings as a mother to a small daughter.
The animation started out as a short poem I wrote describing a moment of watching my daughter play with her toy train. The lyrics were then composed by my Husband, and the song became a part of our first album.

In the animation it was important for me to express warmth and connection, and also the fluidity of time I experienced as a mother: rhythms changing, time stretching and shrinking, allowing me to discover things I would not notice otherwise. Using watercolors in a stop motion technique helped me to express this fluidity visually.

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

I am not sure which film I have watched the most. What I can say is that watching Yellow submarine as a child was a very strong experience for me, and I think it’s a part of my inspiration to combine music, colors and visual images.

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

I experienced it as a very friendly and comfortable platform.

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

I don’t know. There are many songs and styles of music I love. Today I listened to Paul Simon’s American tune.

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

My husband and I are working on some new music, there may be more music videos in the future.

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Photo by Doron Oved

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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 Winning Screenwriter Mike Hoberg (OCCUPY WALLY STREETSKI)

Get to know the writer: 

 1. What is your screenplay about?

You’re just one electric bill away from being Amish!

Finn Chandler is a jobless college graduate, loaded with debt, and living in his Dad’s basement. While at an Occupy Wall Street protest, Finn gets whacked in the head by a weird-looking coin that supernaturally predicts future stock prices.

Finn uses the coin’s picks to make $261,554.14 in his first week at home as a day trader.

The coin belonged to filthy-rich Walter Streetski and he begins a devious plan to put Finn through hell to get the coin back.

Finn fights back, but is just one step from going to prison.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy, Action, Central Hero, High Concept

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

Cathartic relief if you’ve ever been screwed over by a rich person, business, or bank.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Joyous revenge!

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

Dirty Harry

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

A couple years

7. How many stories have you written?

Four screenplays

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

I’m hooked on any form of Smooth Jazz and listen to it during most of my workouts.

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

Getting to sleep because it was just too fun to write.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

My wife, cycling, and triathlons.

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your
experiences working with the submission platform site?

Excellent

12. What influenced you to enter the festival?

The ability to have access to actors reading the best scene of a screenplay is a fantastic idea.

Genre: Comedy

Funny things happen on Wall Street.

CAST LIST:

Finn: Brogan Caulfield
Reporter: Emily Weir
Narrator: Peter Nelson
Wally: Daniel Cristofori
Atticus: Neil Bennett

Interview with Director Leslie Aldana (THE WRITER’S WOMAN)

THE WRITER’S WOMAN was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the Romance FEEDBACK Film Festival in February 2018.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Leslie Aldana: I was thinking about love and the structures around it. About the think that are socially permitted an not in this topic. I realized love is free and love has many manners. Love is not only that we see an fairy tales and I want to talk about all of this.

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

To make this from the initial idea to the final product we took nine months.

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

Breaking Structures

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

The biggest obstacle I faced was abandon my old structures about what love is.

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

I was so exited that we can share emotions in other country.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film

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

The ideas always come to me, all the time.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

The film I have seen the most is “Midnight in Paris”.

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

Is an easy to use platform and very complet.

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

The song I have listen the most is “Air” from Bach” and “Moon over Bourbon Street” from Sting.

What is next for you? A new film?

My next project is Mû’bû, a film about a child that dead apparently without a reason. A story about love and detachment.

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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 Cinematographer Rasmus Heise (I KILL GIANTS)

Rasmus Heise is the cinematographer of the Netflix Original series “The Rain” and the drama/fantasy feature film “I Kill Giants”. The Danish DOP started out working on a string of short films including Oscar-winning family drama “Helium”.

Matthew Toffolo: Where were you born and raised? Was photography something you always wanted to do as your career?

Rasmus Heise: I was born in Copenhagen and raised in different cities around Denmark. I picked up a VHS camera at summer camp, age 13, and did a short film starring my sister. I overheard some adults prasing my work. That never left me. It wasn’t untill I was around 21, that I fund out that cinematography was what I wanted to do. I was taking the 8 months course at the European Film School in Ebeltoft, Denmark. This is where I met the people that I would go on making short films with for many years ahead. Later I studied cinematography for 4 years at the National Filmschool of Denmark in Copenhagen.

What has been your most proudest work of your career? Or, what has been your favorite project to date?

The first real big challenge was the two final episodes of the TV show called “The Protectors” (Livvagterne, Denmark, director Mikkel Serup). We had to shoot locations in Denmark and Marocco and studio in Denmark. It was a big challenge making it all flow seamlessly, and I think we did a great job. In more recent times I’m very proud of I Kill Giants. A huge challenge for everybody involved. Shooting a challenging script in only 35 days in two countries and with many cgi and in-camera effects. I’m also proud of the work on the Netflix show The Rain. I shot 4 episodes for director Natasha Arthy. We had a huge amount of stuff to do, and very little time. But somehow we and the hardworking crew made it work.

Tell us about the film I KILL GIANTS. How did you get involved in the project? What makes this film unique?

I have worked with director Anders Walter for many years. I have shot about 20 music videos and 4 short films for him. After our short film Helium won an Oscar for best live action short, things started to happen. He was offered to direct IKG, and I jumped on the project with him. The american producers didn’t know me, but luckily I had shot the first season of Amazon Studios’ show Hand of God for director Marc Forster. So they called him up, and he must have said something nice about me I guess 🙂

The film is based on a really beautiful graphic novel from 2008 by the same name. It’s a very beautiful story, and I feel very lucky to have been a part of making it in to a movie. I want to thank producer Kim Magnussen for also helping me get onboard.

Is there a type of film/TV show that you love to work on that you haven’t worked on yet?

I would love to make something gritty. A twisted thriller.

What are you generally looking for in a director in order for you to do your job as best as possible?

It’s all about being on the same page I think. I always try and spend time getting to know each other. The better I know someone, the better a job I tend to do for him or her. I love directors who has a vision, but are not afraid to let go and let the project take you somewhere you hadn’t planned.

What do you think a producer/director is looking for when they bring on you to DP the film?

I know my craft, and I work fast! Haha. I know that many producers like it. I think directors likes me, because I can work in many genres and maybe also because I’m easy to talk to. I see my job as becomming the directors best friend, and I try to be the best collaborator in every way. I want to help the director, but also challenge him or her to push the project to become even better.

What is your passion in life besides photography and film?

These days it’s my beautiful family. They are amazing every day.

What movie have you watched the most times in your life (besides the ones you worked on?

I have MANY favorite movies. My all time favorite is Heat by Michael Mann. Have seen that so many times. My biggest dream would be DP-ing a movie directed by Michael Mann. Or PT Anderson. Or David Fincher. Or Marc Forster. Or.. well the list is very long.

What advice do you have for young cinematographers who would eventually like to DP movies for a living one day?

What you need is collaborators. Find like-minded people. Learn and grow together. Film school is not essential. But it’s a great place to learn from your mistakes without anybody out in the film industry noticing you screwed up. So if you don’t get into film school, or don’t have the money for it, find another way to get experince and learn. Make non-budget shorts or do music videos or art projects. Go to a film work shop or find collaborators some other way.

Please follow me on instagram: rasmus_heise

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photo:Umedia.
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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.