Interview with Hans Grossman (WAITING)

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

The band Copperhead are good friends of mine, and they actually approached me about doing a music video for Telus’ Storyhive Music Video Edition. This is a grant program out here in Western Canada sponsored by Telus. We won the initial round to receive the $10,000 to make the video, and then we won the second round where out of 15 videos from Alberta we took the top prize. I love Copperhead, they are great people, and an absolutely fantastic band, so I jumped on the opportunity immediately.

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

The timeline from finding out that we received the funding to having to deliver the final product was about a month and a half so that’s how much time we had to make it.

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

Highschool Drama (sorry, I kind of cheated there) 😉

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

The tight deadline was a pretty big obstacle. I’m actually a lighting technician in the local film union here, and I was working full time on Fargo season 3 when the band approached me. That show has crazy work hours, and when we wrapped, I went straight onto Heartland, so I literally produced this music video mostly by myself while being at work. I took any free minute I had to step off set and make phone calls and to arrange and plan everything. We also had a tough time finding a community centre that wasn’t completely booked up, as apparently summer is wedding season! I can’t believe how much we lucked out, finding a community centre that was also a bingo hall that happened to be available for one single day within our time frame! We really, really lucked out there, and the people that run the place were nice enough to let us use all the bingo equipment. I know you asked about the biggest challenge, but I just have to add one more thing…asking senior citizens to spend 12 hours on set, while caked in food, is a lot to ask! But the actors we got were spectacular, they were total champs, and they had a really great time, which took a lot of stress off my back! The last thing I wanted was for them to be uncomfortable!

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

This was the first time that I saw feedback from total strangers talking about something I had created, and it was really cool to see that! The feedback was really positive, so that was encouraging, and I’m stoked that you guys do this sort of thing because it’s really neat to hear other people’s opinions and also having them dissect your work to the point where you’re like – man, I made this thing, and I didn’t even see that!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

When the band approached me, they literally said: “Old folks home – food fight”. I said, perfect, let’s do it! Then I tried to figure out how we would get to that, because I’m really into story and motivation and the shaping of characters, so I came up with the rivalry idea. I’ve never lived in an old folks home obviously, but I know how my grandparents are, and that humans never really change. Sure, we get more mature, but really…we love drama! So I thought of creating that dynamic where the people in the old folks home paralleled to what we all know from high school. And bingo HAD to be the catalyst; I mean, there had to be a little bit of a cliche in there!

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

Definitely, The Big Lebowski.

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

Love it! It’s so easy! I love that you can just upload all your info and everything and then submit to everything at once. I just started pressing “apply” to so many things, that sometimes when I found out we had gotten into a certain festival, I didn’t even remember applying to it. The shotgun approach is really great sometimes!

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

Well, I edited this music video myself so, probably Waiting by Copperhead.

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

I’m still slaving away on the union shows as a lighting tech, but I am really fortunate to be able to focus on personal projects as well. Right now my friends at Two Word Productions and myself are trying to get a documentary off the ground about the music scene in Alberta, which I think is often overlooked and for weird reasons, because we have bands coming out of this city that absolutely blow me away! I’m also working on starting my own production company, and am currently editing, developing, and/or planning about 4 more music videos. I’m also working on a feature length script, but God knows when that will ever be done!

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Interview with Filmmaker Jim Wilmer (WATER)

 WATER was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the August 2018 Documentary Short Film Festival in Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Jim Wilmer: In our travels across the planet, shooting commercial video for travel and tourism, we realized that there are a several ‘constants’ in our global environments, the most obvious is water, which takes form in some of most spectacular natural forms- waterfalls, ocean waves, rivers and streams, etc- each of which is accompanied by its own unique auditory imprint of sounds- a natural composition of sights and sounds. We wanted to share these ‘mini symphonies’ and without words to transcend language and culture barriers to share our message.

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

The filming of WATER occurred over a span of 3-1/2 years, however, once we had the content that we were satisfied with the editing and finished film was completed in 30 days.

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

Beautiful-engaging

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

Weather is always a factor when shooting on location, for example we were filing in Iceland for 8 days, but only had 2 days of clear weather. We have had many shooting locations that had to be revisited for clear weather.

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

Every time we experience audience reaction – either in person or on video as you have provided- we are amazed at how engaged the audiences are, and how almost all viewers seem to have a connection to our film. We are so pleased that we have accomplished out goal of engaging our audience and getting them to think about this most precious resource.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

This is part of trio of eco-films that we believe will bring awareness to our fragile planet, without words to connect at a base root level.

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

Bladerunner (Ridley Scott 1982)

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

FilmFreeway is a great platform to submit to festivals around the world with a minimum of redundancy or hassle. We love the platform and try to use it exclusively for our film submissions.

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

“White Bird” from It’s A Beautiful Day (1968)

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

We released “Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing)” In January to great response from Festivals (55 screenings and 12 award wins), We are now re-shooitng this in VR for release next January..

 water.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 Poet Bob Mazzei

  1) What is the theme of your poem?

The poem Morbid Deceiver was published on a book my friend Jeff Lowe and I wrote in 2014, “Ziggurat – The Age of Total Dominion,” and it is about the sad condition of slavery that humankind lives under the power of our class-divided society. Jeff wrote part of the first chapter of the book and came up with very intelligent suggestions I made use of along the novel.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

The poem is in line with the subject of the book. It is a trip inside our societies; kind of psychedelic journey some say. The class-divided society is a type of social cohabitation we need to overcome. It’s all about freedom and emancipation, yet not those liberties hypocritically postulated in our constitutions and laws. Freedom is not to be able to choose between A and B, freedom is to be able to reject that choice, as it is a prearranged choice.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve been writing poems for 40 years, I started when I was 14.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I would have the pleasure to dine and sip a glass of good red wine with Mark Knopfler. I would like to share some musical ideas with him.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

Well, I thought it was good to have it on your blog.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Apart from poems, some short stories and lyrics.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion is languages in general and writing (English)

Performed by Val Cole

Interview with Poet BRIAN T. SLUGA

 1) What is the theme of your poem?

It’s about a feared dragon terrorizing a village. Its set in a Mid-evil time.

2) What motivated you to write this poem?

I wanted to do a poem out of the norm. Just to create a visual to the reader. Hope people like it.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I been writing poetry for about 20 years. Real seriously the last 3 years.

4) If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I would have to say Frank Sinatra. I’m fascinated with the man and musician.

5) What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

Just thought that this particular one would be best heard by someone with a trained voice. To make the reader feel the story like it’s really happening.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I have written some short stories. I also am a songwriter my lyrics can be found on Songbay.

See me under My Write.

http://songbay.co/portfolio/22825

Also here is my site with my latest poems.The Autorank link lists viewers favorites.

https://allpoetry.com/Gorun1

7) What is your passion in life?

I am currently passionate about working on my first self published poetry book. Also my poem, How Does It Go, has been selected for the 2018 Waco Texas WordFest Anthology.

A public reading of the anthology will be at 7 pm October 6 at the Waco Convention. I hope to meet many up and coming poets.

My passion is for my poetry to move people when they read it. Also to be meaningful to readers worldwide.

 

 

*****

Interview with Writer Ed Kulzer (Twitter Short Story)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Ed Kulzer: The story is about a standard, carbon copy, cardigan-wearing office worker, a woman becoming aware of how suffocating the lack of fulfillment in her monotonous life has become. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”, opined Thoreau, presciently foretelling the gargantuan army of spiritual malaise masquerading as a society marching on the belly of numbed clockwatchers cruising on autopilot. But for this office worker, this woman, today is a line crossed in the sand, a demarcation of radical departure. The exact nature of that change is left vague. Quitting? Vacation? A whirlwind of workplace violence? Even I don’t know.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

urban contemporary fiction

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Life Actualization

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

Frozen. And no, I’m not happy about that.

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

“Let it Go”, may God save my aching soul. I’m a dad of an 8 year old.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Dune

7. What motivated you to write this story?

The news reports of the latest office-place mass shooting which aired while I was listening to Radiohead’s “Spinning Plates”.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

My daughter. I all too often am kept late editing at Sesame Street & rarely get the chance.

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

Art, reading, politics, crafting the machinery of motivation to try to lighten the load of a burdened blighted world.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Just the opportunity presented.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Be mindful of advice or tips you receive and heed from other writers.

 

performed by Kate Fenton

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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 Writer Paul Levinson (Twitter Short Story)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

Paul Levinson: About saving some of the books that were destroyed when the Ancient Library of Alexandria was burned. Some historians regard this as the worst intellectual disaster in history – as many as 750,000 volumes were lost, some were unique copies, including the only copies of about 50% of Aristotle’s work. Sierra Waters goes back from the mid-21st century in an attempt to stop this.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

time travel

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

saving history

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

The Godfather

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

“It’s Only Love” by the Beatles.

6. Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

7. What motivated you to write this story?

I wanted to imagine would it take to save some of the ancient library.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

John F. Kennedy

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

music and television

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

it seemed like a great idea

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

don’t let anything get in the way of your writing – ignore all the good reasons not to write

 

performed by Kate Fenton

******

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 Writer James Stack (The Wycliffe Six)

 July 2018 Winning Short Story Writer.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your story about?

James Stack: A sophomore in college discovers who his friends truly are, and that the bigotry he’s been taught is wrong.

2. What genres would you say this story is in?

Young Adult, Coming of Age, Mystery, Historical

3. How would you describe this story in two words?

Betrayal & Bigotry

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

The BBC series: Pride & Prejudice. If that doesn’t qualify, it would have to be The Wizard of Oz since it played every year during my childhood.

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

“Let It Be!”

7. What motivated you to write this story?

It is based on a true story in which I was a participant.

8. If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Plutarch

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

Theatre; my dog, Ollie; my husband, Ron – not necessarily in that order, but maybe.

10. What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I thought it might be fun to hear someone read it.

11. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write every day – read every evening – or vice versa, whichever suits you so long as you do both every day.
 

 

by James Stack

@SkygateStack

Narrator: Kate Fenton

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.