Interview with Filmmaker Ralph Klisiewicz (COLLIDE)

COLLIDE was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the September 2019 Chicago FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Ralph Klisiewicz: I have made a few short films and by this point I was addicted to the process of filmmaking. I saw a series of short plays written by Mark Chrisler that have really impressed me and I wanted him to write my next short film. In addition, we wanted to make a film that would play to the acting strengths of Heather Chrisler, who is a Jeff Award nominated stage actor in Chicago. Up to this point I have worked with her on few short roles and a music video. However, we wanted to create something dramatic and a character driven.

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

Once the script was written it took about a year before we could get everyone’s schedule aligned. I remember Heather had a very busy stage schedule. She called me saying she has two weeks free at the end of August to film a project. We rushed through all the prep and got the project ready to film in about a week. Jalen (Lover) and Heather just finished a play at Victory Gardens so it was a smooth transition for them to the film set. Luke (Tim) had worked with me on my previous short film, so I was comfortable with him and he with me. We had three major shooting days at three locations, and a few short pickups. The editing process was rather smooth. At the artist’s loft, where we filmmed the sex scene, we build a quick studio where we recorded the score in three days. In summary, filming and all the post-production was about a 2 month process.

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

Truth Colliding.

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

As always, scheduling! We all have our own projects, jobs, and other commitments so getting everyone on the same page is always difficult.

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

The comments focused mainly on the motives of the main character, Salie. I have gained an appreciation on the diversity of conclusions made about the film’s protagonist. The feedback clearly illustrated that each viewer has a distinct psychology that colors his/her perception of the film. Moreover, the responses also illustrate that our film has layers that speak differently to each viewer.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Mark Chrilser wrote the script. The themes of his plays and other work often deal with interplay of truth and lie.

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

I can’t point to a specific film. However, there are a few filmmakers whose work I have watched repeatedly. The filmmakers that inspire me the most are, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Danny Boyle, and Denis Villeneuve

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

I think the FilmFreeway platform is great. The process is smooth and straightforward.

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

I go through phases where I listen to one particular artist more than others. The range is wide, anything between Chopin, Deamau5, Bjork to Metalica. However, I have likely listen to Nine Inch Nails and Pink Floyd more than anything else.


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

I am making a short sci-fi thriller “The Artifact”. This film will be based on themes of technology, psychology and philosophy. Minds will be literally and figuratively be blown.

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