THE WOODS played to rave reviews at the May 2019 Thriller/Suspense FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto.
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Robbie Lemieux: This short film is a proof-of-concept for a feature film that I’m developing. Although the short is about different characters in slightly different circumstances than the feature, the intention was to create a short and scary piece that conveys the tone and explores the world of the feature.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?
I was about a year into writing the feature when I decided to make a proof-of-concept short. Once I made that decision, it took approximately four months to complete the short — from writing, through pre-production and production, to final cut and delivery.
3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?
Atmospheric and scary.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Budget is always a big obstacle. The challenge was to create something that felt professional, on an extremely low budget with a small crew. Most of our budget had to go to location and transportation – so we needed to be creative with the remaining resources we had to make the film look good and work.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was pleased to hear that the audience found the film compelling, and that they each had different reactions; that the film called up different memories or feelings for each of them.
Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:
6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?
It was based on the feature film screenplay, which is all about how people handle an unknown threat that they cannot understand. The short took elements from the feature film, to create a standalone piece.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Definitely “Jurassic Park” – the film that inspired me to become a filmmaker when I saw it at age five!
8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?
It’s amazing to have a platform that helps me discover festivals, and easily submit to them. The filmmaking process will always be a long and hard struggle — but at least FilmFreeway makes the festival process more straightforward and painless once your movie is complete.
9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?
Everything by Fleetwood Mac.
10. What is next for you? A new film?
The feature film for “The Woods” is in development, and I am also writing another horror feature — with a new short film set to shoot in Fall 2019.