Interview with Screenwriter Michael Zielinski (CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT)

CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT was a October 2018 Romance Screenplay Winner.

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Michael Zielinski: My romantic screenplay CHRISTMAS PAST AND PRESENT centers on three couples at Christmastime encountering connection obstacles, the most compelling pairing a body-shaming victim with her one-time bully.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Romance.

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

The search for love is universal and my screenplay is heartwarming in demonstrating that serious potholes in that journey, like past scars, disparity in professions and ambition, can be overcome — especially with some help from the magic of Christmas.

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

Feel good.

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

Heaven Can Wait by Warren Beatty.

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

Eight months

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written this screenplay, written two published novels, and written two full-length plays and six one-act plays (all produced at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York City). I also am a newspaper columnist.

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

Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers.

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

I usually write comedies and this script was meant to be more romance than romantic comedy — an adjustment for me.

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

Sports.

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

Extremely positive and educational. FilmFreeway gives me access and exposure to industry professionals I otherwise would not have. And the feedback has been quite helpful. FilmFreeway is a portal to the possibility of opportunity.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings on the initial feedback you received?
The feedback was my primary motivation. And the feedback has been exceptionally helpful in pointing out issues of exposition and story/structure context in my screenplay.

 

 

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

FilmFreeway exclusive Festival:

CHAD MORGAN and WHITNEY PAXTON see each other at the ski lodge at Christmastime for the first time since high school 15 years ago. He was the star quarterback, she was overweight and had a hopeless crush on him. He body shamed her at a Christmas dance their senior year, an incident that transformed both their lives.

CAST LIST:

Narration – Vanessa Burns
Whitney – Sydney Addison-Rudat
Chad – Alex Clay

***

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Interview with the Filmmaking Team of the Award Winning Short Film “HOTTER WITH THE WINDOWS OPEN”

Director Julie Haberstick. Writer John Houston. Winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the August 2018 Romance Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

John: I wanted to tell a story that wasn’t the usual romantic story but would somehow bind these two people together no matter how badly they needed to be torn apart. Or maybe vice versa. Also, this is Footprint Productions’ first film, so we wanted to showcase the talents of our team. We didn’t have a huge budget, so we were trying to make something compelling within the confines of our apartment.

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

John: I wrote the script pretty quickly, Julie and I did some re-writes and planning. We shot within a month or so, plus some reshoots. Then, because our budget was so small, we really relied on favors. So I think it took us the better part of two years to get the film finalized and ready to be seen by the world.

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

Heartbreaking Growth.

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

Julie: Halfway through filming the most emotional scene in the film, our production was shut down due to a location dispute. We had to pack up immediately, and we weren’t sure how to move forward. We chose to have an impromptu wrap party at a bar down the street (complete with karaoke), and picked up shooting a few months later. Thankfully, that pause allowed us to sink our teeth into the scene in a whole new way.

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

Julie: To see Hotter affect the audience, for the creative choices to elicit emotions in ways we intended—and even in ways we didn’t—is incredibly gratifying.

John: It felt good to hear people talking about the film, reacting to it. Sympathizing with our characters, enjoying the heightened language of love.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:


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

John: I started thinking about what sort of love is forbidden and impossible… truly impossible, when the two must remain in each other’s lives, tethered. I also wanted to love and hate both characters, to feel for them, root for and against them. I especially wanted to make the leading man appealing, flawed, heartbreaking, and heartbroken.

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

John: Remember the Titans. I think I could quote the whole thing pretty accurately.

Julie: I have to admit 10 Things I Hate About You is my guilty pleasure…

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

Submission platforms are really convenient. They could be a little more user-friendly, but I’m sure in time they will make it easier and easier for people to get their films seen.

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

John: I listened to a lot of Tina Turner as a kid. And the Beatles and Elvis. But the individual song? There were a few angsty years where a couple Coldplay songs or Johnny Cash were on repeat.

Julie: The Big Chill soundtrack, and California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas are my most listened-to albums. But “More Than a Feeling” by Boston is my number one song.

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

Footprint’s next film is almost ready for a festival run. Don’t forget the name Footprint Productions because we have some awesome things in the works.

hotter_with_the_windows_open

Interview with filmmaker Linnea Ritland (VIOLET AND JUNE)

VIOLET AND JUNE was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival on Valentine’s Day.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Linnea Ritland: Whenever I look up at the stars I’m flat out terrified. The idea that we’re tiny in comparison to the universe (and that we’re all gonna die one day) doesn’t bring me any comfort (yet)—so I thought I’d harness this terror to try to make people laugh. Plus, I’m extremely bisexual so I’m always interested in exploring and celebrating queer narratives, and just wanted to make a film about lesbians where they don’t die at the end.

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

From the idea, 3 years, but from the first serious draft, about 1.

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

Quirky romcom!

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

We had to re-shoot the entire last two scenes in pickups, which was not only logistically tough but hard to deal with on a personal psychological level—when you need to do pickups it usually feels like you failed, since you didn’t get it right the first time.

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

I was so glad that people seemed to really like quirkiness of it! And proud of the work my collaborators did on the film—especially the music (Patrick Fiore) and production design (Courtney Verwold)!

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

It started from the visual of a girl having an existential crisis about a chocolate bar (i.e., realizing that it would rot just like everyone she’d ever known and loved), who then goes to take a bus, and a girl sits next to her and starts sobbing. I wanted to explore the idea of someone very analytical and books-based dealing with a crisis colliding with someone emotion-based also mid-crisis.

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

When I was a toddler I used to compulsively watch A Bug’s Life multiple times a day, to the point where my siblings memorized the entire film. I must have seen it more than a thousand times—I don’t even remember the plot or the characters’ names now.

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

It’s so easy and simple! Would recommend to any first-time filmmakers looking to submit to festivals.

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

You know how the old nokia ringtone is based on a Bach song? Probably that one. Or Happy Birthday.

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

I’m currently working on a comedy-drama about a young woman dealing with her father’s alcoholism, who bounces between her unstable home life and a very unstable relationship and eventually finds stability within herself. It’s called “Everything’s Great!” and should be making its festival rounds within the next year. For updates visit linnearitland.wordpress.com!

violet_and_june

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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 Robert Guthrie (EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY)

EASY, A 3 MINUTE LOVE STORY played to rave reviews at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival on Valentine’s Day.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Robert Guthrie: So many LGBTQ films, especially coming-of-age films, focus on difficulties. Violence, unrequited love, isolation… etc. Yes, it can be difficult. But, also, yes, it can work. Some families are supportive. Some kids are strong. The folks who made the film do believe in happily-ever-after. Years ago, after a tumultuous, clandestine relationship with a fraternity brother, I started dating the guy I would marry. That was senior year of college, and we’ve been together ever since. It can be easy.

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

The first plan for EASY – a 3-minute romance was to film it north of Seattle where my partner and I lived for four years. He ended getting a job back in Boston, so we moved back home a few years earlier than we had planned. So we moved the location from a farm and small town in Washington State and relocated to an urban environment. From conception to filming was about three years.

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

Happy together

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

Adjusting my expectations – this would no longer be a small-town, rural film. I had to let go of my dreams of specific scenes we had scouted out and arranged for. The best thing I did was decide not to push it, to let it go, and accept that we wouldn’t film on the West coast before the move. I love what EASY grew into, but it took initial disappointment to get there.

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

How thrilling to watch a roomful of people paying attention to something I’d created! The characters Jonathan and David have been living in my mind for several year; it was almost overwhelming to sense that they have lives that don’t involve me.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

I had a favorite cafe in Edison, Washington, where I wanted to set a film. And I was intrigued by a small-town guy unabashedly himself. I believe in happily-ever-after, have been living happily-ever-after and want to share happily-ever-after.

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

In college during an internship in London, the film adaptation of E.M. Forster’s Maurice came out. I saw it every Wednesday night for three months until I flew back to that states.

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

Enormously helpful.

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

Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony is my go-to.

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

Publishing a novel. Feature film is ambitious. We’ll see how it goes.

easy_a_3_minute_love_story
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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 Julia Campanelli (116)

 116 played to rave reviews at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto on Valentine’s Day.
 
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Julia Campanelli: I made my film, “116”, because of the dearth of interesting roles on screen for women over the age of 45 years. As an actress, generally the roles available to me are “grannie” roles. “116’ is not your grannie film. It features a powerful, sexually vibrant woman in a complicated relationship with a younger man. I see the reverse of this dynamic, an older man and a younger woman, all the time in film, the male gaze. As a filmmaker I am doing my part to change the narrative and represent complex female protagonists and intersectionality in my productions.

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

A very long time for a very short film! The process took two years due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. After we established our location and shot a day of footage, in a boutique luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan, the hotel closed suddenly and indefinitely. It took a year to try and schedule more time in the hotel (NYC hotels operate at 98% capacity on any given day), but in the interim I lost my lead actor due to scheduling conflicts. It then took much longer to re-cast the role, as I was trying to match physical type to the original actor, so that I could use some of the original footage I shot (shots of the actor from behind, not revealing his face). It was quite challenging, but I ended up with a fantastic actor for completion.

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

Power struggle is primary, and role play is backstory.

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

For indie filmmakers, budget is always a huge obstacle. And as a first-time filmmaker losing my location was heart-stopping experience! It was so unexpected, like an act of god. There was no way to foresee it.

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

What a wonderfully engaged and astute audience! I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there for the Q&A. I intentionally left the film’s ending ambiguous. I feel on the subject of intimate relationships, people bring their own experiences, prejudices and judgements when viewing it on screen. It was my intention to make the audience voyeurs into this couple’s relationship. If I made the audience a little uncomfortable or a little unsure, then I feel I succeeded in raising the question of perceptions and role reversals. If I made the audience question their own perceptions, I did my job.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

This piece was originally intended to be an immersive theatre piece. I also have a theatre company, Shelter Theatre Group, in NYC. I was approached by a producer and asked to choose a Shakespeare sonnet and a location to mount it. I immediately wanted to use 116, as it’s my favorite sonnet. I also knew right away it had to be placed in an hotel room. Hotel rooms fascinate me. They give the appearance of privacy, that hotel guests adopt readily, which is a type of role play, when in fact, hotel rooms have very little privacy. Housekeepers, bell hops, waiters, and the couple in the next room are all very present, yet a guest will ignore them for a false sense of privacy.

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

The Wizard of Oz. Complex female protagonist.

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

I think FilmFreeway is great, very user–friendly and very convenient.

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

I listen to such a variety of music, I can’t say there’s one song I listen to the most. I listen to movie soundtracks a lot. Sophia Coppola’s film soundtracks are a favorite. The music in her film is like an additional character.

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

I’m currently developing a feature, an historical drama, about a witch hunt in the 17th century. My source materials are transcripts from the trial, clergy sermons, and eye witness accounts of the bewitching, the trial, and the executions. The film has an innate horror aspect to it, given the subject matter, and will feature a female-centric cast. I plan to use a female-majority crew as well through my film production company Shelter Film NY.
 

116

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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 Filmmakers Thia Schuessler & Rex New (THE WEDDING SONG)

THE WEDDING SONG was the winner of BEST FILM at the February 2018 ROMANCE FEEDBACK Film Festival held on Valentine’s Day in downtown Toronto.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Rex New: I grew up in south Louisiana, and Thia and I had been talking about shooting something in New Orleans for a while that my close friend David Lee (our cinematographer) could shoot. He has such a phenomenal eye and aesthetic. He and I made a couple of short documentaries together down in the bayou a few years ago, and he wanted to try his hand at a narrative film. During a trip home for our friends’ wedding, Thia and I came up with the idea for the movie.

Thia Schuessler: Aside from our inherent desire to make a movie in a place we love with people we love, my personal [re: selfish] motivation is always to write something that I can star in. I went to school for acting but have become a writer/director/producer out of necessity, really. The acting game is so incredibly competitive, and it took me too long to realize that I have to make my own work.

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

Rex: I think it took about six months from conception to shooting. We wrote a script fairly quickly after our friends’ spring wedding in New Orleans, but we had to wait until October to shoot so that the weather would be more hospitable.

Thia: And then post production took a good 9 months, which is another story in and of itself. When you’re creating something on this budget with friends who are working for little to no pay, who have other jobs, it’s hard to keep a strict schedule. In the end, it was about a year and a half from the idea to our final cut.

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

Rex: Uncomfortably musical

Thia: How about… bittersweet symphony

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

Thia: Normally, I can’t stand to watch footage of myself, so Rex has taken the lead on post-production on our previous films. But, for some reason, I could not wait to put this thing together. I spent the two weeks following our principal photography in bed with my laptop, obsessively editing a half hour director’s cut —including everything single moment that we shot. I was in that post-shoot honeymoon phase, married to every scene, which is no good. We knew we had to bring in another editor who hadn’t read the script and wasn’t on set to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Cue Al Rahn.

Rex: As we started cutting scenes for time, we were losing some of the tension that we needed for the film (and their relationship) to build. Our editor Al pointed out that, other than the bachelorette party, the film could take place anywhere. We knew we were going to have to film something new, and that it would have to show off New Orleans somehow.

Thia: So we went back during Mardi Gras to shoot what became our favorite montage of the film. It was just the actors (Will Dickerson & me), director Rex, and our DP David, running around Uptown New Orleans with our little Sony a7s ii, trying to grab shots of different locations in different outfits to indicate the passage of time. Will and I were literally changing our clothes on the street. Because we were shooting it MOS, we didn’t have any bulky boom mic giving us away as a film crew. We rather looked like a group of tourists taking photos, so we got a lot of locations we probably should have paid for — like the street car. It was guerrilla shooting at its finest. When we got back to LA, my co-editor and I chopped 20 minutes out of my director’s cut, and we added the new montage footage, which became our picture lock.

Rex: Later, Thia, her sister Sarah (who also did the costumes and played the Maid of Honor), and our composer Ben Stanton wrote an original song to go over it. Our editor Al actually provided the vocals.

Thia: As you can see, we really milked our multi-talented friends for all they’re worth.

Rex: It was a great learning experience and made the movie a lot better. The second half of the movie has more music than we’d originally planned, and David really got to show off in that montage. We had a little joke going where we’d make sure we got what we called our “Malick” shots — handheld, lens flares, lots of trees! Maybe that explains why there’s so many trees in that montage.

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

Rex: There was a guy who said that someone needed to give us a bucketful of money to make the feature.

Thia: So if there is anyone reading this who has such a bucket…

Rex: I loved seeing how people disagreed on the ending or felt like it left them hanging. Short films can have so many structures, but we always envisioned the movie as having an ending that would be open to interpretation.

Thia: Choose your own adventure-style.

Rex: The great thing about doing something music-based is that you can do so much through performance. It’s all acting, of course, but it’s a different way of conveying emotion. Ending with a song really emphasizes the ambiguity, I think.

Thia: Right. Neither of them speaks after the final song, so you’re left with the lyrics playing in your head.

Rex: A few people during the audience feedback mentioned that this is a complex situation playing out. I’d never thought of it that way, but it’s true. This isn’t a movie about having feelings for someone; it’s about realizing that you do. Wrestling with those feelings comes later!

Thia: In Act II of the feature… wink wink

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

Thia: The Mardi Gras before we decided to make a short in New Orleans—

Rex: Isn’t it great that we can measure life by Mardi Gras?

Thia: Yeah. Mardi Gras is apparently our definitive point of reference. Anyway, a friend introduced us to her family friend, Willie (as they call him). He was a talented musician living at his parents’ house, playing gigs and driving a pedicab on the side.

Rex: He even played the ukulele one-handed while pedicabbing, as you see him do in the film. He has since moved out of his parents’ and no longer drives a pedicab, but Willie IS Johnnie.

Thia: At the time of this film’s conception, Ben, our composer (who is also my sister’s boyfriend and my good friend), was teaching me how to play a song on the ukulele for an audition for another project. I had never touched a ukulele before, and I found the learning process entertaining. So when we were thinking of shooting something in New Orleans, I don’t remember what came first… if my newfound ukulele skills or Will’s actual life was the chicken or the egg, but clearly we put everything we knew about “Willie” in the script, and I wrote down everything I could remember from my ukulele lessons with Ben. (I definitely tried to make vertical playing “a thing.”)

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

Rex: The Big Lebowski, probably. Is there really another answer?

Thia: It’s gotta be either Moulin Rouge or Wet Hot American Summer. But I’ve always been a sucker for a rom com, which clearly seeps through in most of my work. My childhood sleepover MVPs were Clueless, Can’t Hardly Wait, She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Never Been Kissed …sometimes we went “classic” with When Harry Met Sally. I fancy myself an indie darling, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I went full Nancy Meyers by the end of my career.

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

Rex: It’s so simple and easy. I remember the days of mailing DVDs to offices. I’m glad those days are over! Now if we could just get into more festivals…

Thia: Yeah, I want to blame the insane number of submissions these days on the simplicity of the FilmFreeway platform. (That and the advances in technology making it so much easier for the amateur filmmaker to get behind a good camera.) It’s too easy!

Rex: The film festival world has become so much more competitive since I first started submitting projects at the beginning of this decade.

Thia: Yeah. I’m sure I’m being hyperbolic, but it seems like festival programmers are consistently saying that their submission numbers double or triple every year. It’s great to know that so much work is being created and shown, and I credit FilmFreeway with helping so many filmmakers and festival programmers find each other.

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

Rex: The songs from The Wedding Song!

Thia: That actually might be true for me. Not only did I spend countless hours of my life editing The Wedding Song, but I also have had to quality-check every export myself, as Rex can no longer stomach watching it. I, on the other hand, can still watch the whole thing and still go through the whole roller coaster of emotions. I blame Will and those sensitive eyes of his. If you want a real answer that isn’t a humble brag, I’d say anything by The Civil Wars. In my research of songs by male/female acoustic duos (for The Wedding Song), I discovered The Civil Wars and became truly obsessed. I actually cried when I learned that they have been on “hiatus” since 2012. But the two albums they created together before they broke up are an absolute gift to humanity. Buy them on iTunes, then watch the many live recordings of their concerts on YouTube. Adele herself said that they are the best live band she had ever seen. Their harmonies will absolutely melt your heart.

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

Rex: I write features with a friend from college, Nick Turner. We were both in the screenwriting program at USC. Along with a director pal of ours, we’re finishing up a feature that we’ll hopefully be making this fall.

Thia: My sister Sarah’s presence on set for The Wedding Song reminded us how much we like working together. (We used to produce student theatre back in college, also at USC). Right now, we’re taking a feature that I wrote years ago and turning it into a mini series. Sarah is already picking out costumes.

Rex: If you’re in New Orleans, go see Will play! You can check out his artist page here: https://www.reverbnation.com/willdickersonmusic

Thia: And you can watch our previous work at http://www.vimeo.com/shyruby

the_wedding_song
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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 director Paul Jerndal (INDIGO)

Paul Jerndal’s short film “INDIGO” was the winner of “BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY” and “BEST MUSICAL SCORE” at the February 2017 FEEDBACK Film Festival. His film is a true example of a cinematic experience. An honor to chat with him.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Life. Life motivated me. I see people every day struggling with their inner emotions, with anxiety, with a feeling of not being enough – of not doing good enough. And I think its so sad because most of these emotions is just in our heads. And I know how hard it could be when living in that darkness from many of friends and close relationships. I have struggled a lot with trying to help others but it is so hard. So I felt doing this film might actually help more people to start open up their souls to their friends, to seek help, to talk about how they really feel.

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

I took forever. I was back in New York one year after we shot the film and did a few extra things. So basically one year.

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

Emotional. Hope.

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

The editing process. When early deciding to present the story through acting, cinematography, sound design and story but with almost no dialogue – the post production was definitely most challenging.

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

I always feel honored when people talk about my films messages after seeing them. It´s fantastic that so many in the Toronto audience seemed to notice the elements I value such as the soul level connection, the emotional shower element and the interesting point that I might have chosen to present the girl friends of the lead actress as they might talk to her from her perspective and not necessarily only like that.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO of the short film:

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

It actually started when I heard the song Indigo that my friend Frida Sundemo showed the demo of – long before that song was released. And I also lived in New York along with the actress for a while and got inspired by how alive you can feel in that city and at the same time very lonely.

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

Dancer in the Dark by Lars von Trier.

What is next for you? A new film?

Yes. I am writing on my feature film on a similar topic and also shot a few test scenes which is one of the great things when you both write and direct. Also I completed Steps for Life last summer a important campaign film about suicide prevention. And in a week a new collaboration with actress Cecilia Forss will be released shot in India and Sweden. Also we released the video Alive for our dream pop music duo Falcor which is out on youtube.

indigo_4.jpg

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

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