Interview with director David Holechek (CRADLE)

Short Film played at the June 2017 Sci-Fi FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

WINNER of BEST FILM at the festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

David Holechek: Short films are an amazing way to push yourself creatively and to venture into new territory as a filmmaker and ‘Cradle’ provided a great opportunity to try something truly different. Jake Hart wrote the script and had been living with this concept for years and the complexity and nuance of the story was something that excited me and made me want to pursue the project. It’s rare to work on a film where so much of the action and complex plot happen off screen or are presented to the audience but not fully explained. The world and rules in Jake’s script were so detailed and the challenge for us was to present all of these big ideas in a visually comprehensible way. We wanted to withhold information and keep people guessing but also wanted to give them enough to stick with us until the end. In short, it presented a creative challenge that was a bit new for me so I wanted to take it on and bring this fun, complex, weird sci fi tale to life.

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

Well, the idea had been with Jake for a long time but I was pitched the project just a couple weeks from when we started production. For me, from the first time I heard the idea to the completion of the film was about 4 months of sporadic work.

How would you describe your short film in two words!

Mind games.

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

We had completely wrecked a good friend’s converted attic space to use as the location for the film. After two long, hard days of filming we had to pick up our mess…that was not fun.

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

5. I’m always interested to hear if an audience generally “gets” what the film is trying to do and am relieved when the connection is made. Was really nice of the festival to provide the opportunity to hear what people took from it.

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the short film:

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

Jake Hart, the writer, has had the basic idea for a long time, since childhood I believe. He was challenged by the filmmaking group Dare:LA to write a film that featured many moments but in one location and that inspired him to craft his time-jumping idea into ‘Cradle’.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Probably either The Two Towers, the 1989 Batman or Return of the Jedi.

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

That’s a tough one. Either an R&B track from the early 90’s or an emo song from the mid-00’s. Not sure I’d admit to any one particular song though 🙂

What is next for you? A new film?

I run a production company called Duality Filmworks with my twin brother Daniel Holechek so we’re always pretty busy with television and film projects. Currently developing a biopic feature film and am waiting for Jake to finish the feature version of ‘Cradle’!

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto twice a month, and every other month in Los Angeles. Go to www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with Director Brooke Goldfinch (RED ROVER)

  MOVIE POSTERBrooke Goldfinch’s short film RED ROVER played at the Sci-Fi Short Film Festival in September 2016 to amazing success.

It was an honor to interview her and talk about her experiences making the film and what’s next for her:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Brooke Goldfinch: The first scene of Red Rover was an idea I’d had for a very long time. Essentially we’re seeing people doing something very normal – having a dinner party- but there’s something sinister in the way they do it and the audience can’t shake the feeling they’re not understanding something. It wasn’t until years later that I had a disturbing dream about the end of the world and I felt compelled to put that scene on paper. I think the end of the world genre is fascinating because it allows filmmakers to address really big, universal themes and I saw an opportunity to tell this oft told story in a different way.

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

BG: From script to shoot was really fast, probably around eight weeks. Then we had no money for post-production so the project stalled for a while. Screen Australia came to the rescue and then everything happened quickly. I’d say it probably took a year all up.

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

BG: Oh God!

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

BG: At times it felt like the shoot was cursed. On day one our picture vehicle exploded, we lost our location and then we got lost trying to find the new location. When we finally arrived, we had to film the most climactic scene of the movie while people were doing their laundry. We even had a typhoon, which I think is fairly rare in upstate New York. There were times I thought we wouldn’t get the film made but my cast and crew rallied together and stood by me and I will always be grateful to them for their courage in the face of really terrible luck. We also had a lot of amazing locals come to the rescue, including the waiters at Dos Amigos, Wurtsboro, who lent us their truck for a week with no charge.

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

BG: I was really scared to watch the feedback but found the experience very rewarding and elucidating. It’s rare that an emerging filmmaker gets to hear back from an audience in such a raw way. It was interesting to hear people’s perspectives on the film, which seemed quite varied. I loved the woman who said it made her think about whether it might be better to live 80 minutes rather than 80 years if you were happy. I also laughed when one audience member said they thought the central characters were cousins. Maybe I compromised clarity for the sake of suspense a little too much.

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

BG: It’s hard to say where ideas come from. Growing up in a religious community and losing my faith as a teenager had a big impact on me and has influenced my work. I envisioned the opening scene of Red Rover many years ago but when I saw Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, the idea came back to me. I loved that film but wanted desperately to know what was happening in the town. What were ordinary people in that world doing? I guess this film is an answer to that question in a way.

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

BG: Probably ‘Goodfellas’. I’m a big Scorsese fan.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

BG: I’m currently writing my first feature, Splitters, which we’re planning on shooting sometime next year. If you’re interested, please follow us on facebook at facebook.com/splittersthemovie. We’re going to be taking our followers from preproduction to the red carpet, with insights and tidbits about the process.

Also, Red Rover will be available on Short of the Week on October 20th so if you liked it, please share it!

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

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Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Fesival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to http://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

Interview with filmmaker Jordan Inconstant (YO SOY PEDRO)

Jordan Inconstant’s award winning comedy/sci-fi YO SOY PEDRO played to rave reviews at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival in January 2016. The film was also the winner of Best Musical Score at the festival.

I recently sat down with the French film-maker to talk more about his career:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Jordan Inconstant: Yo Soy Pedro, is the first film I’ve done with an original script. I had already made short films before (fanfilm, adaptation …) but I wanted to try to create a universe and original characters as something really very exciting. (Makeup design, costume etc …)

I tried to make a film that looks like me, both offbeat and funny.

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

Jordan: I wrote the film for 2 months. There were 5 months of preparation for the shooting and 1 week of shooting. Subsequently There were six months of post-production. We will say that the film was produced on approximately 1 year.

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

Jordan: Strange and crazy

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

Jordan: The most complicated part was filming! We were shooting mostly at night in the forest. Sadly for us it did not stop raining during the shoot, the generators for projectors, toasted. And makeup was struggling to endure the rain. We also broke a wheel of the truck containing the equipment … On the other hand we had to take into account the time to make up for the shoot. There was 7h makeup for the blue alien and 3h for Pedro. That had to be taken into account when organizing the shooting. But we had a great time on this shoot, there was a very good atmosphere!

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

Jordan: I was very surprised! There is no other festival that offers this, it’s great! To see the public reaction and to take part in the festival. There was a little debate about the fact that the film was shot in French while the atmosphere is American, it was interesting. This has pleased all the film crew, Sylvain Ott, composer joins me in thanking you for the price of the best music.

Matthew: Your closing credits are terrific. How long did it take you to do that portion? Who did the animation? It’s almost like you made an entirely different film.

Jordan: Thank you ! We spent 6 months on this generic, for parallel to the Post-production of the film, it was directed by Damien Bracciotti. The idea was really to make the sequel as a small cartoon. I find it funny to see what happens to the characters, this could make a sequel somehow .

Matthew: What film have you seen the most in your life?

Jordan: It is difficult to answer this question, there are so many movies that I watch very often. Of course all the classics, but in general I’m attracted to movies with universal appeal, that is or arthouse films or blockbuster.

Matthew: What is next for you? A new film?

Jordan: I have 2 short films in post production right now!

The first is a fanfilm Star Wars (I had already done a Pirates of the Caribbean before Yo Soy Pedro).

This is an episode from the episode 3 and 4 when Obiwan watches over Luke on Tatooine. We shot with a real fan, possessing replica costumes. The advantage of fanfilm is that they get good visibility … It will be online in spring.

The second is “Super-Vieillots” ( The Old-Men in English) is an original movie with an old superhero (about 70 years) who wants to resume service! The film will be in festivals this Autumn.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of YO SOY PEDRO: