Interview with Filmmaker Mark Howling (O.B.E. THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE)

O.B.E. THE OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE played at the Animation FEEDBACK Film Festival in October 2018 to rave reviews.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Mark Howling: This is my 3rd micro budget short that I’m doing, I try to keep the execution simple with a minimal cost. It is just an hobby (..time consuming hobby…)

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

I would say one full year from writing to final render.

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

What? Really?

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

This short is a micro budget project, was done mainly with a powerful but old laptop. I had multiple hardware failures, multiple software and hardware updates to do, with only handful software and plugin able to run on that machine. (for the record the laptop blew up one month after the short was done)

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

They seems to know what the short was talking about so I guess … did it right lol

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

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

I always read on the internet very strange stories. What did inspire this short film is maybe a multitude of them glued together.

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

Star Wars

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

I love it! Simple and easy to use.

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

Too many to list here. Sorry.

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

I’m working in the film industry so yes I’m always working on something entertainment related.

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Interview with Filmmaker Mehmet Tigli (HIGH CALORIE)

 HIGH CALORIE was the winner of BEST MUSIC at the July 2018 FAMILY FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Prejudices about different people, internet addiction in virtual world and paradoxal behaviors of parents are the basic motives to make me shoot this film.

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

It lasted for 5 months

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

Funny and emotional.

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

Budgeting problems and the bureaucracy of public institutions during shooting were the main obstacles of this film.

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

I felt very very happy. Thanks a lot for most valuable feedback from the audience.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of the Short Film:

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

This film is based on a short story which I wrote it 10 years ago.

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

Life is Beautiful-La Vita e Bella

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

I am so grateful to Filmfreeway, I met this amazing festival and other precious events by means of it.

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

Michael Jackson-Billie Jean

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

I shot a short film named “A Ferry Tale” on February 2018. This film is based on a emotional true story I observed two years ago. It is about a dad with two autistic children in a ferry trip. It was officially selected 35 festivals and won 10 awards until July.

high_calorie

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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 Bartek Kmita, Kamil Krynski, Wojtek Szwed – (Directors/Screenwriters PARADIGME)

PARADIGME was the winner of BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at the December 2017 Sci-Fi Film Festival in Los Angeles. 

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Bartek: The main motivation to create this movie was actually pretty simple, to graduate the school. But instead of making an easy asset for the diploma, I began to think about creating something over the average. And then the idea of the movie came out, but it was almost impossible that day to make it alone. That’s how I decided to do this in cooperation with my friends.

Kami: At the beginning the main reason for creating this film was graduation project we had to make. However during the process of creation something has changed. We stopped care as much about graduation, and start thinking about this as an adventure and best possible way of learning. What is more, number of great ,kind people who helped us is really impressive. We couldn’t let them down.

Wojtek: I’ve heard about the project when it was just an idea, Kamil and Bartek wanted to do some short for graduation diploma. I’ve thought it was an interesting concept, and a way to level up my skills and trying to work as team with other creative people. So I’ve joined them.

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

B: From the first idea to the very end of the development process passed a bit over two years.

K: It took us over 2 years to make this from scratch to finished project. We spent one year on pre-production and another on post-production. It was only 3 days of shooting.

W: 2 Years. It was a lot of work for the three of us, but thanks to help of some amazing people We’ve encountered on the way We did it.

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

K: Save yourself

W: Save yourself

B: Worth creating

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

B: The biggest problem for us was definitely lack of the skill and experience. We had to learn and do almost everything from scratch. When we have been starting this project, we had almost no idea where to start, how to do certain effects, how to organize shooting and glue everything together. Despite the technical problems and lack of time, this was for sure the most difficult part.

K: The biggest obstacle was definitely time. It was pretty huge and time consuming project for us. Everyone of us had to quit the job just to finish a movie. We were already late 2 years with defense of thesis. It was a true race against time. W: Well, pretty much everything You can think of when creating project like this. Lack of time, lack of money and lack of skill/experience. It was pretty ambitious thing for a student graduation project, and sometimes We had really thought that We bit off more lettuce than We can chew.

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

B: Amazed, to be honest. 🙂 We were arguing for hours just to clarify the true story hidden in this movie, and some of the people from the audience who were talking about “Paradigme” actually hit the point perfectly! We left a big part of the film to be interpreted by yourself. Despite the initial story and the idea for the film, there is no clear path to follow in understanding it. So everyone can have a different point of view.

We are glad that there was so many interpretations. The audience’s ideas for the main character and his story are fantastic.

K: I’ve never been in the situation like this before. I was really amazed and little bit excited that someone is discussing and more important – interpreting our work.

W: It really felt amazing. Our project caused a discussion and every person interpreted the movie differently. I think it was pretty much our goal to leave certain things as a mystery and give a each viewer a chance to come up with his own unique conclusion.

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

W: It all started with a really simplified story – and after hours and hours of meetings and discussions We’ve developed a more complex one and decided to go with it. K: In the beginning we had only general idea, we wanted to create something intriguing, giving food for thought. Everyone of us put a little bit of himself into this. Then we started putting pieces together. When it comes to me, it was all about inside battle within me.

B: It is a difficult question and just like the story of this movie, there is no straight answer for this. It started as a very different and much simpler story and then it just developed over the hours of thinking and brainstorms. We were inspired by the Dante’s “Divine comedy” and the journey through the purgatory and hell, but also by movies like Alien, Matrix, etc. Mixing it all together created “Paradigme”.

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

B: I think that each one of us would point a different one, but I guess that for all of us Matrix will be in the tight top.

K: Probably Home Alone hahah

W: I think it’s definitely the first “Alien”. Not many movies made such an impression to me.

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

B: It is a great way to find an opportunity to show your work to broad audience. I think that in the near future, this will become the main way for the artists to share their work and submit to festivals.

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

B: Probably “Last Christmas” by Wham, as it is being played every single year, multiple times, in every media stream, since 1986.

K: Bon Jovi – Living on a prayer

W: Probably “Tool – Schism”, but I’m not really sure.

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

B: Something to amaze. For sure. I’m not done yet.

K: I think I’m not ready for another huge personal project yet. I need to learn a lot. Currently I’m focusing on improving my skills to become a better artist.

W: Perhaps, the time will show.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

PARADIGME, 6min, Poland, Sci-Fi/ExperimentalDirected by Kamil Krynski and Bartek Kmita

 

When you wake up in a cold and empty place. You don’t where you are and how you got here. You are paralized by fear and lonelinnes. The only way leads you to unknown direction. When you subject to curiosity and weakness. You can loose your mind…

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Interview with Director Axel d’Harcourt (WOW)

Short Film played to rave reviews at the Under 5 Minute Film Festival in June 2017.

 Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Love.

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

Around one year from the first exchanges on the idea, around 3 months from the concrete launch of the project, the scenario almost finalized.

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

Circle and desir.

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

Finding the right couple to play our story.

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

First of all an extreme pleasure and then an attention to each word to fully understand the perception of the film in the minds of people.

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

Making love is often a story of back and forth, we have extrapolated this vision to the whole of a love story.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Mulholland drive / Rocky

What song have you listened to the most in your life

“Fade into you” Mazzy star
“Enjoy the silence” Depeche Mode

What is next for you? A new film?

Feature films and series… After love, perhaps a theme not so often developed in a new form: old age.

 

WOW, 4min, France, Drama/Romance
Directed by Axel d’HarcourtWOW relates the cycle of desire between two lovers. The end is the beginning. The beginning is the end.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

Interview with director/actor Nicole Jones (FOUR DAY WEEKEND)

Nicole Jones’ short film “FOUR DAY WEEKEND” was the overwhelming winner of “BEST FILM” at the February 2017 Romance Film Festival. She not only directed the film, but also starred in it as well. A definite true talent.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

I was motivated by a desire to see complex characters on screen about mature people over 35. I was tired of seeing middle aged people, (often times middle aged women,) portrayed as very stereotypical and one dimensional.

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

Nine months. I just counted right this second, it took exactly as long as it takes to make a baby!

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

Complex. Love Story. (Can Love Story count as one word?)

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

Creating a 23 year-relationship, with no rehearsal, between two actors who just met. Our lead actor, whom I was extremely lucky to get, (Ben Koldyke,) is a well respected, working actor who kindly lent his talent to our film. But because of his extremely busy schedule, he and I were not able to meet until the day we started shooting. Since this was a character driven film about a couple married for 23 years, the challenge was making that seen authentic with a man that I had literally just met. (I decided to act in the film with Ben so that I could improv and rewrite as needed in the moment.) The most important scene, which was the last one in the film, was particularly challenging because so much was riding on it. So once everyone was ready to go, I cleared the set, had Ben come in, we rehearsed for exactly 30 minutes, then I called the crew in, and we shot. Fortunately Ben is so talented, I was able to just work off of him, and we nailed it quickly.

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

Tremendous gratitude. I wanted to make a thought provoking film, that is morally ambiguous, therefore watching the audience debate it made me feel like I had really accomplished my goal. Is it a love story, or is it the opposite? That is up to you to decide. There was a young man who did not think it was a love story, in fact it made him uncomfortable and sad. I felt his point was very valid. But then there was an older woman around my age, (I’m 46 now,) who saw it as a love story, which I personally agree with her. Yet both opinions are correct for the person who said it. It all depends on who you are and what stage of life you are in.

AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO of the Short Film:

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

I am lucky to have found true love at the age of 40. I’ve been with my husband now going on six years. Having this experience as an older woman really changed the way I view love. Though this short film is NOT based on a true story, I could really understand this woman’s perspective. Loving someone so much that wanting them to live a full rich life is more important to you then following any social norm. “I’m not in love with my marriage, I’m in love with the man I married”, is a line that when I wrote it, I thought made the most sense to me. That was an idea I wanted to explore in a film, and by making it a couple who had been married for such a long time, I could really play with that concept.

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

I watch “Being There” a lot. Chauncey Gardiner AKA Chance the Gardner is my spirit animal.

What is next for you? A new film?

I am about to go up to West Marin County with Jeanne Tyson, (the cinematographer who shot Four Day Weekend,) and film a documentary about the local radio station up there, KWMR. This documentary is also about this community and their listeners who are the coolest, mellow, most bad-ass, people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I’m pretty sure Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski is real, and he is retired up there. The radio station is putting me on air to read from a script I wrote, pitch an outline, and get feedback for my next project from this amazing audience.

four_day_weekend_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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Interview with Lukas Hassel (INTO THE DARK)

Lukas Hassel’s short film played at the January 2017 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film Festival. It was the winner of “BEST PERFORMANCES” at the festival – which Lukas was also the main actor of the film.

 
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Couple of different things. Mainly, some of my feature screenplays were getting some wins in competitions nationally and I wanted to be pitched as the director for those. However, all the producers I met were like: “What have you directed? We can’t pitch you unless you have made something.” So, I knew I needed to make a short film. Then it became a matter of figuring out what i wanted to say. What was my point of view. I realized i wanted to highlight the growing hardness and lack of empathy that our society is promoting. I wanted to explore the need for human connection and do it in a way that told us where our moral compass is currently.

So I wrote a drama that I disguised as Sci-fi because i really enjoy that genre, and it served my theme well.

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

I wrote an outline which I finessed for about 4 months, then wrote the script in a week. Designing and building the set by myself with the significant help from my co producer and DP, Henry B. Lee, took another another two months. Waiting on VFX, another 5 months. So probably around a year in total.

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

Claustrophobic. Harsh.

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

The establishing shot in space was very tricky to do. I had a great post production company doing most of the VFX, but they couldn’t do the space shot in a satisfactory manner, and many others tried to help for free, but in the end I had to throw money at the problem and hire a top professional (not cheap) to do the space sequences. Held me up for 6 months.

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

Very pleased. It seemed that people got what I was going for.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film:

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

I have always liked the idea of a small set, of restrictions as a way of setting creativity free. I have always wanted to act in a sci-fi film. And I have always been fascinated by the five stages of grief, so I decided to explore this in a creative way. The main character goes through these five stages and it provided me with a great outline for the script.

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

Cabaret – a film that gets overlooked by many filmmakers because it’s dismissed as a musical and a Liza Minelli vehicle. What they miss is the extremely advanced editing and cinematography. It’s mind blowing and seamless. It’s the first time I can really point to where editing is part of the story construction. Must have seen it over 40 times.

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

I’m acting in a couple of films coming up, but as a filmmaker and writer, I wrote a short screenplay, “The Son, the Father…” that just won at HollyShorts Screenplay Competition for best screenplay, and part of the winning deal is that it gets produced. So I pitched myself as the director, and the production company really dug “Into the Dark”, which means they’re letting me direct it later this Spring.

After that, I have a feature screenplay – “Halfway” – ready to go, and I’m currently looking for the right producer to get attached.

Looking forward to all opportunities coming my way.

A huge thank you to Wild Sound Feedback Festival for including my short film.
 

 

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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.

Interview with director Robert Vassie (BURNT)

 Robert Vassie’s short film “BURNT” played at the October 2016 best of HORROR FEEDBACK Short Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Robert Vassie: I’d recently moved to London and had been itching to make a new film for a while. London is such a cinematic city, especially at night, so I thought it would make the perfect backdrop. I asked a fellow writer to put together a thriller script for me, as I’ve always been a fan of that genre and wanted to make a film which would keep the audience on the edge of their seat from start to finish.

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

RV: About four years in total – but it was spread very thinly across that time. At one point there was a gap of almost a year due to people’s availability, which is always a challenge when making a film for very little money.

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

RV: Slick, Suspenseful.

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

RV: Finding dates where everyone was free to film! Even with a skeleton crew, the fact that most scenes required all of the actors to be in the same place at the same time was a logistical nightmare. But strangely enough when I finally pinned everyone down, the key scenes were all shot within a two week period.

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

RV: I was very pleased that the majority of the feedback was positive. I was especially pleased to hear that people considered the production values to be so high they thought the film had a significant budget – whereas in actual fact there was no budget at all and I produced the film myself for about £2000.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the short film:

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

RV: The writer who I had approached is also one of my closest friends and so knew the kind of films I liked. I basically gave him a brief with a very loose idea of the kind of things I did and didn’t want to do and let him run with it. It was a really cool process as the script was effectively tailor written for me to direct, which is not something I’d experienced before.

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

RV: Probably ‘True Lies’… I’m pretty confident I could quote the entire film if I had to!

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

RV: Absolutely, I’m in pre-production on my next film right now. It’s another short set in London, about a group of Con Artists who are betrayed by one of their own. It has long been an ambition of mine to make a film about Con Artists as there’s something about that profession which I find truly fascinating. I have a terrific script which I’m really looking forward to shooting and I’m also planning on launching a Kickstarter campaign just after Christmas which if successful, will allow me to step the production values up a notch and help make the film as sophisticated as possible.

 

 

burnt_4

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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.