Interview with Director Lindsay Penn (NO STRINGS ATTACHED)

Played at the FEMALE FEEDBACK Film Festival – August 2017

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Lindsday Penn: The moment I heard the song I instantly connected to it. I didn’t share the experience as a musician, but I absolutely experienced it as a YouTuber. On YouTube there is can be a facade that it’s all about expressing your true self, but often in reality the very audience that claims to adore you only loves you if you serve their expectations of you as an entertainer. There’s a constant push-pull as an entertainer between expressing yourself and doing right by the folks who are supporting you. Listening to the song I couldn’t get the idea of presenting that visually out of my head.

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

I started developing the idea in July of 2015 and it was finally released on YouTube on January 1st 2016. I would say my life was devoted to it for about a half a year.

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

Honestly? I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for, but I gotta go with “my baby.” LOL!

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

Doing right by everyone who contributed to it. 30 people volunteered to be a part of this project. All I had to offer them in return was food, and the caterer didn’t show up! And every time someone paid money out of their pocket, I tried my best to keep track of it all so I could pay them back. I never want to have to ask people to volunteer again – I want to pay a fair rate. I want people to think, “if I work with Lindsay Penn, I’m going to be treated well.”

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

I was just stunned that people watched something I made and took it seriously enough to think about it. And I didn’t even have to be there in person to beg them to watch it!

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

I was really inspired by a Japanese pop singer named Ayumi Hamasaki. She is hugely influential in Japan and has made many music videos that make commentary about her objectification as a performer. I wanted to make a video that captured the same kind of feeling.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Easy. In 5th grade I used to watch Terminator 2 every single day when I came home from school. It got to the point that my mom had to ask me politely to make it every OTHER day instead. I can still recite every word John Connor says. “You can’t just go around killing people!”

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

It is a dream come true. So simple to find out where festivals are, when they are, and which festivals are looking for a film like yours.

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

According to my iTunes, “Rise and Shine” by Bonnie Pink. Hugely recommended if you’ve never heard it!

What is next for you? A new film?

I’ve recently revitalized my YouTube channel, youtube.com/linzerdinzertv. I’ve recently switched to an animated format so I don’t have to stress about lighting and shooting and dolling myself up. Hopefully people will choose to support me there and have some interest in my more ambitious projects. I want to keep those projects a secret for now! Tune into my YouTube channel to stay up to date!

 

NO STRINGS ATTACHED, 5min, USA, Music Video
Directed by Lindsay PennFans or dollars? A surreal exploration of the inner conflict of the independent artist.

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

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Interview with Actor/Director Samantha Neyland (WHEN STRANGERS TOUCH YOUR HAIR)

samanthaneyland.jpgSamantha Neyland co-directed and starred in the short film “When Strangers Touch Your Hair”, which was showcased at the Los Angeles FEEDBACK Film Festival in December 2016. The film received rave reviews from the audience. It was an honor to chat with her about the film and what’s next for the beautiful and talented artist:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Samantha Neyland: I made this film as a way to work through the insecurities I had always lived with but until 2016 was too afraid to talk about.

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

SN: From start to finish, it only took six weeks. The initial idea was scary and I knew if I didn’t march forward at full speed it would never get done.

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

SN: Honestly Real

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

SN: Casting! I ended up having to re-cast one of the roles a week before and another role the night before!

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

SN: I loved the comments that were made. This film was made with the intention of getting people to think and talk about something that is so often forgotten.

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

SN: This film was based on true events that had happened very recently and were still very much fresh in my mind at the time.

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

SN: Probably Finding Nemo. I was so obsessed with that movie as a kid and I know I’ve seen it at least 100 times.

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

SN: My roommate and I are actually working on a script right now that we hope to shoot early 2017. It’s the complete opposite of When Strangers Touch Your Hair: a comedy, 100% made up, and over-the-top characters. That’s what makes it fun!

when_strangers_touch_your_hair.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.

Horror Movies. WILDsound’s Top 100 Best of All-Time

“Experiencing a visceral feeling while still feeling safe.”

– Peter Sawka

That is my film-making friend’s definition of a horror film.  It kind of makes sense. Like riding a roller-coaster ride and being scared but knowing that you’re going to be safe in a matter of minutes.

I’ve personally never been attracted to the scary movie genre. It was never my thing. Growing up in a small town, most of my friends liked to go fishing during the day and watch horror films at night. I wasn’t into either and it wasn’t for lack of trying in an attempt to fit it. I didn’t want to feel scared no matter how safe I really was. I did admire many of the films though, but I never got the suffering of the victim angle this genre soon started to focus on like the Saw and Hostel films. I could understand the focus of the chase angle I grew up on, but not the “torture porn” horror films that some labelled them as.

Many of my friends LOVE horror films and defend them as harmless entertainment. But the question is how the can impact many people after the lights go on? Some argue that they can linger for months and years in your subconscious and dreams.

Here is WILDsound’s writer Mark Engberg’s Top 100 Horror Films of all-time list:

http://www.wildsoundmovies.com/horror_movies.html

The question is what is a horror film? He has films that range from Se7en (1995),  to Jaws (1975), to The Shining (1980), to the classic Halloween, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Child’s Play genre.

The horror genre can cross many other sub-genres like:

– The Zombie Horror

– The Action Horror

– The Slasher Film

– The Splatter Film

– Sci-Fi Horror

– Psychological Horror

– Gothic Horror

– Gore Horror

– Comedy Horror

– Body Horror

To name 10.

If interested, here’s a PODCAST I did with Mark Engberg on the subject a couple of years ago.  It became such an interesting topic, this YouTube video has already garnered over 28,000 views:

– Matthew Toffolo