Interview with David Lewis, Writer of STALLED Short Film

I loved the feedback from the Toronto audience. The times i’ve seen it with an audience it’s either been for friends or it was attached to a larger screening so neither is optimal for a true response. The Toronto audience got what I was trying to create and having people say they were affected by my film was exactly what a filmmaker wants to hear.

– David Lewis on the WILDsound experience.

Interview with David Lewis:

Matthew: Your short film played at our festival in March 2014. How has it done since it screened? Has it played at more festivals? Distribution deal? Can be seen online?

David: Since the March screening at WILDsound we have gone on to play in 15 film festivals worldwide. Starting here at the Vancouver Film Fest to festivals throughout the US and Asia as well as in Europe. We do not currently have distribution. We haven’t released our film online yet.

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

David: My motivation behind Stalled was the uncomfortable feeling I would get around one of the parents at my child’s elementary school. He was a large Asian man covered in tattoo’s and he spoke little English. He always kept to himself and was visually quite intimidating. When I finally had a few words with him on a field trip it turned out he was of course just a very normal parent. It was my personal projections and being unable to communicate with him that created any sort of tensions. And parking garages, being creepy in real life, have always been a tension building staple in film. The unseen corners and also the sounds that seems to echo from all directions at once can be very off-putting.

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

David: From the inception of the idea to final edit was about 5 months. I was fortunate to have the ridiculously talented Karen Lam attached as my director. We had worked together before so had a wonderful shorthand with each other. She also helped by bringing on some of the crew and we split the cost of the camera package.

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

David: Probably the biggest obstacle I faced was the location. The location was extremely important as it lent so much to the look of the film. I wanted a location that potentially could have an ominous tone as well as low ceilings to give a feeling of claustrophobia. Lots of darkened recesses as well as large cement columns that obscured sight lines. A lot of parking garages were either too small, too well lit or far too expensive. I was fortunate to find our location with 4 days to spare.

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

David: Probably the 2 films I’ve seen most in my life are Chinatown and Jaws. I love a good detective period piece and Jack Nicholson is just too perfect. I can watch him all day long. And Jaws takes me back to watching movies with my parents at the drive in which is where I first saw it. Spielberg’s movie are an event. He is an excellent storyteller that also really takes care of his characters.

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

David: I’m an actor first and foremost. It’s what i love to do. I’ve got a few ideas kicking around for some potential stories but nothing that I can really get my head around quite yet. Writing is hard. Actually, good writing is hard. I’ve been in/watched enough bad stories that it’s made me perhaps too self critical. (Hmmm, I might need to shake that idea off and just start opening up Final Draft more often.)

    * * * *

Writer’s Statement of STALLED – David Lewis

I’m fascinated by perception. How researchers say we instantly scan and assess someone within 10 seconds of meeting them. I find myself intimidated by the brawny tattooed males that seem to be everywhere nowadays, for no other reason than they look dangerous.

As far as locations go I’ve always felt underground parking garages to be slightly sinister. Concrete pillars. Blind corners. Darkened recesses. The concrete jungle. Combining the two I was interested in seeing how a businessman would handle himself when dropped into this scenario.

    * * * *

Matthew Toffolo, Interviewer BIO

Matthew Toffolo is the current CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival. He had worked for the organization since its inception in 2007 serving as the Short Film Festival’s moderator during the Audience Feedback sessions.

Filmmaker of over 20 short films and TV episodes. Took over full reins of the WILDsound Festival in May 2013. From then to the end of 2014, he’s presented over 90 movies at the monthly FEEDBACK Film Festival in Toronto, plus has had over 60 screenplays and stories performed by professional actors at the bi-monthly Writing Festival.

Go to and submit your film, script, or story to the festival.

Go to and watch recent and past winning writing festival readings.

By WILDsound Festival

Submitters reactions to their feedback on their stories. New testimonials coming each month! Watch this month's winning readings. At least 15 performances a month: Submit your script, story, poem, or film to the festival today:


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: