Interview with Director Nils Bergendal (German Shepherd)

Watching the reactions of (German Shepherd) at WILDsound…filmmaking does not become more meaningful than that. When your film reaches and audience that respond in such way, it´s pure joy.

– Nils Bergendal’s reaction after watch the Audience Feedback on his short film “German Shepherd”

    Watch the Audience FEEDBACK of GERMAN SHEPHERD:

German Shepherd is a multiple award winning short film that has played at many of the major film festivals around the world, including Toronto International Film Festival; Cinequest Film Festival; and Kiev International Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo interviews Nils Bergendal:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Nils: I have known David Paul for many years. In 2009 we met for lunch in a greasy joint in New York. We had some hour to kill before my flight back to Sweden and I suggested to make an interview. So we did – 45 minutes later the batteries died. That interview became the backbone and voice-over of the film.

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

Nils: It took 4 years. Not full time of course. I realized early on that this film needed a visual universe where I could move freely in time and space. I had never animated myself. I knew I wanted a simply visual style and ended up doing the animation myself.

Matthew: Talk about your visuals in relation to the interview/voice over in this film. There is a lot of subtly in the visuals and you notice new things in repeated viewings. Where did you get the inspiration to come up with your overall visual design?

Nils: As everybody knows, animation is such time-consuming craft. And while working, new ideas pop up. The slow process of making this film was frustrating at times but the visual definitely benefited from it. I realized that when I saw my original storyboard the other day. It was pretty poor – the film evolved from that early stage.

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

Nils: Raising money. I had a strong vision of the film and I was stubborn about making it become real. But that conviction was needed – rasing a budget was the hardest part.

Matthew: How is the film scene in your city and country (Sweden)?

Nils: I think the film scene is pretty good. Compared with North America we have many film funds and the National TV broadcast shorts as well documentaries.

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

Nils: I´ve been climbing trees for a year with 4 cameras on my head. It´s a 360 degrees installation where the audience is surrounded by the crown. The film is now shown in a blackbox in an art center in Sweden.

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

Nils: Pippi Longstocking on the run from 1970. I saw it as a kid and have seen it again with my kids, over and over again. I never get tired of it.

    * * * * *

Deadline: FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:

– FULL FEEDBACK on your film from the audience. Garner an audience feedback video on your film.

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:

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