Category Archives: director

Bio of Director Shachar Gal (BLACK BALLOON)

Shachar Gal- See director BIO

Shachar Gal is an Israeli director and screenwriter. He studied sound and post production and later got his degree at communications from the IDC in Herzeliya.

In 2013 Shachar made his first short film – “Fassolya”; a 14 min comedy which tells the story of two young stoners from Tel Aviv with a very creative ways for dealing with life’s little troubles.

His second short film, “Gadi’s House” was released on 2014; a 7 min comedy about a young Israeli released soldier (Nadav) who’s living with his parents. Nadav copes with drug related issues. The film follows him through a special rehab program which was forced on him by his parents.

In 2015 Shachar released his latest short film – “Black Balloon”; 11 min drama/horror film which won local academic awards for best short film, cinematography and editing.

These days, Shachar is busy producing a pilot episode for a crime TV series he wrote with his partner, Kit Taran.

festival posterBLACK BALLOON
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK

12min, Israel, Drama/Horror
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Read this week’s top interviews from top Hollywood Film Talent

Read new interviews from some of the top film crew talents working on Hollywood Film Sets today. Insightful, entertaining, and educational interviews. Emmy Winners. Oscar Winners. Director of Photographers. Production Designers. Special Effects. Editor. Costume Designers. Directors. Producers.

Interview with Cinematographer Jeff Cutter (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Interview with Cinematographer Jeff Cutter (10 Cloverfield Lane)

Interview with Special Effects Coordinator Donnie Dean (Emmy Winner – American Horror Story)
Interview with Special Effects Coordinator Donnie Dean (Emmy Winner – American Horror Story)

Interview with Cinematographer Natasha Braier (The Neon Demon, The Rover)
Interview with Cinematographer Natasha Braier (The Neon Demon, The Rover)

Interview with Editor Jake Roberts (Oscar Nominated film BROOKLYN)
Interview with Editor Jake Roberts (Oscar Nominated film BROOKLYN)

Interview with Cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani (NEERJA)
Interview with Cinematographer Mitesh Mirchandani (NEERJA)

Interview with Director Rob Hawk
Interview with Director Rob Hawk

Interview with Production Designer Jane Musky (When Harry Met Sally…, Ghost)
Interview with Production Designer Jane Musky (When Harry Met Sally…, Ghost)

Interview with Director/Production Designer David Hackl (SAW Franchise)
Interview with Director/Production Designer David Hackl (SAW Franchise)

Interview with Costume Designer Linda Muir (The Witch, Bitten)
Interview with Costume Designer Linda Muir (The Witch, Bitten)

Read 100s of interviews:
http://matthewtoffolo.com/category/matthew-toffolo-wildsound/

Today’s Instagram Photos: Friday February 26 2016

Today’s Instagram Photos: Carlton Cinemas in Downtown Toronto. Interview with Director David Hackl

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#photo: #meagangood in the David Hackl #directed #film #SawV Interview with Director/Production Designer David Hackl (SAW Franchise) http://matthewtoffolo.com/2016/02/24/interview-with-directorproduction-designer-david-hackl-saw-franchise/ David Hackl was the production designer and second unit director for Saw II, Saw III and Saw IV, as well as for Repo! The Genetic Opera. He then went on to direct Saw V to critical and financial success. Recently, he directed multiple episodes of the TV series “Real Detective”. I was fortunate to sit down with David to talk about his career and what’s next: #sawmovies #horror #horrorfranchise #Interview #davidhackl #matthewtoffolo #filmmaking #filmcrew #director #productiondesigner

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Interview with director Aitor Arregi (ZARAUTZEN EROSI ZUEN)

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of ZARAUTZEN EROSI ZUEN (SHE BOUGHT IS AT ZARAUTZ) at the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival:

ZARAUTZEN EROSI ZUEN was awarded Best Film at the April 2015 WILDsound Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo interview with director Aitor Arregi:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Aitor: Every day life can offer us stories of great narrative potential. To tell a story you need a conflict, however banal it is, you can make important for the protagonist. In this case, our protagonist (Miren) misses her shirt at the store. She knows who stole it, but she can’t prove it. She becomes obsessed with it and you may think it’s nothing more than an anecdote. But for me it’s not only that, Miren is struggling to regain her battered dignity. That moves me and makes me feel that this concept can connect with the public. As much as it is apparently a small story, I think it’s a serves as a sounding board to talk about other things and to create feelings in the audience. We wanted that a part of the audience, since it is impossible to convince everyone, to feel identified with that feeling of wanting to give a strike on the table and say “that’s enough!”, and not achieving it.

At the same time, as I said, it is a story of an obsession. For me, seeing an obsessed character has a great narrative force. I think we’ve all ever obsessed with something or someone and we have given importance to something that, seen in perspective, hadn’t. I think a very human attitude and that is why Miren’s obsession is close to me.

Finally, I would say it is a story about the battle between desire and reality. Miren makes a movie in her head, she thinks that looking into the eyes to Jaione (the supposed thief), with a Clint Eastwood glance, Jaione will melt. The reality is that when she stands in front of her opponent, instead of Clint Eastwood, Miren becomes a dubious Peter Sellers.

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

Aitor: About six months. The script and pre-production two months and a half, shooting one week and postproduction sound image and another two months more ore less.

Matthew: Talk about your cast: The performances were all exceptional? How did you find these actors and what type of rehearsals did you have?

Aitor: This is a story that depends very much on the actors. It is a character-driven story. If they are not good, it would be a disaster and wouldn’t work. Therefore, we decided not to risk and we called the players we liked and we knew they could do a great job. They are Basque actors, we knew their job well, some of them had worked with us, for example Nagore Aranburu, the protagonist. We did not want to risk and am personally very happy with their work.

We assayed a few times before, a few days before the recording. I indicated them how I saw each character and I can say it was perhaps the best moments that I had throughout the production phase of the film. They caught almost everything at the first, almost everything was organic, natural … this is not always the case but fortunately with our short it was. I think it clearly shows in the final result. In our short you could blame several things, but not the acting, I’m proud of our actors.

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

Aitor: As for filming definitely the hardest part was the day we had to shoot the Carnival scene. That is the scene of the climax, when Miren finally faces with Jaione. The party you see in that scene is real and the actors worked in a real scenario. It was madness!!

On the other hand, editing wasn’t easy. We thought we had a clear history that would not give us problems editing. But as the days passed, we didn’t have the story we wanted to achieve. In the end, we polished the project slowly and we were reassured when we showed to people and saw that reactions were generally positive.

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

Aitor: Not as well as in the United States or France. People are struggling making films, compared to other nations. In the Basque Country, film it still relatively new. Fortunately, now both the Basque Government and the Basque television (ETB), and also the supporters of Spanish Ministry of Culture and Spanish public television, seem to be betting on production and are producing several feature films, documentaries and shorts. I wish it was more. It is in our hands to make films that connect with the public.

As for the short films, fortunately in the Basque Country, we have Kimuak, which is a program of the Basque Government to distribute and publicize worldwide catalog of selected Basque short films. Our work your festival has come through them and we are really happy with the work Txema and Esther (the people from Kimuak) have done.

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

Aitor: The feedback from WILDsound is the greatest gift you could for to our filmmaking team. It really was exciting to see people, so many thousands of kilometers from our home, reviewing, discussing our little film. It was the best award. Thank you very much!

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

Aitor: The Indiana Jones trilogy. Not the last Indiana. I have seen it Maybe about 30 times each film. And at a distance, “The Silence of the Lambs,” “Fargo”, “The Great Escape”…

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

Aitor: We are working on a script for a film about a giant who grew up to be 2.50 meters and lived in our country 150 years ago. We are excited but at the same time we are aware of the enormous work which will involve both technically and in terms of setting this story.

    * * * * *

Deadline: FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submityourfilm.html

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

Interview with Filmmaker Mariana Conde (C.T.R.L.)

We were a little nervous and excited; it felt like we were secretly spying on the audience, like a fly on the wall!…..Hearing C.T.R.L being described as simultaneously fun, playful and slightly uncomfortable to watch is fantastic. That is exactly what we were aiming for, so that whilst entertaining we could raise awareness to issues that are relevant to our society and important to us. Ultimately, we loved the debate it spawned on technology, social media and privacy issues, the underlying theme of C.T.R.L.
– Director Mariana Conde on the WILDsound experience (Review)

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video for the Short Film C.T.R.L.:

Matthew Toffolo interviews Filmmaker Mariana Conde:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Mariana: My partner Stu is a web developer and is really into a games. We’re a competitive couple and test new concepts by pitching them to each other. When he came up with the idea of a phone app that can control people, I jumped at the opportunity to make a short that, not only had the potential of being extremely visual, but would also add a spark to the discussion of how far we are willing to take technology.

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

Mariana: From start to finish, it took us two years and a half to make C.T.R.L.

As an advertising Producer, I know it could have been made in a couple of months, if we had a proper budget. As a self-funded short, we had to fit it in around everyone’s free time. I’m glad we didn’t rush it though, as it allowed us to get the very best people involved and make the best short we could at the time.

Matthew: Talk about your cast: The performances were all exceptional? How did you find these actors and what type of rehearsals did you have?

The performances were extraordinary!

As the short involved dance, Stu and I decided to take a few lessons ourselves. That’s how we found B-Better, a hiphop education company open for everyone, including total beginners like us. The lessons were great fun and super inspiring. The organisers, Louisa Andrea and T Damien Anyasi, shared our values of self-expression, so it didn’t take us long to realise they were the perfect partners to get C.T.R.L off the ground. Louisa as casting director and Damien as the choreographer.

We put together a website for C.T.R.L to help us pitch the project and used word of mouth, fliers and social media to reach out to the best dancers and actors in London. We advertised on casting websites such as Spotlight & Starnow and even engaged a couple of schools such as Bird College, known for training the best talent for dance and theatre performance.

For the casting we hired a dance studio and saw some very talented people. It was difficult to choose our cast, but Helena Dowling really stood out… We’d actually ran out of time in the studio and had to audition her on the street! She was so comfortable in the role and we were so impressed by her acting and dance skills that she immediately got the role.

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

Mariana: Our biggest obstacle definitely has to be when we lost our location. After spending two rainy days around the city on a recce, we had finally found a really cute café on a quiet pedestrian side street, it was perfect, and as you can imagine, a location like that is hard to find in a city like London. However, the week before we were due to shoot the café demanded an extra thousand pounds to use the location before signing the contract. We were worried but, all was not lost. Helena had recommended a rehearsal space in East London called the Vatican, and, as soon as I set foot in there, I knew we had found it. I immediately sealed the deal with the owner and got in touch with Art Director Bobbie Cousins, who did a fantastic job at making it look like a hip café!

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

Mariana: London is a pretty cool city to make a short. Most of the people you work with are highly professional and skilled, so you know you can get a good crew on board. There is a strong community of very creative people collaborating to get their films made, but unfortunately the funding is limited and there aren’t enough incentives for upcoming directors.

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

Mariana: We were a little nervous and excited; it felt like we were secretly spying on the audience, like a fly on the wall! It really is a unique opportunity to be able to hear what the audience thinks of our film without us being there to influence the discussion.

It was great to hear the lovely comments about the dance and performances. I was particularly happy to hear a member of the audience mention how much she enjoyed the actor’s facial expressions, as we worked hard to get the right balance of emotion without being over the top.

Hearing C.T.R.L being described as simultaneously fun, playful and slightly uncomfortable to watch is fantastic. That is exactly what we were aiming for, so that whilst entertaining we could raise awareness to issues that are relevant to our society and important to us. Ultimately, we loved the debate it spawned on technology, social media and privacy issues, the underlying theme of C.T.R.L.

I should also take the opportunity to answer why we chose to have the waitress sneering at them… We wanted to create the feeling that maybe this wasn’t the first time that the controllers had been playing these games in the café, plus, in a big city like London, people aren’t always in the right frame of mind to enjoy beauty.

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

Mariana: It might be Black Cat, White Cat by Emir Kusturica. It’s such a fun film; shot with no studio constraints, wonderful music and an invigorating energy. Plus, the actors are super expressive, which is something I really appreciate both when watching or making a film.

Stu is much more of a geek, he is a massive fan of the original Star Wars, Empire strikes back in particular.

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

Mariana: Stu and I have just arrived from a research trip in Morocco.

Originally the aim was to develop an idea I’ve been paying with for over ten years, but we actually came back with two very different projects we’d both love to make.

The first is a short currently named Aisha Qandisha about Sarah and Lila, two girls from very different backgrounds who find themselves traveling together through exotic Morocco, walking the limbo of their fragile identities and sexuality.

I’ve just created a Facebook page for Aisha: /www.facebook.com/aishaqandishashort, in case you’d like to follow this project from the very start!

Stu’s idea is more likely to be a feature and is currently called Medina of the Dead.

DIRECTING A FILM. Tips to Film Directing from some top Movie Directors

Ideas to be a great Film Director!

Directing a film is the most intensely solitary and intensely collaborative experience you may ever have. On a psychological level, it’s about keeping your ego in perfect balance with your need for input, and your vision moving forward with your changing circumstances.

Whether you’re running your first independent-film casting call or into your millionth day of shooting, you may find some useful ideas here.

A great movie is about catching the audience on every level.

All the great film directors always say: Direct the stories that you know right now. Express yourself in the films. Put your personal vision in the films.

The main questions a Film Director must answer are:
1. Where do I put the camera?
2. What do I tell the actors?
3. What is the scene about?

David Mamet says that directing a film is about shooting a variety of unaffected shots and then cutting them together to effect a mood and feel.

True creativity is allowing your unconscious to be free.

The audience gets the idea – a house looks like a house.

KISS – Keep it simple, stupid

People look at the most overriding thing in the frame. Human perception goes to the most important thing.

Just be honest in making a movie. Then you’ll find that it’s fighting back against you and telling you how to write and shoot it.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’RE DONE?

“The shots are all you have.”

Directing a film is like climbing a mountain. It’s frightening sometimes and it’s usually lonely but you don’t have to climb the whole mountain all at once.

Pick up people along the way who will be a part of your creative team, and you will be a part of theirs as well. That is 50% of Directing a Film

There are no minor decisions in movie making.

Always prepare the groundwork. See that it allows for the lucky accidents to happen. That’s what makes a first-rate movie.

The director is in charge of keeping the wheels turning. Handling the moods and egos, the politics and personalities, the insecurities of everyone on set.

It’s VALUABLE to have people who challenge you – search for the TRUTH

Tension never helps anything.

ASK YOURSELF:
Does the scene contribute to the overall theme?
Does it contribute to the storyline?
Is the storyline moving in an ever-increasing arc of tension and drama?

As as Director, it’s important to understand each and every line that’s in the script.

Good style is UNSEEN style. It is style that is FELT.

    * * * * *

“I know the first film I ever saw it must have been some time in 1924, when I was six or so… was Black Beauty. About a stallion. I still recall a sequence with fire. It was burning, I remember that vividly. And I remember too how it excited me, and how afterwards we bought the book of Black Beauty and how I learned the chapter on the fire by heart at that time I still hadn’t learned to read.”
– Ingmar Bergman

    * * * * *

What you do with the camera:
-Can make up for a deficient performance
-Can make a good performance better
-Can create mood
-Can create ugliness
-Can create beauty
-Can provide excitement
-Can capture the essence of the moment
-Can stop time
-Can define character
-Can provide exposition
-Can make a joke
-Can make a miracle
-Can tell a story

SHOOTING THE MOVIE

-Be prepared, organized and disciplined. Get body in mental shape.
-Relax in the morning. Do something different to get mind moving.

If your concentration breaks, you know something has gone wrong. Do another take.

A good day is a day the actors don’t get bored.

REVIEW THE DAY MENTALLY:
-Did you get what you wanted?
-Do you need additional coverage?
-Is there anything you want to reshoot?

All good work is self-revelation.

Making a movie is going through a series of battles. If you think you’ve won, you will only have to fight them over again.

    * * * * *

“Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.”
– Martin Scorsese

    * * * * *

THE DIRECTOR’S JOB FOR DIRECTING A FILM

To care about and be responsible for every frame of every movie you make. To make the best possible movie you can make.

There’s a sensual satisfaction in working in close unions with strong, independent and creative people: actors, assistants, electrics, production staff, props, make-up, costume designers – all those personalities who populate the day and make it possible to get through.

You gradually build up the psychological situation piece by piece, using the camera to emphasize first one detail, then another. The point is to draw the audience right inside the situation, instead of leaving them to watch it from outside. And you can do this only by breaking the action up into details and cutting from one to the other, so that each detail is forced, in turn, on the attention of the audience, and reveals its psychological meaning.

If the camera is always in one position and you don’t cut, you will lose your power over the audience. They will watch the scene without really being involved in it. They won’t understand what the characters are feeling.

If the take is good, move on. Try to improve on something later, not something that doesn’t need it, or isn’t going to be any better.

Look for something that has style and visual energy.

Given time and freedom, the actors will fall naturally into their places, discovering when and where to move, and you will have your shot.

THE ESSENTIAL PRINCIPALS OF CINEMA HAVE TO DO WITH THE HUMAN NEED TO MASTER AND KNOW THE WORLD.

Think about the music and sound effects the moment you begin directing a film.

Directing a Film is not only creatively handling actors and interpreting the screenplay. It also includes the ability to complete a day’s work on time and on schedule. A director who is properly prepared allows for creativity, while planning for the inevitable problems.

A director who is able to think creatively while making instantaneous decisions based upon the pressures of production is a successful director.

“A movie is never finished, only abandoned.”
George Lucas

WORKING WITH YOUR CREW WHEN DIRECTING A FILM

-If you want professional reliability from your crew, you must first be a model of professionalism yourself.
-Trust your crew reasonably and they will rise to crisis selflessly

-Have meals and coffee breaks built predictably into the schedule
-Always maintain communication
-Keep abreast of developments
-During breaks, encourage discussion of the production
-Above all, encourage involvement
-Shooting should take place in as calm an atmosphere as possible
-A calm, respectful atmosphere is a necessity
-Choose colleagues carefully
-If you are sympathetic towards the crew’s problems, they will be generous when you want their help solving one of yours

DIRECTING THE CREW WHEN DIRECTING A FILM
-Scheduling and communication is a necessity before the shoot
-Make sure everyone knows and keeps to their area of responsibility
-Encourage moment-to-moment communication during the shoot
-Encourage the crew to act supportively towards the TALENT
-Encourage solidarity and maintain professionalism when there are internal disagreements

* * * * *
Deadline: FEEDBACK Toronto Film Festival:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submityourfilm.html

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