Category Archives: Feedback

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:
http://www.nilsbergendal.com/

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.
https://vimeo.com/126597218

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:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submityourfilm.html

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

Advertisements

Interview with filmmaker Laura Garcia (Winning Short Film ALEX)

I thought that the feedback video was one of the best gifts this short film could bring me. Everything the audience said was so precise, every emotion… They captured the essence of the film! I never thought it could go so far. It really inspired me to keep on working.

– Laura Garcia’s reaction to watching the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the WILDsound Festival

Watch the AUDIENCE FEEDBACK VIDEO:

The Short Film ALEX was the Winner of Best FILM from the March 2015 WILDsound FEEDBACK Film Festival.

Matthew Toffolo interviews director Laura Garcia:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Laura: I was interested in adolescence and identity so adoption came up to my mind. Alex, the adopted girl in the film, wants to know more about her origin so she decides to meet her mother but hiding her identity. I thought that decision was strong enough to write and shoot about it. As I was writing the script, I felt I did no want to shoot a big drama; what interested me more was the curiosity and the need to know of this adolescent.

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

Laura: A year, from the developing of the idea to the first screening of the film.

Matthew: Talk about your direction and your collaboration with your cinematographer. There is some exceptional work here. Did you storyboard? Detailed shot list? Or did you freebase on set? This is perhaps one of the best directed shorts I’ve seen in a long time.

Laura: Thank you very much! We did some previous work, a detailed shot list to feel safe before the shooting, but it was not until we saw the actresses on set when we knew what we needed to tell the story: just a few shots, most of them hand-held. For example, when we were in the optical shop, we had a long shot list to cover the scene but it was not until we were shooting the shot where Clara (Alex’s mother) is out of frame until she sits down when we knew we did not need anything else to cover Clara’s first appearance.

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

Laura: The two mothers are two well-known spanish actresses that I admire and that stressed me, I had just finished university so I felt inexperienced and nervous. At the end, it turned to be a great experience.

Matthew: Does the mother know that’s her birth daughter?

Laura: I like this question, it is open to discussion! However, I feel she does not know that she is her birth daughter but somehow she feels connected with the girls of the same age as her daughter. There is a strong connection between them when they meet but Clara does not think Alex is her daughter.

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

Laura: I felt excited. I thought that the feedback video was one of the best gifts this short film could bring me. Everything the audience said was so precise, every emotion… They captured the essence of the film! I never thought it could go so far. It really inspired me to keep on working.

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

Laura: One of the films I have seen a lot of times is All About My Mother, from spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. It impresses me every time I watch it. I love the brave female characters in Almodovar’s movies. All About My Mother is about the journey of a mother to face her son’s past so I feel it has a certain connection with Alex.

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

Laura: I am currently writing my next short film and, bit by bit, my first feature film.

* * * * *

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 Director Avi Rothman (Bunion)

To be honest, I was quite flattered. It seemed like people enjoyed the film… It felt great to see that.

– Avi Rothman, in reaction to the WILDsound Film Festival FEEDBACK Video of his film BUNION

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of BUNION:

Matthew Toffolo interviews director Avi Rothman:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Avi: This film is based on exaggerated truths. I grew up with a bunion and was dealing with some pretty bad foot pain for the last few years of my life. I thought it was somewhat ridiculous / comical that my bunion was giving me trouble. Writing the film was cathartic for me and allowed me to express what I was going with my life at the time.

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

Avi: The process was actually pretty quick with this film. When I conceived the idea I relayed it to Jessica. Jessica really liked the idea and pushed me to write it. I wrote the film fairly quickly and we began preproduction. I believe we shot the film in three days. The part that took the longest was postproduction – color correction and sound. Post took a few month because we called in favors and people charged us next to nothing.

Matthew: Talk about your cast…

Avi: We did have a great cast. When I was writing the short I had almost everyone in mind, except for the love interest in the beginning of the film who is played by Alia Shawkat. Alia was Jessica’s idea, which was great. Jessica has always loved Alia’s work, as have I, but she’s never really been seen as a strong beautiful / sexy female lead character before. Jessica’s agent forwarded Alia the script and I realized I had a friend who grew up with Alia and she also put in a good word for us. Alia read the script and loved it.

Both Jessica and I have known Michaela Watkins for a while. I used to perform with, The Groundlings, which is how I met Mikaela years ago. When Michaela read the script she too really liked it and agreed to sign on.

Steve Ireland (his real name is Steve Younger) has been a friend of mine for years. The reason you haven’t seen him for such a long time is because in real life he is a high powered entertainment lawyer. To be honest, I met Steve almost eight years ago when I sold a pilot I wrote with a friend to the Starz channel… Steve was our lawyer during that process. Steve doesn’t audition anymore, he’s only interested in projects that either his friends are writing / producing.

Misty Monroe, who played the nurse, was recommended from a friend who I initially wanted to play the part of the nurse. He was busy during our shooting schedule so he recommended, Misty. She too was a joy to work with.

I think everyone really enjoyed themselves.

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

Avi: Post production was tough. So many people were not charging us or charging us very little for their time that it took a while to complete. Again, we pulled in a lot of favors.

Even though there were so many different personalities on set I feel we all got along very well. I think we all had a pleasant experience shooting the film.

Matthew: Bunion 2?

Avi: I don’t think so… I’d like to finish writing my feature… Which should have been completed a year ago. I know Jessica really wants to direct features as well. Jessica currently has a feature in development.

Matthew: What are your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about the film?

Avi: To be honest, I was quite flattered. It seemed like people enjoyed the film… It felt great to see that.

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

Avi: Good question… I’m not exactly sure.
Films that I’ve seen more than once:
Annie Hall, Manhattan, The Big Lebowski, Raging Bull, A Clockwork Orange, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Little Miss Sunshine, Punch Druck Love, Casablanca, …These are just a few.

Matthew: What is next for you?

Avi: I’d really like to finish writing and shoot a feature.
Jessica has a project in development that she will direct.

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.

FEEDBACK Film Festival: Highlights from the Thursday March 26 2015 event

The theme of the MARCH 2015 FILM FESTIVAL was:
“GROWING UP”.

Every film showcased on the night was about characters being forced to grow up under the circumstances they face.

Get to know all the films that played at the festival:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/march_2015_film_festival.html

Watch the Audience Feedback Videos for Each Film:

ALEX
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Video, 14min, Spain, Family/Drama

ALIENATION
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK, 6min, Germany, Animation/Documentary

BONFIRE
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK Video, 13min, Canada, Teen/Drama

BUNION
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK, 8min, USA, Comedy

CHUB
WATCH Audience FEEDBACK, 27min, USA, Youth/Drama

* * * * *

Submit your SHORT Film to the FEEDBACK Film Festival:

http://www.wildsound.ca/submityourfilm.html

– Hear what the world thinks of your film!

7 Questions with FilmFreeway.com Founder Zachary Jones

7 Questions with FilmFreeway.com Founder Zachary Jones

via 7 Questions with FilmFreeway.com Founder Zachary Jones.

Novel Festival and Contest Review. Next Deadline to submit is Oct. 31st

Here are some recent testimonials of past submitted works:

I am so impressed with your feedback that I will submit the finished novel into your competition not so much as to try and win the competition but rather to get the valuable feedback I need at a reasonable cost before taking the novel further.
– Francis Connor
The Devil’s Bridge, 1st chapter novel

Interesting feedback. I too have come to the same conclusion you have. I will resubmit, rewriting the opening chapter and taking out the narration of the dead man. I was seduced by the idea, but agree he becomes a distraction and a filter.
– Elisabeth Appell
Elements of Betrayal, 1st chapter book

Thank you for the festival and the feedback. This book hit its target. To provide a broad base from which others can continue the story.
– Roland Hughes
John Smith: Last Known Survivor

Thanks for your insightful and highly constructive comments on my novel submission, “Victoria The First”. Clearly, your reader(s) read the manuscript carefully and thoroughly. Your overall assessment of “a great read” has encouraged me to dive back in and tell this story the way I know I can.
– Bill Osinski
Victoria The First: A Novel, Full Novel

Thanks for your thoughtful critique. And how you pin-pointed all of the many grammatical errors in this novel draft. The notebook passages were meant in part to convey that vitally important moral and political distinction (Ariel is something of a marxist for a reason, after all). I am sorry it was not made more clear in the narrative. Again, thanks for reading my novel with such care.
– Christopher Bernard
Voyage to a Phantom City, Full Novel

DEADLINE October 31st – 1st CHAPTER and FULL NOVEL (SAVE $50) CONTEST
http://www.wildsound.ca/book_contest.html

FULL FEEDBACK on either the 1st chapter or entire novel book from our committee of Professional Writers, and Writing Consultants. Get your novel performed by a professional actor at the festival.

MY WAY, Watch Winning 1st Chapter Reading by Deryn Warren (recent winner)

Watch recent Novel and Short Story performances:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/novel_and_short_story_readings.html