Category Archives: Short Film

Interview with TOY BOY Director March Mercanti

It’s always nice to hear feedback. I am glad that a lot of the audience saw Jeff as an inspiration to be yourself no matter what others might think of you.

– March Mercanti, on the WILDsound experience.

    WATCH the ‘TOY BOY’ Audience FEEDBACK Video:

Matthew Toffolo interviews Director March Mercanti:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

March: I started following Jeff on twitter about two years ago. His tweets caught my eye because they were either about a new toy purchase or a very stern/hilarious viewpoint on a topic. When I met up with him to discuss general fandom, it developed into myself making a film on Jeff.

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

March: 3 months

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

March: To be honest, Jeff was my biggest obstacle. We laugh about this now. But he was very controlling on how he wanted the film to be represented and what content I was showing. One example, we shot some stuff from his favourite collection, Jurassic Park, and I had to leave it on the cutting room floor in the editing room because it simply didn’t fit in with the other parts of the film. I think he is still mad at me for that. There were numerous other things he didn’t like. But Jeff gained some trust in me after he showed his parents and close friends a cut of the final project. Jeff was vulnerable when it came down to it and I thank him for that. His challenges he gave me were stressful but it helped us see eye to eye in the end of it all.

Matthew: You were at the festival, what was your favourite film that played at the festival besides your own?

March: My Buddy. It was diverse yet it used extremely easy story telling devices.

Matthew: Your subjects were at the festival too. They seem to relish on their 15 minutes of fame. We joked about a sequel. Think it will ever happen?

March: I don’t think Jeff will sell all of his toys any time soon but if he did I would be down to explore the possibilities. Jeff will always be interesting.

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

March: I am making my first comedy short film this spring/summer.

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Interview with Kagan Kerimoglu, Short Filmmaker (THE WHEEL OF TIME)

It was absolutely great and exciting (seeing the FEEDBACK Video on my film). Thank you and the audience a lot. I also watched feedbacks of other works that screened. I need to admit that the audience in Toronto is much more film literate, and has a greater sense than most audiences that I have ever seen. The comments and reactions to the film was really nice. Although it was screened in many festivals and events in various countries, that video is the only real feedback that I got from an audience except in my country and except from people working for festivals. It was great too see that the film is still meaningful, fun to watch and has a real reflection in different countries. I also laughed a lot to one joke that the moderator Mathew watched the main actor as Number 96 or something in another picture J

– Kagan Kerimoglu, on the WILDsound experience (Review)

    Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of “The Wheel of Time”

Matthew Toffolo interviews Kagan Kerimoglu:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Kagan: To begin with, if there is something that isn’t clear enough you can imagine me saying sorry for my English J

The Wheel of Time is my bachelor graduation project from a film program in Turkey.

I made several short films before “The Wheels of Time” and with this film I wanted to make something different and more meaningful that I can have a connection with. My previous film was also a sci-fi project. For this reason I didn’t want to do another sci-fi at the beginning, although this is very different and much mature project than the other one. In the beginning the idea was about making a dark, uncanny film about death. I tried to bring together two essential issues, which profoundly affects my life and the lives of people that I know.

One of these issues is death, and the other one is the system that we have created in order to find answers to our existential questions. Staying within the limits of short narrative structure as much as possible, I took these two issues as motives for my story. The point of departure of the story of THE WHEEL OF TIME is the question that follows: What would happen if the system that we have created attempts to explain and control the one issue that we cannot seem to make sense of? What if, one day, a control mechanism claims to have a solution to death and that there are no more questions to answer. And what if, a government creates a simple and controllable system out of the most difficult issue to solve and manipulates it to stay in power? After thinking all of those ideas and questions I decided that making this film a dystopian sci-fi type of thing would be much better in terms of the meaning and the style that I want to create, and of course it fits my taste of atmosphere, camera work and editing style.

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

Kagan: I am not sure how long did it take, because the process was not that linear and continuous. To give a rough idea about the process, I can say the writing took a week or so, but the script changed too much during the pre-production and also in the editing for the some small parts of it. Pre-Production took 1 and half month I guess. Shooting took 2 days and the rough cut took 3 days with sound design and music. The editing process was fast at the beginning because I needed to graduate on time. After I graduated I actually re-edit the whole film, with all sound design, music, color grading etc. I don’t know actually how long that took because I was very free and sometimes I edited the film for two days and did something else for another day. I think by working like this, and because of some minor problems, the whole post-production process roughly took 3 months. I never spent that much time for any other project. I think this kind of freedom can be a great but it also has some negative sides.

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

Kagan: I think the pre-production process was hard. I cannot say that I had huge obstacles but it was kind of annoying actually trying to find actors, location, costume, crew etc. I really don’t like organizing and finding something especially in a student film that has not that much budget. But the main reason actually is it has no creativity at all. On the contrary, rehearsing with actors, deciding the camera angles, editing style, costume design, production design etc. is an amazingly creative part of pre-production process. So I am not saying that I hate the pre-production part J It was also really hard at first to make this film with a budget I have and with a tight schedule. But that financial obstacle also led me to be much more creative. Beside the pre-production process I did not actually face with many obstacles. Maybe there is one as trying to tell this kind of a “big story” that includes lots of information and background in one location within a short time. The problem was it has a risk like being very boring and more radio less cinema. But also that obstacle was a pure joy to get over with. Making this film was actually a pure joy.

Matthew: It was pointed out that this film seems to be the 1st chapter in a feature concept and story? Is that true? Do you have a feature script based on this concept?

Kagan: Although I have few projects, which has similar tone and which belongs similar sub-genre, I didn’t make this film as a first act of a feature length project. But also I can’t say that I am not thinking to write this project as a feature length film J It is nearly impossible to make this kind of a work in Turkey as a feature length film but maybe there can be a way to make this kind of stuff in abroad. I love sci-fi, dystopias, cyberpunk etc. I actually like everything which are far from being the complete imitation of the thing we called “reality”.

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

Kagan: Lost Highway by David Lynch, Naked by Mike Leigh, The Devil’s Backbone by Guillermo Del Toro, Persona by Ingmar Bergman, Marnie by Alfred Hitchcock and Kosmos by Reha Erdem. I am not sure which one I watched the most but I guess Lost Highway as being my favourite film of all time.

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

Kagan: Does anyone know what is next for him or her? J No, I don’t know. I have many projects, ideas and loglines. I also have a very long short film script, which I truly want to make if I can find a way to finance. I am also going to start to a M.A. degree program in filmmaking, most probably within few months. I hope that I will have exciting projects during my master’s degree.

Interview with Burleigh Smith, Short Filmmaker (FIXED)

It was very pleasing to hear the feedback from WILDsound. I was flattered. I’m glad our film was well-received by Canadian audiences.

– Burleigh Smith, on the WILDsound experience (Review)

    WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video of “FIXED” from the February 2015 Film Festival:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Burleigh: The film was made as part of a class assignment with students at our film school, SAE Institute.

We discussed different audiences for films and decided to make a short film for dog lovers.

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

Burleigh: We took about two months writing the screenplay and in pre-production. The shoot lasted six days. And then a further two months of post production. But our editing schedule was very relaxed, we weren’t working on it full-time. So about four months in total.

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

Burleigh: Dealing with film student egos. Our five-year-old star and the dog were much more professional than some of the crew!

Matthew: I joked in the moderation that you they advice filmmakers not to work with kids and pets. You did both. Were they any issues when filming with either or? And how did you find that terrific girl?

Burleigh: Both Amara and our dog were perfect. Couldn’t have been better-cast. There was a scene that didn’t make the final cut, where Amara dresses her pet in fishnet stockings, a bra and leather skirt. And the dog happily obliged.

We met Amara during an open casting call and it was very quickly clear she had talent.

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

Burleigh: I’ve seen a lot of Woody Allen films again and again. There’s so much one can learn from such a talented filmmaker. “Sweet and Lowdown” is my favourite. Sean Penn plays such a self-centred, egotistical, obnoxious character. I could really relate to him.

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

Burleigh: Amara and I are shooting a feature. It’s a comedy titled “Daisy’s Getting Married”. I wrote it in the space of a month, inspired by our work on “Fixed”. Amara plays Daisy, a little girl who causes endless trouble when she decides she wants to marry her father.

Interview with Mark Moliterni, Award Winning Short Filmmaker (MY BUDDY)

Watching the Toronto audience discuss My Buddy was a first for me, and admittedly, a little bizarre. I’ve never had my work discussed and analyzed by strangers in a public setting. It was exciting to see that many of the themes I wanted to explore were understood, appreciated, and debated over by the audience.

– Director Mark Moliterni, on the WILDsound experience (Review)

Mark’s film “MY BUDDY” was the awarded Best Film at the WILDsound February 2015 film festival.

    WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the Festival:

Matthew Toffolo interview with Mark Moliterni:

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Mark: The night I saw the Wachowskis’ Cloud Atlas (at the Carlton Cinema, ironically enough), I left the theater feeling incredibly inspired and desperate to create something. I had heard the song ‘My Buddy’ by the Alvino Rey Orchestra many times and had it in my Rolodex of ideas to base a film on. So I got home, and began drafting the plot and themes I wanted to explore, using my own grandparents as inspiration for Manny.

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

Mark: My Buddy was conceived of in February 2013. I worked on a couple drafts of the screenplay and then didn’t touch it for a few months. Then I pitched the film to the executive crew that summer and we got the green light from our school, Ryerson University, to produce it in September. Production took place in December and the film was finally finished in April 2014.

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

Mark: When I first dreamed up the idea for My Buddy I didn’t think I’d be able to produce it anytime soon. I figured I would need a lot of special effects for Win and that it’d be impossible to get an actor who could play the part convincingly. I finally finessed the idea enough to make it realistically producible on a limited budget. If it were not for my grandparents letting us take over their house for a week, Ryerson’s resources and the generous donation of time from our cast and crew (many of whom were toiling outside in the freezing cold rigging lights), we could not have produced My Buddy.

Matthew: In the moderation, we chatted with your actors. How was your personal experience working with them?

Mark: Vince Carlin and Ryan Anning are two of the easiest, nicest, and most patient actors a new director could work with. Watching them develop their characters and fall effortlessly into their roles over the course of the shoot was an absolute pleasure.

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

Mark: Probably The Lion King. My older brother wanted to watch it weekly (daily?) when we were kids. It’s still one of my favourite movies.

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

Mark: My first music video for Canadian band Parallels will be coming out later this year. I’m currently interning at two LA production companies in story development and hope to finish my first two feature film scripts by the end of the year.

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Watch the February 2015 Film Festival Films and Winners:
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/february_2015_film_festival.html

Submit your Short Film to the Festival:
http://www.wildsound.ca/submityourfilm.html

Interview with Filmmaker Richard Powell (FAMILIAR Short Film)

The experience at WILDsound is always a great one! The feedback videos are a great tool to study and learn from and actually sitting in the audience during the screening gives alot of great perspective. Our upcoming short HEIR is Co-Produced by RED SNEAKERS MEDIA, a great Toronto Film team we had the pleasure of meeting at a Wild Sound event during the Festival run of our previous short WORM. I’ll always remember and credit WILDsound for that opportunity to meet new collaborators!

– Directer Richard Powell on the WILDsound experience (Review)

    Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the festival for FAMILIAR:

Matthew Toffolo interviews Director Richard Powell:

Matthew: Your short film played at our festival in 2013. How has it done since it screened? Has it played at more festivals? Distribution deal? Can be seen online?

Richard: FAMILIAR has played at over 50 Film Festivals world wide and continues to screen to this day. The amount of Festival selections and reviews the film has had is something we are very proud of. FAMILIAR was a project we had alot of confidence in so we look to have it screened and reviewed everywhere and by anybody interested in checking it out! To date Familiar has been hosted by FearNet where it had been awarded a STAFF PICK and GORIEST SHORT and currently FAMILIAR is in the process of being made available on ITUNES. The film being made available on ITUNES will hopefully make it that much more available to new audiences to find it and us!

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Richard: FAMILIAR was really motivated by my desire to explore the themes of my previous short film WORM but through the prism of horror. WORM explores the hidden dangers of frustrated ambition and creativity through the use of an ID like inner monolog which dominates a High School English teacher. The short is a drama which flirts with the idea of horror and violence but ultimately prefers to explore those themes in verbal ways, I wanted to see if I could scare and or upset an audience with words only. The experiment was fun and in my mind a successful one, so much so that I have written a feature length version of that short film. After WORM I was thinking about what the inner monolog is, what the ID is, what desire is and those questions led me to FAMILIAR, a film which questions if our deepest desires and darkest thoughts are ours alone or originate elsewhere. How can something which is apparently ourselves work against us and motivate us to harm our selves and the ones we love? Surely this desire can’t be a part of us if it is self destructive? These questions and some fun blood and guts make up FAMILIAR, a gory counter part to WORM, the bloodless dramatic predecessor.

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

Richard: FAMILIAR took a long time, all of our shorts do because we write, finance and distribute the films our selves. We have never earned a grant or been blessed with rich relatives (although relatives have surely helped us beyond words!) So our films taking a long time really makes us consider each project, each cast or crew member and finally how long we push our films into the world. These aren’t cheap, throw away short films, these are our first films and they mean everything to us. FAMILIAR took atleast a year to cast, to find locations and to develop the special FX with the Butcher. We also had to work our day jobs to raise the budget, infact everything we have created is always on Evenings and Weekends, which makes the prospects of doing this full time a dream we strive for every day because with that amount of time we know we are capable of great things cinematically.

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

Richard: Luckily FAMILIAR was much easier to make than our previous film WORM and WORM is the reason why. We spent alot of money and learned alot of lessons on WORM which allowed FAMILIAR to come together in a much more streamlined way. Due to the fact that we spent the time and money to make WORM great we were able to attract high level cast and crew who were excited to work with us on FAMILIAR. Due to the fact that we had established relationships on WORM with certain cast and crew we knew who we could rely on when it came to FAMILIAR. Every film makes the next one easier but because the next film should be better the difference in negligible. No film is easy and every film you do makes that all the more clear.

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

Richard: I watch ALIEN, TAXI DRIVER, GOOD FELLAS and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE the most. I’ve watched them since I was kid and will do so until I’m an old man because every time I watch them I see more and learn more. These films never age or diminish but grow stronger with each viewing.

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

Richard: We are close to completing a new short film HEIR which will hopefully be on the Festival circuit this Summer/Fall. It’s something very different and I have a feeling will cause some great discussion once it begins to be seen. Aside from that we are trying to get our feature film WORM made and I am personally trying to write much more these days to get all of the ideas I have out of my brain and into the world!