I was very pleased with the feedback. I was thrilled that the first audience member felt uncomfortable after watching it. Film-making is about stirring emotions. Good or bad.
– Director Andrew Wright, on his reaction to the audience’s reaction in the discussion format at the WILDsound Film Festival (Review)
The November 2014 Film Festival showcased the first episode of a web series out of Toronto, Canada.
Q&A with Director Andrew Wright
Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?
Andrew: My experiences in the UK rave scene in the early 90s left a great impression on me. Combined with my love of science fiction films, I decided that “futuristic nostalgia” might be an interesting twist. I initially planned to try and sell the feature-length screenplay, but as film-making technology became so affordable, and Toronto is filled with local talent, I decided to form a production company and make the film myself.
MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make the first episode of this web series?
Andrew: The original feature-length screenplay took me 13 years to write (on and off!) The actual production of episode 1, from deciding to make it, to releasing it on YouTube took six months.
MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Andrew: Finding locations was the biggest challenge, and then finding dates when everyone was available at the same time that the locations were available. When you have five actors and a location that all need to be lined up, combined with the fact we only shoot at weekends, it really slowed us down.
MT: The feedback was generally more about your premise than the actual film itself. Did you wish that we talked about something specifically during the moderation?
Andrew: I loved that people jumped straight into talking about the theme of the movie, and not picking out technical flaws. Someone once said, “Filmmaking is the art of being invisible”, in other words, if anyone notices your work, you haven’t done your job right. I totally agree with that. I was pleased we’d created a future world that people felt was real enough to debate.
MT: Other than your own, what was your favourite film that played at the festival?
Andrew: “Birds Fly South” was definitely my favourite. It was very well written, cast and acted, and had a simple but powerful message. There were a few technical issues with focus-pulling, but even that didn’t detract from the story.
MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?
Andrew: “2001: A Space Odyssey” is probably my all time favourite film and the one I’ve watched the most. No other film has portrayed the scale of the universe and mankind’s place in it, quite so well.
MT: What is next for you? A new film? How many episodes are in this web series?
Andrew: We’re just finishing post-production on episode 2. We were hoping to release it in mid-December, but that might be pushed to mid-January now. We’re estimating that there will be approximately 16 episodes in total, unless we suddenly decide to release it as a feature. The direction and speed of production really depends on if we secure funding. The first two episodes were done on a shoestring budget.
ANDREW WRIGHT BIO
Andrew started out as a record label owner, and writer and producer of techno and drum & bass music, in his home country of the United Kingdom in the early 1990s. After a string of successful releases, but hindered by the UK recession, Andrew moved to a career in I.T. As a background hobby, he worked on a feature length screenplay, based on his experiences on the UK rave scene, but set in a not-too-distant future.
After moving to Toronto in 2006, he finally completed the work, and is now producing the material as the webseries “Belushi’s Toilet”. Everyone involved in the project has had no formal training in filmmaking, and this no-budget production is driven purely by passion for the art.
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.
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