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.

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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!

February 2015 First Scene Screenplay Winners (4). Watch performance readings

The communication, organisation and feedback these guys offer are fantastic and scriptwriters of all disciplines and experience should be jumping at the service WILDsound provide. The best thing about it is they are as enthusiastic as you about your work. Thank you to everyone involved with WILDsound.

– Grant Reid, on the WILDsound 1st Scene Screenplay Festival Experience.

WILDsound has named their 1st Scene Festival Winners for February. Watch the readings performed by professional actors:

1st Scene – SPARKS
February 2015 Reading
Written by Megan K. Bickel
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/sparks.html

1st Scene – THE CURSE OF SAM HAIN
February 2015 Reading
Written by Jacob F. Keller
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/the_curse_of_sam_hain.html

1st Scene – LEGRAND
February 2015 Reading
Written by Angelina Carkic
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/legrand.html

1st Scene – HELLCAT
February 2015 Reading
Written by J. Alan Hostetter
http://www.wildsoundfestival.com/hellcat_1st_scene.html

Readings performed by professional actors.

Deadline Feb. 28th: FIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL Get your works showcased at 2015 festival events.
http://www.wildsound.ca/firstscenescreenplaycontest.html

– Submit the first stages of your film, get it performed at the festival, and get full feedback!

WATCH past 1st Scene Festival readings:

Interview with Martin Rosete, Winning Short Filmmaker (Voice Over)

I remember that the feedback was great. Most of the people liked it, so I am glad you screened it at your festival.

– Martin Rosete, on the WILDsound experience when his film played at the festival in 2013.

    Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video from the August 2013 Film Festival:

Matthew Toffolo interviews VOICE OVER director Martin Rosete:

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?

Martin: Voice Over has done very well in film festivals winning more than 100 awards like the Melies d’Or in Stiges, the nomination to the Goya (Spanish Academy Award), and selections in great festivals like Tribeca, Chicago International, San Sebastian,…

Also, it has been sold to many TVs worldwide, and now it can be seen online in this link: https://vimeo.com/58150375

Matthew: What motivated you to make this film?

Martin: The story. I felt in love since the first time that I read it, and I knew that it was a big challenge to make it happen, but I had to make it happen, because it was the best script for a short film that I have ever read. So I am happy that we overcome all the problems and could shoot it.

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

Martin: I would say 18 months since I read the script until we finished it and Premiere at Gijon International Film Festival.

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

Martin: Financing is always the biggest issue. Once you have such a powerful script like this, and with the super talented cast and crew that we had, the only thing that you need is the money to get out there and make it.

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

Martin: I don’t know. Probably The Others by Alejandro Amenabar. It’s my favorite film and director. He is super elegant directing.

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

Martin: I am working in a feature film now that we are planning to shoot soon. Also leading with the financing challenges, cast, locations,… but I am confident that we will be able to announce it very soon and more important, we will make a very good movie.

* * * * *

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

Interview with Angelina Carkic, First Scene Screenplay Winner (LEGRAND)

An e-mail announcing the existence of this opportunity was sent to me. I liked what they offered and I sent them my work and logline. Their feedback was particularly constructive. The person actually read and understood the story. I thank them for that and would recommend their site to all writers.

– Angelina Carkic, on the WILDsound experience.

    Watch the First Scene Reading of LEGRAND:

    CAST LIST:

    NARRATOR – Ryan Fisher
    Legrand – Geoff Mays
    Foulard – Andy Bridge
    Thibodeau – Andrew Farr
    Clair – Holly Sarchfield

Matthew Toffolo interviews Angelina Carkic:

Matthew: What is your screenplay about?

Angelina: LeGrand is about a celebrated French detective who mourns the death of his unrequited love and unable to stay in the place where everywhere he turns he’s reminded of her he plans to leave the country. When a dismembered leg turns up in his antique shop, a hedge for his retirement, LeGrand takes on a last investigation and follows clues to New York.

There, the precinct captain insists he has no right to investigate and pairs him with a disgruntled detective, who is himself dealing with his own separation from wife and family and has been relegated to a desk job. At first angry to be encumbered with the persnickety French man he soon realizes LeGrand is no ordinary policeman.

It becomes soon apparent that the little man in tight fitting suits, peculiar moustache, exhibiting quirks, is far from a hindrance. LeGrand almost immediately sets the pace with the American detective trying to keep up. Detective Hopkin’s demands for evidence to support LeGrand’s suppositions and a body to prove murder, are soon provided and the two start to work together.

But the antagonist and his hit man aren’t sitting back either. With the Captain of police in their pocket they know LeGrand hasn’t been able to tell anyone of his discoveries. All they have to do now is get rid of LeGrand and Hopkins and all their carefully set plans will fall into place. Cornered in a cafe and refusing to allow the mysterious hit man, Mr. Smith, from applying his switchblade, LeGrand walks towards the exit. When three shots in the back drop him, Hopkins is devastated. He’s become attached to the little man. But LeGrand has his own carefully laid plans and the FBI swarm the premises and kill Smith. The protagonist is arrested.

Much to Hopkin’s dismay LeGrand wasn’t injured. He sees him again some time later at the site of a murdered female octogenarian. Bribed with tickets to a play and possible introduction to a famous actress, Hopkins agrees to give LeGrand access to case files of the latest murders. They set off on another investigation.

Matthew: Why should this script be made into a movie?

Angelina: This is a crime drama, a genre popular with the viewing public. The central character is a French detective, transplanted to New York City, a fish out of water, but, it is the Americans who, in his presence find themselves out of their depth. An intelligent protagonist with peculiar habits and appearance, he will bring a smile to the viewer. This is an entertaining twist on the crime drama.

Matthew: How long have you been writing stories?

Angelina: I’m a dreamer who has devoted the last three years to writing full time.

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

Angelina: Peculiarly and without any reason, the movie, Skellig with Tim Roth, triggered something in me that sparked my need to write. I think I saw this particular show twenty times in a period of three weeks. Now, when I look at it I don’t know why. Since that initial fire was set under me I’ve written fifteen scripts.

Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?

Angelina: That is dependent on the project I would be working on. However, I have become a fan of Tim Roth and think it might be fun to work with him. There are many artists whom I admire but it would be premature to suggest at this time they might work on something I have created.

Matthew: How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Angelina: Fifteen. Five worth mentioning.

Matthew: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

Angelina: It’s my goal to keep writing and producing scripts that will entertain. This profession is a ship that isn’t easily steered. Winds of luck can easily blow it off course as well as guide it to a safe career. We’re probably as good at daydreaming a career path as we are at daydreaming a story. Rich and famous? Maybe that would be the most satisfying answer.

Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Angelina: My best work happens in a noisy coffee shop. The world around me disappears and the story comes to life on the pages of my notebook. I’ll vegetate a few days and something will tickle my mind. I create the character then imagine where he’ll go and what he’ll say. Once a story has been madly penned into a first draft I go back, edit and rewrite.

Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Angelina: It’s my goal to keep writing and producing scripts that will entertain. This profession is a ship that isn’t easily steered. Winds of luck can easily blow it off course as well as guide it to a safe career. We’re probably as good at daydreaming a career path as we are at daydreaming a story. . Rich and famous? Maybe that would be the most satisfying answer.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Angelina: I’m a multiculturalist and thus enjoy movies from different countries. I particularly find the quality and sheer volume of the movies the French produce, inspiring. Yes I can understand most of them.

My family is also important to me as well as my friends. I only have a few but they are there for me, part of my support group. They also help inspire my writing.

I used to paint and sketch and loved doing it and have had two exhibitions in Montreal. That was a while ago. Now I find peace in my writing.

Matthew: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Angelina: Keep writing. It’s about the creation of the work. Anything that comes out of it is the cream on the cake. Enjoy the writing.

Interview with First Scene Winner Megan K. Bickel (SPARKS)

I saw so many positive comments about the contests in various places, I couldn’t resist. I was thrilled with the feedback I received! It was very insightful and helped me strengthen my script as a whole.

– Megan K. Bickel, on the WILDsound Experience (Review)

    Watch the 1st Scene Reading SPARKS:

CAST LIST:

NARRATOR – Frances Townend
Charlie – Kaleb Alexander
Emma – Alicia Payne
Barista – Jacqueline Brown

Submit your First Scene Screenplay:

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

Matthew Toffolo interviews writer Megan K. Bickel:

Matthew: What is your screenplay about?

Megan: My screenplay is a romantic comedy with a sci-fi twist. Dr. Emma Spegal stumbles upon a stranger who reactivates the effects of an old laboratory accident, which sends lightning shooting from her hand. She drags him to her lab to find answers, but instead they find secret plots, hidden agendas, and high-voltage reasons to stick together.

Matthew: Why should this script be made into a movie?

Megan: This script should be made into a movie because it’s charming, funny, and action-packed. These characters and their journey will pull audiences in immediately and hold them until the last spark.

Matthew: How long have you been writing stories?

Megan: I’ve been actively honing my writing for about five years, but I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

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

Megan: “The Princess Bride” – I adore everything about that movie.

Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?

Megan: I would love to work with Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, or Anne Hathaway. I held them in my mind while I was writing this script.

Matthew: How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Megan: This was actually my first screenplay! I’ve started two others in the two months since I finished “Sparks” but they have a long way yet to go.

Matthew: Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

Megan: I’d love to have representation and a screenplay contest win or two under my belt.

Matthew: Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

Megan: I carve out writing time whenever I can, so there is nothing set about my process. I brainstorm while shuttling kids around, I write scenes at baseball games or waiting for dinner to cook, I edit in stolen moments at the library or coffee shop! I guess my only real routine is calming my mind to focus on my writing quickly.

Matthew: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Megan: My family and creative expression. My family is my heart and creativity is my breath. I need them both to survive.

Matthew: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Megan: Get feedback whenever you can and listen to it objectively. Nothing will help your writing more than being able to see your words from another perspective.