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.


Today’s Writing Festival Testimonials

Read testimonials of recent submitted works and their reactions to the feedback they have received from the festival:

Submit your Screenplay or Story (Novel, Short Story) to the festival today for FEEDBACK, plus get it performed at the festival by professional actors:

I appreciate you taking the time to give me a good insight into the next steps and tweaking I need to work on.

– Lois Terrans, TV Spec Screenplay (Supernatural)

Thank you so much for this feedback-I have read it and look forward to really making time to consider all these points and suggestions-I appreciate the detail and your staff’s thoughts on improvements..

– Lisa Sniderman, Stage Play (What Dreams Are Made Of)

A note to let you know that I thought your review of “Unconditional Love” was right on. Thanks for the encouragement regarding the basics of the thesis. Also, your comments about the weak points were well make.

– Chet Shupe, Unconditional Love, Short Story
Thanks for the feedback! Very helpful advice for my next draft.

– Ryan Feldman, Girls, TV Spec Screenplay
I just wanted to say THANKS for the feedback. It was very specific, detailed and makes a lot of sense. It helped me to consider a lot of what I hadn’t considered before. I really do appreciate the time you took to prepare this and I feel this was money well-spent. I will continue to work on this and send to you again in the near future. Thanks again.

– Robert People, First Lady, TV Pilot
Appreciate the feedback. Thank you for the fast response!

– Cole Folwer, Masters of Sex, TV Spec Screenplay
Thank you for the feedback. I will take the notes into consideration for future drafts.

– Genevieve Heineman, SOL, TV PILOT
Thank you for the detailed feedback. Whoever did this feedback is a caring person with heart!

– Doris B. Gill, Rembrandt and the Seedlings, Feature Script
Thank you for this helpful feedback. I will follow your suggestions.

– Bonnie Toews, Split-Second Start, 1st Scene Script
Thanks for your feedback, you don’t know how much it means to me, I agree with you on the points that need to be changed, but I’d like to add that the Kuwaiti family are not going to stay in the series for two long, they are just there for two more episodes that’s all, and the reason why is that Mubarak will be murdered and David Cortiez is his soon, so he goes to Kuwait to investigate what really happened and finds the killer.

– Asim Abraham, Blood Brothers, Feature Script
Thank you so much for your critique. I really appreciate it!

– Linda Collison, Looking for Redfeather, Play
Many, many thanks to those of you who vetted my book, THE PITS. All its short comings were expertly noted and I have taken your comments and advice on board

– Greg Smith, The Pits, Novel
Thanks so much for the feedback, I really appreciate it. I will definitely take this advice and keep improving the script.

– Jason Mageras, Parks and Recreation, TV Spec
Thank you so much for your feedback for my story ‘The Killing of Freddie Foster’. That’s a great critique and will definitely makes some changes.

– Kerin Freeman, The Killing of Freddie Foster, Novel
Thank you so much for your feedback; it is very appreciated.

– Melody Stewart, Indigo, Feature Screenplay
I appreciate the constructive criticism of the reader and the respect for what the play is and not attempting to turn it into something it is not.

– E. Thomalen, Hecuba, Play
Thanks so much for your feedback. Excellent notes.

– John Alarid, Kodak Moments, TV PILOT
Thank you for the wonderfully insightful feedback. I’m elated to hear Heart of Fire has such potential.

– Brittany Arrington, Heart of Fire, Feature Script
First, thank you for your efforts and the interest you have shown. I appreciate your help.

– James Lillie, Fagan’s War, Feature Script
Thank you SO, SO, SO much for your feedback. I am not a “writer” by trade, so this was absolutely fantastic to read.

– Lonny Anger, Frank and Bruno, TV PILOT
Thanks for the feedback. I’m definitely taking all your notes into consideration. I appreciate every single comment.

– Ruben Diaz, Mystery Road, 1st Scene Screenplay
Thank you! I find your comments extremely helpful and I look forward to a re-write and resubmission.

– Taylor Albertson, 29.0, Short Screenplay
I must commend you for your brilliant feedback. I’ve received a couple of feedbacks in the past, and have taken care of most story problems that you raised. But no one had pointed out the issues your team raised in the fourth paragraph. Which is right on point. And raises valid questions that need answers.

– Chidi Ezeibieli, Inhuman Nature, 1st Scene Screenplay
As usual, totally impressed by, and very appreciative of, the below critique! Thank you so much and I will work on the edits you speak of in my next draft.

– Michael Zamanis, Drive-Thru, Feature Screenplay
Many thanks for the feedback, it’s very helpful! I will have another look at it and implement some improvements.

– Virginia Burges, The Virtuoso, Novel
Thank you for the very informative feedback. I really appreciate the diverse perspective that was given. Again, thank you.

– Jamison Derfler, God’s Will, Feature Screenplay
Awesome feedback! Thank you so much for the time and effort that was put into reading my script and delivering these constructive notes.

– Matt O’Connor, Bad Madison, TV PILOT
These notes are extremely helpful. I appreciate the time / effort your team put into it! Will get to work..

– Adam Wright, Treasured Ones, TV PILOT
Thank you so much for the very helpful feedback!

– JR, Not Another Vampire Story, Feature Script
Thanks very much for the feedback!! It was a bit brutal to read. But thanks again very much!! Now I have a bit more direction and certainly got more than my moneys worth. I’ll use this service again for sure!

– Jeremy Jagusch, Last 30 Days, Feature Script

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.

    * * * * *

Watch the February 2015 Film Festival Films and Winners:

Submit your Short Film to the Festival:

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!

Deadline TODAY: SUBMIT your FEATURE Screenplay to the Writing Festival

Deadline TODAY: SUBMIT your FEATURE Screenplay to the Writing Festival
– Get FULL FEEDBACK. Get script performed by professional actors

Watch WINNING Screenplay Readings – Watch videos of past winners performed by professional actors

READ 100s of testimonials from past submitters –

WATCH Recent Winning Feature Screenplay Readings:

February 2015 Reading
Written by Verlynn Kneifl & Laurie Larsen


William Clark recalls the perilous Lewis & Clark Expedition and its aftermath, casting a startling new perspective on the impetuous life and mysterious death of fellow explorer Meriwether Lewis.


NARRATOR – Holly Sarchfield
Lewis – Andrew Farr
Clark – Ryan Fisher
Various Roles – Geoff Mays
Various Roles – Andy Bridge

January 2015 Reading
Written by David M. Hyde


When lawyer Tom Johnson drives his car into a local firework stand, which is owned by former preacher Marvin Temple. This sets up a chain of events that bring people to faith and understanding of what life is all about.


NARRATOR – Susan Q Wilson
Tom Johnson – Rob Young
Marvin – Barry Minshull
Susan – Krista Morin
James/Richard – Todd Dulmage
Justine/Amanda – Alissa DeGrazia
Ben – Jacob Klick
Brenda – Mandy May Cheetham

December 2014 Reading
Written by David Redstone


A Navy ex-SEAL goes independently active to rescue his kidnapped niece from the ghostly world of undersea ‘Neathers’.


NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
TOM GILMORE – Julian Ford
DEREK GARNET – Andy Bridge
RAY KELVIN – Aaron Rothermund
VARIOUS PEOPLE – Frances Townend

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

February 2015 Reading
Written by Jacob F. Keller

1st Scene – LEGRAND
February 2015 Reading
Written by Angelina Carkic

1st Scene – HELLCAT
February 2015 Reading
Written by J. Alan Hostetter

Readings performed by professional actors.

Deadline Feb. 28th: FIRST SCENE (first 10pgs) SCREENPLAY FESTIVAL Get your works showcased at 2015 festival events.

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

WATCH past 1st Scene Festival readings: