From the Creative Artists of Season 10

Making a movie is no easy feat. Whether a filmmaker’s budget is a few thousand dollars or a hundred million dollars, many things have to come together for a project to get made, and even more has to happen for it to be well-made.

The Season 10 INFLUX Magazine Film Awards’ INFLUXPalooza celebrates filmmakers and screenwriters across the globe. 

To see the entire list of award winners and finalists, check out the list here!

In celebration of the process, INFLUX asked participants questions about the process.  We heard from a variety of creative artists willing to share their insight, inspiration and their creative journey.

Want more info on these projects? Check out reviews for The Meanest Man in Texas, Created Equal and The Eve.

So, let’s hear from them. In their words, not ours …

Q: INFLUX: What was the inspiration for this project?

From Justin Ward, director of the multi-award winning feature film The Meanest Man in Texas: “Don Umphrey the writer of the book met with Clyde Thompson and heard his life story 40 years ago.  It has taken Don 39 years to see this story up on the big screen.   When I read the book, I was blown away that all of this could happen to one person.  After I read it, I had to make this movie.  The story was so unbelievable and so powerful, and this idea that no matter how low we fall, or how bad things get, there is always hope-- there is always a chance of redemption—spoke to me.  This is a love story about two people who no matter what labels society cast upon them, after 3 life sentences, he gained the moniker, “The Meanest Man In Texas,” and having severe scoliosis she was just a “hunchback,” but they saw past societies’ labels and boxes, and saw each other for who they really were... That's what this story is all about: acceptance and forgiveness.”

From Jim Carroll, screenwriter of the Best-in-Show screenplay Resurrection Time Conspiracy: “I have always believed that one of the best ways to present the message of Jesus was through the media.  However, I did not want to make a preachy, religious, boring or super sappy movie.  I wanted to create something that was action-adventure, sci-fi and fun for movie goers.  Resurrection Time Conspiracy is intriguing and entertaining.  I mixed the message of Jesus with a time machine story that includes assassins, ISIS and young genius's.  It's fast and fun for people that may or may not believe in God.”

From Manu, director of the short film finalist It’s Within: “[The] Inspiration for this project is the concept of [the] inner child and how we can always find hope and happiness by reconnecting with our inner child.”

From Natalie MacMahon, director/writer of the short film finalist It’s Getting Darker Every Day: “When I wrote the script I asked myself: "what if our society changed and was divided into two different categories, people who have enough money to live with daylight and those who can't afford it. What does it do to a person to live in complete darkness day in, day out.?" I also liked that image of a woman on her own, in complete darkness, just with a small source of light (a match). It creates an interesting atmosphere and gives the audience the same feeling that the main character has throughout the film.”

From Katie Garibaldi, songwriter/performer of the award winning music video Delightful: “As I wrote the song, I felt less and less inclined to write a sad song and turned the mentality into: I know who I am and we're all the same inside. We control our own happiness and shouldn't let outside circumstances determine it. Let's shine our light inside out, recognize the light in others, and be delightful to each other. That's the message of the song.”

Q: INFLUX: What was the most difficult part of it?

From Justin Ward, director of the multi-award winning feature film The Meanest Man in Texas: “This film was shot in 11 days, 2 states (California and Texas), with over 100 extras, only 3 lights, 2 horses, was a period piece spanning 3 decades, on an ultra-low SAG budget, with a first-time director, a 17-year old leading actor, and every day was over 100-degree weather.  The cast and crew worked tirelessly to complete this film.  It was an impossible task, and yet for most of us the most incredible experience in the world.”

From Janice Walker, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist The First Time for Penny: “Learning the technical aspects of screenwriting since I did not attend film school nor previously have any background in film or the industry.”

From Natalie MacMahon, director/writer of the short film finalist It’s Getting Darker Every Day: “Shooting in complete darkness was quite difficult. It was all shot in one day, but after spending the whole day in a dark room, we got a good idea, what it must be like for the protagonist. It was such a good feeling to step into the daylight again.”

From Paul Gross, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist Diminuendo: “2 years, first twenty drafts blending story and musical composition: 4 years, and refinement after many critiques, coverages and competitions: 2 years.”

From Jim Carroll, screenwriter of the Best-in-Show screenplay Resurrection Time Conspiracy: “The most difficult part was trying to maintain the integrity of the Bible with a modern day time machine story.  My characters become part of Biblical history and that can be quite offensive.  However, I did it in such a way that I believe that even hard core Christians can see this is fun entertainment and a "What If" story.”

From Thada Catalon, producer of the award winning feature film Created Equal: “As with all movie productions, Murphy Law always shows its weary head. It took us a little while to find the perfect leading man, which caused us to push back production for a couple of weeks. Then I remembered how I always wanted to work with Aaron Tveit because he’s a super talented actor. He worked out perfectly for the role of Thomas Reilly.”

Q: INFLUX: How long did it take to complete?

From Brooke Lewis, producer/actress for the short film finalist Sprinkles: “We had a one month pre-production and we shot the film in one long, hot 16 hour day (And, yes, I am totally against going over 12 hours, but we did what we had to do!). We spent the most time in post-production (two months), as we really wanted our edit, sound and music composition as strong as possible!”

From Janice Walker, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist The First Time for Penny: “From concept to first draft, about 3 weeks. For the final draft that was submitted, approximately another 4/5 weeks.”

From Paul Gross, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist Diminuendo: “2 years, first twenty drafts blending story and musical composition: 4 years, and refinement after many critiques, coverages and competitions: 2 years.”

From Tom Rico, screenwriter of the award winning screenplay The God Particle—Resurrection: “Well, it actually started out as a novel and I got within about 20 pages of finishing, when I was urged to turn it into a screenplay. I probably spent close to a year on the research and writing of the novel, then another 6-8 months adapting it into a screenplay, and then 6-8 months more on editing. So I would say it's been 2 - 2 1/2 years in the making. But I tend to be a perfectionist, and still continue to re-read and edit it to this day. So I guess I won't be done until you buy a ticket to see it in the movies or on Netflix or something. I guess at that point I can say it's finally done.”

Q: INFLUX: What are you most proud of with this movie/script?

From Scott Williamson, screenwriter for the award winning short form screenplay Girl in the Painting: “It's a story my kids love, and I'm hoping other kids will love as well.”

From Jim Carroll, screenwriter of the Best-in-Show screenplay Resurrection Time Conspiracy: “I'm proud that the script has won more than 30 first place finishes in film festivals and screenwriting contest.  I don't consider myself a great writer, but I do create intriguing and fast pace stories.”

From Thada Catalon, producer of the award winning feature film Created Equal: “To be able to use this platform to be a part of a progressive movement that seeks equal rights for all— not just in religion, but on a world stage, as well. Created Equal became a huge priority for me when I saw that the United States of America was nearly on the brink of having Hillary Clinton as its first female President. I was inspired by her concession speech when she said, “Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.” I am proud to be a voice for those who feel they are voiceless.”

From Danielle Kronenberg, producer/actress in the short film finalist Taste: “I'm overjoyed with the outcome of Taste, we have received such incredible support from not only the LGBT community but people from all walks of life. Words can't even start to describe how I feel about the success of this film. The film to date has won 17 awards and has been accepted into 25 festivals and counting. We are beyond happy with the outcome and the continued success we are having. I'm so proud of this film and I know the whole cast and crew are too.”

From Manu, director of the short film finalist It’s Within: “Proud of making a project related to mental illness and showing the vulnerability of the character exactly in a way we have written in our script”

From Paul Gross, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist Diminuendo: “I stuck with my core ideas, I listened to every critique, and the script went from not-so-great to more acceptable. The script has won awards in Germany, UK and USA so any film based on the script might entertain and inform audiences in many cultures.”

Q: INFLUX: What’s next?

From Jim Carroll, screenwriter of the Best-in-Show screenplay Resurrection Time Conspiracy: “I believe we will be filming in September.  I have been disappointed that this screenplay has won so many contest, yet I have not been approached by a single producer.   I plan on funding the script myself and praying for a distribution deal.   I have also started on a sequel that takes the audience to the end times.”

From Manu, director of the short film finalist It’s Within: “For me, this project has given me lot of confidence. Taking the learnings from this experience and making more movies on subjects that are close to my heart.”

From Janice Walker, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist The First Time for Penny: “To turn this screenplay into a film.”

From Slavica Bogdanov, screenwriter of the screenplay finalist Hostage: The True Story of a Kidnapping: “I am working on my 9th screenplay called Civil War: She Went on a Vacation and Found Herself in Hell. Also based on a true story.”

From Scott Williamson, screenwriter for the award winning short form screenplay Girl in the Painting: “I've got probably 10 scripts in the pipeline. They're mainly short films but there is a couple of feature films and a TV pilot in the mix. I'd love to collaborate with a great director and producer to bring Girl in the Painting to life. Anyone?”

3 Week Diet

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