Elisa is a short film that retraces the life of a young couple from one morning to the same night. It shows their love, disappointments and hopes. How long before it's too late for them to realize their dreams, and accomplish what they always said they wanted to?
Produced by: Tiziana Giammarino, Nicolas Wendl, Mariah Bonner, Michael Matucci
5 questions with Elisa director, Nicolas Wendl at the half-way mark.
Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
1Hi Nicolas! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, how did you come by the script by Tiziana Giammarino and what was it about it that made you want to make it into a film? I met Tiziana through a mutual friend of ours, Michael Matucci, who ended up playing the role of Sean in the short film. He knew Tiziana was looking for a director and so he recommended me to her. Shortly after we both met over a pizza in Hollywood and hit it off right away. I loved the tone and pace of the script as well as the poetic visuals that went along with it. I knew I wanted to be a part of this short.
2The film asks the question, "How long before it's too late?" which I feel is a question a lot of people of my generation are asking. What is it about that question that intrigues you and why do you feel so many people battle with it? I feel it's a very timely question for our generation. We live in a world where everything has to be instantaneous, we want it all yesterday and think too far ahead that we miss out on the now. The concept for Elisa was to shine a light on this couple that truly loves and understands one another but sadly has let life dictate the pace of their love life and goals, ultimately causing them to lose track and not cherish the true moments together. Hence how much longer are you wiling to put something off, have someone wait, promise for it to happen, before it's too late, before what you truly love will either leave you, or worse... We don't know what the future holds, which is why making the most of what we have today is so crucial. I feel we have to learn how to prioritize more in our lives, and listen to each other, and follow through on our promises, especially the ones made to the ones we love most.
3Can you share a war story from the shoot? Oh boy, there were a few, haha. We shot Elisa in one day at a loft in the fashion district of Los Angeles. That already was a war story in and of itself, making sure we got the best performances and all the shots we needed in the one day we had rented the space for. Our budget was limited so we knew we had to get it all done then and there. I think our most challenging scene to shoot though was the ultimate last moment between Elisa and Sean. We were literally running against the clock to get the shots we needed while also still having enough time to wrap everything and get out of the space on time. It was intense for sure, but so much fun too. I love a good challenge.
4What's the film that made you want to become a filmmaker? This is a tough one, because there are so many films in my childhood that have done that for me. I don't know if I can single out one over another. It was a variety of films like Jumanji, Beetlejuice, JAWS and Poltergeist that really got me intrigued as to how they were made and what went into bringing them to life. I started watching the bonus features on the DVDs and listening to director commentaries and familiarized myself with how they went about to make these films happen, and just tried to do it myself with my friends from school. The passion grew from there. I can't see myself doing anything else. I love escaping into the world of the film I work on and go on this journey with my cast and crew. It always makes me feel like a kid on the playground.
5What's next? Up next I'm developing a feature version of my award winning short film "From The Woods." We're in the final stages of the script and will be starting to pitch it later this year. I'm excited to see this horror/thriller feature come together and hopefully we can get the financial backing needed to make it in 2018. Tiziana and I are also working on some more shorts together, one of which is called "Forgiving Lilies." Tiziana also has some other feature scripts on the pipeline, so I guess you can say that we have several irons in the fire!
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
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