TOXIC SHOCK, 9min., Canada
Directed by Jamie Norrie
Tatiana wakes up confused about where she is, what happened the night before, and why there's a gorgeous man sleeping next to her. She discreetly makes her way to the washroom to avoid disturbing her mystery partner, until she discovers an unwanted surprise. She hurries back to the bed and finds out that her worst nightmare has come true. She's left a giant red period stain on the bed. Suddenly, Tatiana feels like a criminal in a crime scene and does everything in her power to hide the evidence. Despite her best efforts of hiding the stain, it only gets worse. She ends up calling her best friend Sarah to come to the rescue. Just as she's about to escape, Tatiana realizes that maybe she's not so guilty of a crime after all.
Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
Toxic Shock is actually loosely based on a true story, where I was the one who got my period at the worst possible time, while sleeping next to a guy I was seeing. It was always something I thought I would never recover from if it actually happened in real life. I thought I would actually pass away from humiliation, but to my surprise, the guy I was seeing was totally comfortable with it. I was so relieved to find out that the fear that I had built in my head turned out to be over something so normal, and I actually began to feel frustrated that I ever cared so much over something so normal. After processing all these new feelings, the idea of Toxic Shock, a story of a cute romantic comedy about getting your period during a one night stand, was born!
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you
to make this film?
The true story occurred around the same time that I was taking a scriptwriting class while I attended Toronto Film School. Thankfully, my feelings from the real experience were still so fresh in my mind, that I was able to flesh it all out in that class. The script was born in April 2020, my pitch was greenlit in September 2020, we filmed in November 2020, and post production finished in March 2021. It took almost a full year to finish this project, and I still can't believe how long it can take to make a short film, let alone a feature film!
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Bad Blood 🩸 (JUST in case Taylor Swift ever sees this)
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Filming during the early days of the COVID19 pandemic was definitely the biggest challenge for everyone helping me with Toxic Shock. Due to provincial rules at the time, we were limited to gatherings of up to 10 people, which meant I could only have 8 crew and 2 cast members on set. All the crew members had to take on more than just one role and wear their masks at all times. The cast could only remove their masks once we started rolling. We also had to prioritize social distancing and constant sanitizing to keep everyone safe. Looking back, I'm still so grateful and impressed that we pulled it all off :)
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking
about your film in the feedback video?
It's funny, every time Toxic Shock has a new audience, I still feel the exact same way every time. I feel anxiety and excitement all at once. I often feel my body tense up and sometimes I will physically cringe because I still get so nervous for new feedback. But once I heard the feedback, I started smiling and felt calm again. I'm always so grateful to anyone who watches what I've made, and I also want feedback, good or bad, but the feedback I received this time made me so happy :)
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I remember getting a video camera for my 13th birthday, and I'm pretty sure that's the day my curiosity for all things film began. I went on to make countless homevideos, featuring Lady Gaga music videos, skits and documenting family events and trips. My curiosity came and went as I got older, but I feel like I'm gradually getting back to my 13 year old self again.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
MEAN GIRLS 💖
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other
festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking
Being able to screen films to new audiences all over the world and interview experiences like this is so exciting and motivating to new filmmakers like me. It's so important to keep sharing our voices and stories to inspire each other, awaken our souls and make eachother laugh. It would be amazing to keep seeing theatrical screenings, as there's truly nothing like the energy in the theatre. It would also be really cool to see some kind of networking events to get to meet and support more filmmakers!
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your
experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's been great! I'm really impressed by the Wildsound website.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Oooof. This is tough. If I had to choose something I loved more than film, it would definitely be food. I would say melted raclette cheese when a french baguette and salted butter. I still think about this meal often since I ate it in France 6 months ago.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I'm currently helping support my friends who are also filmmakers with their films. I'm producing a short horror film for a friend of mine called The Leaf Monster and we're filming next weekend. Super excited! As far as my own projects, I've had a few ideas for scripts that have taken years to finally start writing. I'm still hoping to start working on those scripts again before the ideas leave me, in hopes I can bring the world more romantic comedies! Because in my humble opinion, there is and never will be too many.