Get to know the filmmaker:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
"POP" was created during my fourth year for my senior exit class in the film major at UC Santa Cruz. I really wanted this film to be the magnum opus for my college career and so I had contacted everybody I had worked with up until then to help out on the film in any form or capacity. Whether it be as simple as giving feedback on my script to helping out all day on set, it was important for me that I had as many people work on this project as possible. Film is a collaborative art and the more minds you have on a project, the greater it's going to be.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
I started writing the script towards the end of December in 2021 and finished editing the film in March of 2022.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Satisfying and Release
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
The whole film was shot in two days and because of that, pre-production was a nightmare. As a student working with other students, my resources were very limited and scheduling out a single weekend for all the pieces to come together at one time was extremely stressful. For those two days, it was make or break because I knew I definitely wouldn't have the money or time for a reshoot.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
My initial reaction was a feeling of success and relief. I was really inspired by directors like Denis Villeneuve and Christopher Nolan who seemed to master the art of building tension so one of my main goals with this film was to do just that. To hear that much of the feedback "POP" received praised its pacing and suspense building made me feel like I had done what I set out to do.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
Funny enough, I started editing videos for my own personal gaming Youtube channel while in high school. It's not like I was getting massive amounts of views on my videos, but the art of editing and video creation was just, put simply, fun. At one point, I had made a video every day for 80 days straight. By the time I went to college to study film, I ended up loving the rest of the filmmaking process and from there, I just kept on creating.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Whiplash, dir. Damien Chazelle
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
Gaining some kind of temporary mentor during the lifespan of the festival would help immensely as I sometimes have a feeling of "now what?" after a festival concludes. Having some guidance, insight, and direction in order to navigate the rest of my filmmaking career would be extremely valuable to me.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway has been great! It's super straightforward and simple to upload and submit films. The automatic notifications on the status of festival submissions is also really convenient. My only gripe is that now that I can find so many festivals, my wallet has been feeling a lot lighter.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Sinigang. It's a traditional Filipino soup, but I like to add some habanero peppers to the broth because I am a fiend for spicy food.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
My goal is to continue to hone my craft. I have a couple of projects brewing in my head that I want to pursue such as a documentary, writing a book, and creating a video game. I just graduated college so I plan to keep my options open and see what the future has in store for me. Regardless though, I know without a doubt that I will be making another short film and it will be sooner rather than later.
POP, 11min., USA, Drama
Directed by Brandon Victoriano
As they prepare for a surprise birthday party, a heterosexual couple engage in a passive-aggressive and toxic dialogue that escalates into a violent and disturbing ending.