USED FURNITURE, 10min., Canada, Drama
Directed by Conor Forrest
On an idyllic afternoon at the beach Philly faces his unrequited love for his roommate Jamie while trying to distance himself from their trio friendship.
As a openly Bi Director this film was very touchy for me as it was heavily based off feelings I was going through back in early 2021. Things in general weren't the greatest then with the pandemic. As I still have loads to learn as a 22 year old filmmaker. I wanted to focus on the beats by telling a scaled down story which the audience members could relate to our main character Phillip, beautifully acted by Tom Lute.
Interview with director Conor Forrest:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
As a bi filmmaker this film was marginally based on my personal experiences of encountering my sexuality with guy friends who haven't felt the same way in the past. In 2021 I wanted to make a film about it and that lead me to brainstorming an idea of a beach setting and showing two roommates and ones girlfriend and displaying Phillips real feelings for Jamie by showing rather than telling, showing the distance, showing how he copes with the reality of Jamie moving out and moving in with Claire. With the further distance between him and Jamie he feels like their couch, used furniture.
Also as I was 21 during the time of filming I have done three short films prior I consider myself proud of. I wanted to focus on the beats by telling a scaled down story going back to the basics which the audience members could relate to our main character Phillip, beautifully acted by Tom Lute.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took me about 7 months to complete. I brainstormed the idea in April of 2021 then filmed in late July 2021 and had post production complete by around Christmas time of 2021.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
Jokingly, I would say "Used Furniture" the title, but that would be too on the nose. I also don't want to say "forbidden love" as that's quite rubbish and very cliched.
I would say the two words to describe Used Furniture that aren't "used furniture" would be "drawn out" as Phillip's inner feelings are drawn out in his sketchbook with his secret drawing of Jamie.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Hmm that's a hard question as there were quite a few obstacles we faced, but if I had to narrow it down it would have to be the huge amount of Bogies (people in the background) we had to deal with. As we were shooting at Bluffers beach besides having a permit we weren't allowed to get in the way of people out enjoying the summer, which became rather frustrating for us as they would walk by once during a take on actor Sam Wexler (Jamie) it really looked like it was going to be the take, but in the background this guy looked right at camera then pulled out his phone and took a picture after that I sighed and said cut or reset probably reset as I know we were like an hour or two behind. The people would also make a lot of noise there was this one dude showing off on his jet ski. This really aggravated our sound recordist. My 1st AD asked him if he could go somewhere else and he said if you pay me $20, so I pulled out a twenty dollar bill and gave him the money and told him politely to "get lost". I'd say that was by far the biggest obstacle we had. There was this other shot in the final scene which doesn't match continuity as this family is seated in the background with that my VFX artist was able to do some masking magic to it in post.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was overwhelmed by the positive response to my film. I really appreciate all the audience members for watching my film and taking their time to give my film feedback. I also very much appreciate the notes of criticism that we're given that will really come in use for me in my future endeavours. I also really appreciate the kind words! I would like to send a huge thank you to the audience members! Also feel free to reach out to me for workshopping future projects. My Instagram is conor.forrestlcp
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I always knew I wanted to be a storyteller then when I took grade 11 film in 2015 I learned that I wanted to tell these stories visually and that's what made making films my destiny.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
Gone Girl or Groundhog day. It's one of those
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
It's been amazing. I can't complain.
10. What is your favourite meal?
That's hard. Hmm it's either Sushi or Chicken Quesadillas.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am nearing the end of post production of my next short. I won't say much except for that it's about non-monogamous relationships.