Film: Spotlight on “Anna”
Halloween is just around the corner and I recently had the chance to check out a new creepy short film, Anna written, directed, & starring Matthew Solomon. The film also stars actresses Lisa-Marie Long [The Hike]and Killebrew-Mason. This film was very well written and had an eerie feel to it. Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t do ghost stories lol. So I did watch it with the lights on. Check out my interview with Matthew Solomon below. Don’t forget to check out Anna HERE!
Synopsis: David Cole moves to Los Angeles from London one week ahead of his wife, Laura. He begins to experience the nightly hauntings of a little girl named Anna. His experiences are captured via his video chats.
Trin: How long have you been making films & what was the inspiration behind Anna?
Matthew: My first film was a short in 2009 called “Kung Fu Man.” A comedy about a Kung Fu master with a pregnant wife. This did well at festivals and has been doing well on the web as well. As far as Anna: because of Twitter, I am fortunate enough to know some pretty amazing actors all over the world. One of those actors being London’s Lisa-Marie Long. Killebrew-Mason and I have been shooting shorts all year, and Lisa-Marie and I had tweeted about how we wished we could all find a way to work together. That gave me the idea to shoot a project utilizing video chat. The horror thing came about while I was video chatting with a friend. His cat walked behind him and for some reason, I thought the cat was behind me! Scared me for a second. And that was my inspiration for the paranormal-based story.
Trin: How long did the film take to shoot?
Matthew:We shot the entire film in a day– around 6-7 hours. Simultaneously in Los Angeles and London.
Trin: I know this entire film was shot via skype. What was this process like? Did it present any challenges or did it make the process easier?
Matthew: The thing about this film is, I don’t know of anything else shot this way. Friends tried to convince me to “fake it” by shooting with regular cameras and then making it look like a video chat in post. But I was determined to find a way to do it for real. That meant finding a way to record the video chats–which, ultimately was accomplished with a screen-capture program. Lisa-Marie and I did several tests, which went off without a hitch. The day of the shoot, of course, was a different story. We had many signal interruptions, dropped calls, etc. But in the end, it all came together.
Trin: You wrote, directed and starred in Anna. Which was your favorite part of the process?
Matthew: I also edited and did the sound FX. Ha ha. Actually, my favorite part, aside from working with Lisa-Marie, Killebrew-Mason and my daughter Sadie, is seeing the finished movie and having people tell me they were afraid to watch it.
Trin: Do you have any other projects in the works? What’s next for you?
Matthew: I do have a new project in the works that we begin shooting Tuesday Nov 1st. Again, working with Killebrew and Lisa-Marie (if it aint broke). I cant say much about it right now. It’s a sci-fi comedy that a lot of people will relate to and I can’t wait for people to see it.
Trin: Any advice to aspiring filmmakers?
Matthew: I hate to sound cliche, but my advice is to just do it! I originally starting making films to promote myself as an actor. Through that process, I’ve found another outlet to express myself and tell stories that are fun and interesting for me.