5Q's w/Johno Faherty "Misfits" Director

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 140 characters?

Misfits is a thrilling and fun take on a modern day Bonnie and Clyde duo filled with action, drama and incredible performances.

#2: What do you want the Borrego FilmFestival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

The performances are noteworthy. Working with actors Jason A. Drago, Danni Wang and Christine Spang was an unbelievable experience. We went through two and a half weeks of casting and it wasn’t until the last day that the three of them walked in. From that moment on, I knew this film was going to be something special. Jason was a shoo-in. I received his submission for the part and looked over his reel and remember saying, “That’s my Braden.” I think I creeped him out with how many emails I sent expressing our excitement for the audition and reminding him of the date and time. I just didn’t want him to miss it. 

Danni was a different story. The character of Skye was very important to me and I needed someone who understood the role, but I didn’t have an exact idea of what I was looking for. That is, until Danni came in. She gave a subtly to the character that I had never seen before. I remember going to lunch with my producers after her audition and all we could talk about was how impressed we were. Then, Christine came in to audition and tied everything up in a perfect bow.

I remember prepping for her scene on her first day on set. We were doing very basic line readings between her and Jason. We had discussed the scene and the emotion involved in it but I had felt like we hadn’t gotten into the nitty gritty of it yet. The crew was all set up and ready to go, but we were still going over lines. She looked at me and said, “Let’s just do this.” and I said, “Why not.” I figured we had time for multiple takes if it all went to hell. I called action, she came bursting out of the door and the world around us fell silent. I think I forgot to yell cut afterwards, I was so dumbstruck. It was a one and done scene and it’s my absolute favorite in the entire film.

So, to say I am proud of this cast is an understatement. They breathed so much life into these characters that I dreamed up and it was so remarkable to watch.

#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

I am a recent graduate of the Film & Video program at Drexel University. Misfits was made as my Senior Thesis film. I had always dreamed of making films ever since I received my first video camera when I was about 10 years old. Every weekend I would get together with my friends to make videos. I knew from a very young age that filmmaking was what I intended to do for the rest of my life.

I applied to nearly every film school in the U.S. and ultimately chose Drexel University, which I believe has one of the best film programs on the east coast. Throughout my time at Drexel, I furthered my knowledge of filmmaking and was able to make several of my own short films. My previous short, titled Witch Hunt, was the winner of the Audience Award at the 2015 Los Angeles CineFest and has been included in multiple other festivals.

That was the first film of mine that I had submitted to festivals, and to hear back from so many gave me the boost of confidence to really hit the ball out of the park on my senior thesis film. I went as big as I could with it and I think it paid off. I am very proud of the result and all the hard work my cast and crew put into it.

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

Always be prepared for the worst possible outcome and have a solution for it. Filmmaking isn’t an easy task and I’ve worked on plenty of sets to know that anything and everything can go wrong. However, if you’ve got a good team by your side and you are prepared for the worst, it won’t be so daunting when it actually strikes.

During this film we ran into so many speed bumps but, between myself and my incredible crew, we were able to take care of those problems and find the best possible solution. We had cast members drop out the day of, props not be delivered on time, locations fall through the day before, you name it. However, the film was completed on schedule and somehow everything managed to come together exactly as I imagined it. I owe a lot of that to my amazing producers, Kathleen Sheehan and Gabriel Soto.

#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

I am so grateful to have Misfits show at the Borrego Springs Film Festival. I am hoping that the film continues to do well in festivals so that it can reach a larger audience. All any filmmaker wants for their film is for it to be shown and enjoyed by an audience, so it’s always a great pleasure when it is selected to be in festivals.

I would love to turn this film into a feature.

My intention with this short was for it to feel like a feature length movie, stuffed inside a 20-minute running time. However, I don’t think I’d be able to do it without my wonderful cast. Whatever happens with the film, it was an unforgettable experience making it and I hope for it to be enjoyed by many. As for me, I hope to one day direct and produce for feature films. That has been my goal for as long as I can remember. I absolutely love what I do and I can’t imagine going a day without it.

Matthew NothelferComment