An interview with filmmaker Tomasz Thompson
By Tara Raiti
YS: People appreciate different types of humor. How did you overcome the obstacle of portraying certain scenes/situations that you had intended to be humorous?
TT: You never have the guarantee that all people share your personal kind of humor. My mum for instance didn‘t laugh at all. But she prefers romantic films anyway, so that‘s not the point. Many of the funny scenes aren‘t funny because of a joke in a classical way but because of the way one of the actors is saying a specific line. Or because the situation itself is kind of grotesque. Sometimes things work like you expected them to work, sometimes they work differently, sometimes something else appear to work even better. That‘s the fun part of directing, there are always things to discover.
YS: What differences in regards to the audience’s reaction have you observed and encountered across countries?
TT: Surprisingly little differences I have to admit. People reacted almost the same, regardless if in Germany, Spain, the US, Brazil or elsewhere. They laughed in the same moments. Well, more or less, depending on the translation.
YS: What messages or concepts are you trying to convey through the characters? ( I felt that each character, despite his or her role, evoked a sense of sympathy from the audience)
TT: Yes, exactly. It was very important for me to let the viewer understand why the characters are reacting this or that way and to feel a bit of sympathy for all of them. The point is, they all are losers. They are having a hard time and are trying to make the best out of their situation while it is getting even more messy with every minute. Their motivation is sometimes naive or selfish but none of them is throughly bad or nasty. Even if they are breaking noses.
YS: The two bands (Menomena & Born Ruffians) you selected for your film can be classified as Indie Rock. What musical qualities were you looking for when selecting the soundtrack and what role did these play in the film? How did the music complement it?
TT: Music is always very important. I was looking for something simple in terms of instrumentation, maybe even low-fi, self made, so that it might fit to the pristine mountains, but still very complex, modern and special, something that is not heard everyday. I‘ve always been a big fan of Menomena and the Born Ruffians and they were just perfect for this. I was very happy they all agreed and that Luke Lalonde made this great score.
YS: As the director, author and editor, what unique challenges did you face when developing the storyline? What did you find most rewarding?
TT: You are facing challenges all the time, just because the process of film making is a complex one. The storyline itself develops constantly from the first draft to the final cut. And it is really very rewarding to see the audience enjoying the film you‘ve been working on for the last two or three years.
YS: How would you describe your unique style and signature as an independent filmmaker?
TT: I‘m afraid I don‘t know. I guess I love genre films with a special and unique approach, as a viewer as well as a director. And I like to do different things, it‘s boring to repeat yourself. The projects I‘m working on now are all very different. There‘s a love story taking place in the near future, a psychedelic horror film and a thriller/comedy based on a short story by Irvine Welsh.