Saturday, 19 February 2011
TROPFEST: An interview with Abe Forsythe by Matt Cohen
What to do on a lazy Sunday? Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival, will screen its selection of finalist films at 7:30pm tonight. T-Squat's Matt Cohen caught up with last year’s winner – Abe Forsythe – best known as an actor from Australian TV shows Tripping Over and Always Greener or, from the most underrated Australian comedy out there, NED. Abe fills us in on the shitty jobs and shaky deals paving his road to directorial success.
T-Squat: So what are you currently up to?
Abe: I’m currently directing commercials and developing a new film project and raising money…in Australia that could take years and years, if at all. But we’re aiming for this year. There are a lot of things that need to fall into place to get something moving… which is one of the hardest things to do in this country compared to others.
T-Squat: What has Tropfest done for you?
Abe: Tropfest kick-started that directing career for me. Although I’ve been working on it for a couple of years, it really opened doors for me. There are a lot of shit jobs around if you’re an actor… you tend to get tarnished with a brush if you do something bad as an actor, something you have very little control over.
T-Squat: Are you referring to anything in particular? Maybe NED?
Abe: NED was hard – well, in post-production terms. Since I’d done Computer Boy(a Matrix Parody made in 2000, it was one of the first internet films to hit 500,000 views), it was relatively easy to raise the money. I wanted to make something I would enjoy, filming went great, until postproduction when we had a contract to release the movie in 50 cinemas and someone stepped in and took it down to 7. It was such at terrible experience for a young filmmaker. Looking back at it now, and seeing footage, I’m still very proud of it.
T-Squat: What is it about Tropfest you love?
Abe: The great thing about Tropfest is that it’s screened in front of a massive audience, as well as TV, Youtube and on DVD and you kind of start to have a relationship with an audience and that’s really hard thing to do in Australia. Until you’ve reached an audience you really don’t know if your stuff works, and that’s the best thing about being in the final.
Tropfest 2011 kicks off with finalist films screening from 7:30pm on Sunday 20th of February. Visit the Tropfest website www.tropfest.com.au for more info on where you can catch a screening.