Heartland Film interviews Thierry Lorenzi, the director, producer and writer of ON/OFF.
HFF:What is your film about, and how did the project come to be?
TL: ON/OFF follows astronaut Meredith obsessed with a mysterious voice message. The theme of my short film is transhumanism and post humanity. I always liked these two themes because they are no longer simple science fiction but rather topical. Also, after my first short film [involved filming] in a bunker, I remember on the set I wanted to film in a large space. So I thought the next will happen in space.
HFF: What was your role in the production?
TL: On ON/OFF I am a writer, director and producer
HFF: Why did you submit to the Heartland Film Festival? Have you been to the Festival before?
TL: I’m always on the lookout for news about short films, and I have known about Heartland Film Festival since seeing some shorts that had been selected. I love the USA including the heart of America. So I thought, why not?
HFF: This year’s tagline is “Shift Your Perspective” – what lasting effect will your film have on moviegoers?
TL: Although technical ambition (including actors in weightlessness) is great for the short film economy, I think the audience could appreciate the extremely narrow line between what is called natural and artificial. The thin line between true and false. It’s all a matter of perspective. I can’t really spoil it, but Meredith is ultimately only “inhuman in the next century.”
HFF: What has inspired you to become a filmmaker?
TL: Oh big question. I fell in love with the cinema when I was very young. The ability to dream, create emotions. I like the idea that a film can change people’s perspective on things. Finally, movies are mirrors that makes us realize things are never fixed or immobile. Depending on the angle, you can see, understand and grow differently.
HFF: What is something that you know about filmmaking now but you weren’t told when you started your career?
TL: Let’s say I had not considered the fragility of the actors. Those are people who play with their emotions. They must therefore be preserved. It’s not necessarily something I [envy] about them, but it’s something I respect.
HFF: What are some of your favorite movies? What’s your favorite worst movie (you know it’s bad, but still love it)?
TL: This question is too difficult. But if I had to name three movies now, I would say Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone), The Insider (Michael Mann) and Ghost in the Shell (Mamory Oshii). My worst movie? I’m afraid of bad films. I think we can be influenced unconsciously. (That’s a joke.)
HFF: How many film festivals has your film been a part of ? What do you like the most about the festival experience?
TL: I personally attended a dozen festivals. I regret not being able to attend all festivals. I like particularly the exchange with the audience. It is always very interesting from a psychological point of view. How the viewer can interpret your movie. It’s exciting.
HFF: Heartland Film Festival moviegoers love filmmaker Q&As. Let’s say a Festival attendee wants to earn some brownie points—what is a question that you’d love to answer, but haven’t yet been asked?
TL: How are cinema and fiction truer than any TV report ?
See ON/OFF in Shorts Program 10: Sci-Fi Shorts at the 2014 Heartland Film Festival:
- Saturday, Oct. 18 – 7:45 pm at AMC Castleton Square 14
- Wednesday, Oct. 22 – 6:00 pm at Wheeler Arts Community
- Friday, Oct. 24 – 11:15 am at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12
- Saturday, Oct. 25 – 2:15 pm at AMC Traders Point Showplace 12