ON THE LINE- AN INTERVIEW WITH SILVIA DE LEONARDIS

Silvia de Leonardis´Short Film “ON THE LINE” is an award-winning 23-minute revelation on a culture’s and social attitude towards common human life.This short film was also different from the others – it had more story concerning the characters. This film serves a great message, which the audience can relate to.

Originally from Munich, Silvia is a great Director, Writer and Actress. So, we decided to ask Silvia a couple of questions to dig deeper into the film’s creation.

CULT CRITIC–Silvia, first of all I would like to congratulate you for the huge success of your Short Film “On the Line”. It has been screened on almost every part of the world and has received so many Awards. What actually provoked you to make this movie?

Silvia – Thank you so much! That’s very kind of you. Well, to be honest it was my own struggling. Being pulled between motherhood, partnership, work, dreams and household, I started to have feelings of inadequacy regarding to my daughter, who by the way plays the role of Laura in “ON THE LINE”. Suddenly thoughts entered my mind like “What if I mess it up and later, when my daughter is grown into an adult and we don’t have a connection anymore? What if she grows to hate me? What if she abuses alcohol or worse, drugs?” This really terrified me and my heart suffered from all these questions and fears and so I decided to voice my fears through a film.

CULT CRITIC–What motivated you to make this film and how was it received so far? How does the passion for cinema grow within?

Silvia – Before I started with the script, I was sure, that I wanted to have Bastian Theurich in it, my daughter Cecilia and of course, me. I wasn’t sure if the film would be about a struggling alcoholic mother or a struggling drug-addicted son and if it would have a bad or a happy ending. Then I thought about it deeper and I realized there is no bad guy or good guy. There is just suffering. So I made a film about a mother and a son, both suffering about the loss of their beloved husband or father. They are easing their pain in different ways and are captured in isolation and a hard heart.After the Rough Cut, I screened it privately in Munich and later in LA and I was totally overwhelmed by the reactions of the deeply touched audience. What has changed with making “ON THE LINE” was, that my passion for “filmmaking” has changed into my passion for “touching people”.

CULT CRITIC –I find many Indie filmmakers saying they don’t believe in grammar of filmmaking. They just want to break the rules and to be creative. What is your opinion?

Silvia – Well, I’m still learning as a filmmaker. But I try to answer that question as an actress. You can tell, if someone has a good and stable technique or not. You start with technique to solve your problems. Once you know your craft, you set yourself free. Like Picasso did. He first was perfect in any kind of painting technique and then he created his own way of painting. I believe in that way. But there might be others who are simply great without technique.

CULT CRITIC –In today’s world young generation is being engaged more and more in virtual relationships like Voice Message, Video Calling etc. rather than practically meeting someone or spending time with someone. What do you think, how important is the physical presence to continue a relationship?

Silvia –I can only talk for myself, but for me physical presence is necessary to build trust or continue a relationship. Saying that, I don´t mean being away for work for several weeks is bad. I have to do it myself and I sure use Facetime to talk to my loved ones.

CULT CRITIC –What do you think what are the merits and risks of long distance relationships?

Silvia – I´ve never had a long distance relationship, but I have many friends who´ve started with it and it worked out perfectly.

CULT CRITIC – Have you worked with a film crew before? Tell us about the shoot, and how you prepared them for it. What are the challenges that you have faced while making and releasing this film?

Silvia –My crew was limited to my camera operator, Sarah Maria Formica and my Hair & Makeup Artist Anabel Formica and of course the actors and extras. I knew that everyone is a joy to work with. I did the rest. Weeks ahead I’ve bought or prepared all the preps; letters, wine-bottles filled with cherry juice, jewelry, photos, boxes, glasses, cocaine which was snuff tobacco etc. I’ve rehearsed with my actors till they were grounded. Prepared like this it was easy to set up and start shooting. The shooting days were absolutely wonderful. Highly concentrated and a warm and loving atmosphere. My personal challenge came with the editing.

CULT CRITIC –If you were given a chance to remake ‘ON THE LINE’ which is the area you would like to rectify?

Silvia – When I saw the scenes first time, I was very happy with the result. But after seeing them a couple of hundred times during the editing process, I saw every single mistake. So, if I had to choose an area to rectify, I would change some frames and also one or another angle.

CULT CRITIC – The last question, what would’ve happened if Silvia de Leonardis didn’t come to the film industry?

Silvia – Maybe that it would have been less fun for many productions. Most people describe me as a sunshine. I’d describe myself as a humble person and also as a problem-solver.When it comes to acting or directing, I usually impress people with my acting chops, my strength and professionalism combined with my love for the team and the art.

CULT CRITIC – One more question please if you would, before we say goodbye: What message would you impart to young filmmakers?

Silvia – First of all: Always give your best! Be perfectly prepared, have work ethic and be committed to your craft! Love what you do and believe in yourself. And then: Never give up! If you fail, take your time to recover, learn from it, stand up and try it again.

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