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Film North September 25, 2011
Posted by
Kathryn Griffiths
Film North Interview with Sean Cisterna, Director and Producer of 'Moon Point'
Film North
K: What inspired you to make 'Moon Point?'

S: I guess it all stemmed from when Facebook came out: people were very interested in reconnecting with people from their past. When I grew up in Orillia, I remembered my first crush, and the feelings that were associated with where this person was now. This is the story of two former young friends reconnecting years and years after they originally met. So that was the initial spark of the story and we just came around with characters and bizarre situations to work around that theme.

K: How have you found the industry and audiences to be responding to it?

S: This is going to be our third public screening, so we had a few test screenings that went really well. We premiered on Monday night and sold, like, 400 seats so we're super happy! The reception has been unbelievable. We thought we were just making a little indie film that no one would ever get to see – from stories I've heard indie films don't really get the audiences. We did Cinefest Sudbury to a great response. It's kind of thrilling to a group of people who did a small project to get that reaction when we do a screening.

K: How are you enjoying Huntsville and being in Film North this year?

S: We pulled into town, the drive was fantastic and we knew we could only stay for the night because we had a meeting with a distributor the next day. The cast and crew just said, "We're staying." We cancelled our meeting tomorrow to stay another night. We walked in- the scenery is so great, the people are so friendly, it's such a warm, inviting atmosphere. We cancelled our plans.

K: Do you have much advice for any future filmmakers interested in following in your path?

S: In making Moon Pont we met with a lot of distributors and broadcasters beforehand, which is kind of the proper way to do things and each gave their reason why we shouldn't make the movie. Eventually it came to the point where it's either make it with all these rules and stipulations that these distributors want, or take a leap of faith and do it our own way. So if I could offer any words of advice it's to follow the path that feels right for your project, and to filter external notes that are coming in on your project.

» For more information on Moon Point please go to or check out their Facebook page with constant updates.

Film North
Film North

Interview with Jim Calarco (director) and Claire Kingsley Calarco (actress) of ‘The House’

Penny's Blog: Filmmakers and movie fans converge on Huntsville

Wall Street Journal: A Design Jury's Eye Candy

Interview with Bryan Law and Steven Davies, Producers of 'Into the Fire'

Interview with Sean Cisterna, Director and Producer of 'Moon Point'

Interview with Director Andrew Cymek and Producer and Actress Brigette Kingsley of Dark Rising: Summer Strikes Back

K on the Bay with Kareen Burns interview of Film North Founder Lucy Wing

Film North - September Newsletter

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Film North September 25, 2011
Posted by
Kathryn Griffiths
Film North Interview with Director Andrew Cymek and Producer and Actress Brigette Kingsley of Dark Rising: Summer Strikes Back
Film North
K: What inspired you to make 'Dark Rising?'

A: Dark Rising: Summer Strikes Back is actually the sequel to Dark Rising which we shot about 4 years ago with some friends with a camera in the woods and just decided it was just a good time as many to shoot our first feature, so we shot that film. It was a horror-comedy and we had a lot of fun doing it, it did very well – better than anyone had expected it to do. Then [when] I went on to my other movie called “Medium Raw”- which was not very fun – it was hard to do. When we finished Medium Raw, the first thing I wanted to do was go back and have fun making movies again, because it was so stressful. Because we had met lifelong friends making Dark Rising 1, it was a no-brainer, bringing back the old crew, having fun – having a laugh. The premise was always about bringing back a team of friends and having fun making a movie that we would want to watch, like Back to the Future, like Ghostbusters. Something we'll sit around and eat popcorn with – we want to make one of those. So that was the reason behind Dark Rising: Summer Strikes back, and it was a great call, because what we hoped would happen with it, happened with it. We had a blast.

B: We were talking to people and there was an interest in making a series and a feature so we just kind of ran with it and it has kind of been our life for the past four years.

A: We shot a low budget movie, figured it would go nowhere and it became a cult hit and we had a following – people wanted a sequel. One of my favourite movies is the Empire Strikes back, so I was like, “Hey if I'm going to do a sequel, I might as well steal the best title”- so 'Summer Strikes Back' came from that. We weren't expecting the response, were very pleased with the response, so we'll take it.

K: Have you found a change in the reception of the audience and the industry in the past four years since you made your first film?

B: The most interesting thing for me anyways was that we went to FanExpo this year; it was our second year there. The first year we only just had Dark Rising out, and it was only just getting off the ground, but this year its almost like so many more people seen it! Dark Rising 2 is out, the series is out, and people went crazy. People were lining up and waiting to see us. It was the weirdest experience.

A: We had die-hard fans, which we had never had before, or even experienced. Almost if you could picture the Star Wars fans that dressed up, we had Dark Rising fans who came to visit us… and to know that my work touched somebody in that way and effected them to the point where they're total geeks about it, that's what I aim to do.

B: Best fans in the world!

A: Best fans!

B: So sweet and so supportive. They're just really fun.

A: We're got people in Australia setting up screenings, so it's almost like the little franchise that could at this point.

K: Do you have any advice for the aspiring filmmakers here at Film North?

B: Jump in and do it! Take what ever camera, equipment, and friends you have and just start doing it and learning the ropes, as you progress the biggest advice is perseverance, just keep at it because eventually you're going to make the projects you want to make. A: Learn everything; at first when you're starting out learn every department so you have an understanding of it. If you want to be a director, starting at AD or TAD does not lead to Director. If you want to be a DOP, assistant camera does not lead to DOP – you have to start shooting, you have to start directing, and then get better, and then those opportunities may arise, they may not- but that's where the perseverance comes in.

K: So what's next for you both?

B: More Dark Rising! We're actually coming back to do more episodes, it's been green lit and were working on it right now. We don't have anything set in stone in regards to story yet…

A: This year will be all Dark Rising again. More Dark Rising. Fans want it so we're going to give it to them and who knows what's after that.

» For more information on Dark Rising, go to

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