The Tiger Faced Man
Filmmaker Interview with Writer/ Director Matt Ruscher
by Amy Gillman
Being that the story is told through creative use of editing and music with an absence of dialogue, what are some challenges and benefits to making a film entirely in this way?
The main challenge is creating character development. The editing and music have to emphasize the body language of the characters to make their various motivations or emotions clear. A nice benefit is that you can get as crazy as you want with the sound design without worrying about interfering with dialogue.
From the very beginning, the entire film is riddled with suspense and culminates in a surprise ending. How difficult is it to achieve such strong suspense in such a short amount of screen time? Is it easier or harder in comparison to a feature film?
Suspense is a difficult thing to achieve in any film. The sense of mystery in the tiger faced man’s motives are what make it most suspenseful. Once the question of “why?” is put into the audiences mind then an eagerness sets in.
A feature film is probably more difficult in creating suspense. First you need to make the audience care for your character, only then can they feel a sense of danger. But if you come out swinging with a sense of dread, as in most horror films, it is easier to keep viewers unsettled for the rest of the film.
What were some of the challenges in filming in such a crowded, public place?
With the DSLR age on the rise it was actually a breeze to get away with filming guerilla, everyone thinks your taking stills. The main challenge is continuity. Extras come and go with no rhyme or reason. The ferris wheel had a massive line and we tried paying off the carny to let us ride it multiple times in a row so we could get our shots before the fair closed. He refused which forced us to get all our shots in two rides.
What inspired the idea for this film?
In college we had a no dialogue screenplay as our 1st assignment for Screenwriting I. It got some great feedback so I decided to shoot it the summer after graduating.
Who would you love to work with in the future?
Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Vince Gilligan, Terry Gilliam, Ridley Scott, HBO
Are there any particular films or filmmakers that influence your work?
Breaking Bad, The Twilight Zone. This film in particular was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Stangers on a Train
For more information on the film visit:
Screening: Tuesday August 12th at 6pm (TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE)