Interview with Filmmaker Joe Taranto

Joe TarantoED– We are definitely giving a treat to our readers with our interview with filmmaker Joe Taranto. He is one of Hollywood’s rising stars. Joe please tell our readers a little about your work.

JT– I like to focus my work on stories that take the audience to a different world, and allow the audience to sit back experience anything out of the ordinary. Whether it be a commercial or short film,  I always try to implement this element along with a good dose of comedy.  I’m a cinematographer, editor, and Director, “never all at the same time”, but when I’m in any of these positions I’m always looking for that shot, or the edit, or the moment that will create this unique experience for the audience.

My previous work has consisted of commercials and shorts. I just finished my 1st festival circuit with my short film King of the Ring.

ED– What is the latest project that you are now working on?

JT– I’m currently working on a very large-scale short film, called Monty and the Runaway Furnace.  It’s a fantasy and period piece off of the Industrial Revolution. I hate trailers that give the entire story away, so all I’ll say about this film is,  It’s a tale about an elderly janitor who’s in love with a rusty furnace that runs one of the largest factories in the city.  The whole world is filled with gears and pipes so I know it’ll be a unique experience.  You can follow our production at http://www.montyandthefurnace.com/

ED– What got you started in the film production business?

JT– What actually go me started or peaked my interest was taking a sick day from school when I was in Jr High.  My mom would probably say I was playing hookie, but I think I was pretty sick that day.  Usually after school I would have been out playing sports but this day since I was at home I saw my mom and my brother editing a school project from 2 tape decks.  I watched and started to learn the art of editing. I loved TV and films and being able to see how they were made, it didn’t feel like a far off fantasy, but something I could possibly do.  So I started to do small videos for projects rather than writing a paper.  I continued this through college where I did my 1st 2 shorts and after that was hooked.

ED– A good number of our readers are students in MFA courses in colleges across the country, and aspire to become screen writers and published authors. Tell them what type of projects the film industry is looking for down the road.

JT– I’m actually a MFA student myself and am finishing my degree this May and this is a question that plagues me often.  In the past I’ve noticed the films that were being made were in a cycle. Certain genres become popular again after one film breaks the old mold and then more of these movies are made until the market is over saturated. Though this model is still somewhat prevalent today, I feel with new media outlets every genre has a continuous fan market.  So after all that boring business babble, I would say tell the story you’re dying to tell. If you put your heart into and have a character that audiences can emotionally connect with you’ll find an audience through new media outlets.

ED– Many of our readers are interested in Mysteries, Thrillers, the Paranormal, and the Supernatural. What are some of the latest projects that you have worked on in this genre?

JT– The latest project I worked on in this genre is the TV pilot Ghost Writer. I was the 1st AD on the shoot.

ED– Is there any future projects of this nature that you have planned?

JT– I currently don’t have any future projects planned for this genre because I take one project at a time and pour my heart into it.  I have though written down some story ideas here and there for supernatural and paranormal thrillers because I do like these stories because for me it’s a darker type of fantasy.

ED– Where do you see these genres in film making heading? What will be the popularity of their nature in the future?

JT–  I feel the genre will stay as popular as it has in the past, but simply just shift it’s direction a little. Right now Vampire stories are the seller, but I feel soon this will end as audiences will want something different but familiar.  A new type of monster or supernatural ability is always a new interesting story element and I think will be the catalyst to take this genre further.

ED– With vampires now the latest craze, what will be the next popular ‘ghoulie’ do you think will take their place?

JT– Vampires along with zombies are always being made, I feel the industry will move towards Demons, and maybe other religious figures because audiences fascination with the “End of Times” stories.  As a viewer, I’m hoping for something else, something new and unique to make me feel truly scared and be in awe of human possibilities.

ED– Joe, it has been great talking to you. We are sure that our readers will hang on every word of your response. We wish you much luck, and hope that you will return to us with the latest updates of your projects. We thank you and wish you well.