INTERVIEW with ROBERT FELDMAIER – VISA ISSUES (2021)
By: Trevor Brooks
‘Visa Issues’ is a short film created by Robert Feldmaier and Any Ferreiras, written by Robert Feldmaier. This is one of two of his scripts he has created and has made official selections in multiple short film festivals. We have caught up with Robert to interview him on his latest short film.
Trevor Brooks, Phoenix Journal (PJ): Tell me about your experience in the film industry. Robert Feldmaier (RF): I first got involved in film in 2018. I starred in the movie „When Hitler stole pink rabbit“ as a Nazi Journalist. That experience was so amazing and it was funny seeing myself on the big screen in theaters. After this project, I realized that this is something I really want to continue doing. So I moved to LA and studied acting. During this time I starred in a few short films and God gave me the amazing opportunity to work behind the scenes of a feature movie called „The Runner“. This was truly incredible to see all the different procedures and how much work it actually takes to make a movie. I was so blessed. Then during the pandemic I wrote many scripts. Short films and Features. So God lead me to great people and we finally got to realize and shoot „Visa Issues“.
(PJ): What inspired you to write this script? (RF): I personally love action movies. All those movies with Jason Statham, Jean Claude van Damme, Sylvester Stallone etc. So we knew from the beginning that we wanted to do like a thriller or action movie. Then this pandemic came to my mind and also the problems it caused. One of the problems was getting a visa. And I am sure many others have or had that problem too. So I thought this is a cool idea to bring that into the movie and also connect that to a classic action/thriller storyline. So Any Ferreiras and me created the whole story and the plot and then I wrote the screenplay for it. (PJ): How did the casting get selected for this short film? (RF): From the beginning I had Any Ferreiras in mind for the role of Vicky. Because I know her work and just as I pictured everything I knew it has to be her. The character of the bad guy was a little tougher to choose the right one, but I knew Pepper Jensen would be a great villain. The rest of the cast are just characters theirselves. So basically I didn’t need to worry to pick the right one for each role because they were creating that role itself in a way. And that was so amazing to watch. They did great. (PJ): How did you manage the logistics of budget and scheduling to put this short film together? (RF): We were just sitting together as producers with our director and just wrote everything down what we need and what we have available and what day and time would be best and smartest to use the locations wisely, that we do not need the actors to come twice. It worked mostly as we wanted it. Not always. (PJ): How long did it take to film this short? (RF): We filmed it in one week. But we realized we needed some other shots so we added one day of shooting two weeks after that. (PJ): What were the challenges of location scouting for the short film? (RF): The biggest challenge was covid. When we were shooting the movie, nobody wanted to give us his bar as a location. That was really challenging. But the lord helped us out and we were able to get a great bar as location and the owner was really nice and supporting. But yes that bar thing got me really sweaty. (PJ): What did you think of your cast and crew on this set? (RF): I am so happy that God made me choose them and put them into my life. Especially my producer partner Any Ferreiras. But every single one of them was great. I am so thankful to each one of them. They really delivered on point and brought their ideas into it. I am really grateful. It would not have been possible without anyone of them. (PJ): Anything you learned from this experience? (RF): I learned that I have to switch my brain off in some situations. Because while acting and trying to be in my character, I didn’t fully commit to the role. I had this filmmaker view always and tried to check and remember everything that all looks good and is correctly done as in the script and so on that I didn’t commit fully to my acting. I had so many things in my mind. So I need to learn to switch all that off to be able to be in the character but then also switching it back on when I’m done to make sure everything is going the right way in a filmmakers perspective. And I learned: organizing and planning is everything in most cases. (PJ): Are there any parts of the short film you would have liked to improve on? (RF): From a filmmaking view I am pretty happy with the outcome. Of course here and there we could have been taken better shots. But as it was for me personally the first realized movie I am pretty happy with it. From an acting view tho I think I could have done much better. There is a lot of room left. (PJ): With the success in multiple selections in the film festival, what’s next for your pursuits in the film industry? (RF): I have written a lot of projects. A cop short film and I am also figuring out the plot for a second part of „Visa Issues“. I wrote 2 feature films as well. But what I would love to realize next, if God will give me the opportunity, is a western movie. But that is all in gods hands. It is really important to me that my work reflects and points people to god. That they pick up their bible again and read it to realize how much our lord loves us. Because this is his love letter to us humans and we are so lost without it.