Bitches of Horror and Thirteenth Floor believe that the only way for independent horror to thrive, is if the community surrounding it do their best to share and promote the work of these hard working artists. Exposure is absolutely crucial in an industry that's become more saturated than ever, with seemingly everyone and their mom being equipped well enough to shoot an amateur film, thanks in no small part to the ever increasing quality of cameras we carry with us. But there are those out there going above and beyond to deliver their vision, to their best of their abilities, in hopes of building to something greater; and all they lack, is the spotlight. Enter Phil Louis Galliano's Madflix group, an amazing initiative which provides just that. We talked with Phil about it.
What is MadFlix?
MadFlix is a community where filmmakers may share their work and explore others’ work. It’s also a group where, people like you and I, may discover new talents and stories. By talents I don’t mean only directors, but also cinematographers, actors…every week I am on the lookout for new short films, new filmmakers whom I invite to the group. Among the members of the group, you obviously have a lot of filmmakers but also actors, producers, industry professionals.
When and why did you start MadFlix?
I started the group in 2015. I wanted to show that there were interesting free contents out there. At first MadFlix was linking to free feature films available legally but it naturally became what it is now. I realized that despite them being free, people did not care to watch feature films they never heard of. We all are multitasking, getting busier and sitting 90 or more minutes in front of a screen has become kind of exceptional. I believe short films have a format more appropriate with the era we are living.
How important is exposure for up and coming filmmakers?
Exposure is everything. You might be gifted, have some great skills, some valuable experience, tons of resources, amazing ideas if nobody knows or sees what you’ve got, it’s useless. This industry is saturated. Amazing talents are everywhere, brilliant films are made everyday. Today what makes a difference and what filmmakers really need is an audience, a following and hopefully among your followers, the right connections: People who are going to move your career forward. As I often said to filmmakers posting in MadFlix, “You never know who is going to watch your work”.
Would you say amateur and small independent filmmakers have an obligation to help bolster the community?
Ideally filmmakers should support each other but let’s be frank. At the end of the day, every filmmaker competes with one another. This industry is harsh. Ideally filmmakers want to make a living. Yes, one filmmaker can enjoy someone else’s work, learn from peers but they also all want the same thing. Making a living with their art, winning that award, being recognized...
I like how you encourage people to comment on others films before posting their own. Is this something you started from the beginning or something you noticed after running the group for a while?
I noticed that I had to engage people. I had to set some rules or the group would be like many other groups, with no interaction whatsoever. Policing people is not something I like to do, but so far I was unable to find a better way to get people to contribute. For a time, I decided to reward the best contributor but it did not increase the number of comments. As time goes, some short films are so outstanding that comments come naturally. Sometimes though there are so many short films in a single week that I have to intervene and point out a particular work that people did not seem to have noticed. Filmmakers have spent a lot of their money and time in making their films, the least we can do for them is to let them know our thoughts.
Ultimately, what do you hope to get out of Madflix?
Nothing really! If filmmakers are connecting with other people, if filmmakers can learn from other filmmakers that is enough for me to keep going.
Be sure to check out Episode 55 of Bitches of Horror, where the girls cover a few standout short films recommended by Phil himself!