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Meet the Filmmaker: Benjamin Neufeld, “The Moral Intricacies of Indoor Climate Control”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
BN: Film making is the natural follow through of my passion for writing. In high school I figured I would pursue screenwriting on the side of journalism, but my journalism interest waned the more I focused my thinking toward fictional storytelling. I have always been intimidated by the expensive equipment and complicated film making process and never imagined myself as a director or cinematography growing up. But, luckily, my authoritarian attitude, that a movie should be how I envisioned it, outweighs insecurities I initially struggled with going into film school.

Q: What are we going to see at EFPalooza? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
BN: This is a project I made as a final for my sound in film class at CU Denver. I didn’t plan on working as hard as I did on the project, but became more and more attached to the concept the more Noah (the star/my roommate) and I worked on it. This is probably the extent of where the movie will go, outside of YouTube and Twitter.

Q: What else are you working on?
BN: Right now I am finishing up a short silent film very similar to this project in terms of eccentricity and the method of execution. I am also in preproduction for a short film about coal miners in the early 1900s Colorado.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
BN: I think the weirdness of this movie speaks for itself. The background of it is kind of interesting, Noah and I made it with only a step outline, no script or shot list. We shot the scenes pretty much in order and in our living room, so we basically had as much time as we needed to gradually puzzle it out. Also, I did most of the sound design on my friends laptop while visiting him in Sweden (my laptop lacks the computing power to run Adobe Audition).

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
BN: I usually put my projects on YouTube under “Ben Neufeld.” I also have an Instagram, benjamin.neufeld.photography. No website yet.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about EFPalooza or The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
BN: I appreciate what you all are doing!

The Moral Intricacies of Indoor Climate Control will screen Thursday, March 19th at 8:00 p.m. at The Bug Theatre as part of the Emerging Filmmakers Project block during the 2020 EFPalooza Film Festival.

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Meet the Filmmaker: Benjamin Neufeld, “The Intern”

Q: Why did you become a filmmaker?
BN: I have always loved movies, but I have not always wanted to be a filmmaker. Growing up I thought maybe I would be a comedian, maybe a writer, I flirted with the idea of rocket physicist. When I got to high school I had settled on becoming a journalist. I had friends who expressed interest in film making; but they aimed their passion more towards the technical capabilities of modern cameras and special effects. I found what they talked about interesting, but not as a potential career path. What I always loved was storytelling. In my tenth grade English class my teacher assigned the class a group project to write, film and edit a short film. I blew off most of my other homework to focus on writing a script, that ended up being 30 pages long, about a high school student who wanted to beat up and humiliate a classmate in an underground fight club in order to steal his date to the prom. I thought the script was fantastic. It was okay. But I was so excited about the idea that I realized maybe I should try to be a screenwriter. This led to me deciding to go to CU Denver to study film. And, as I continued to brainstorm and work on movie ideas, I thought I might as well be the one to make the movies that I write.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?
BN: I have always loved movies, but I have not always wanted to be a filmmaker. Growing up I thought maybe I would be a comedian, maybe a writer, I flirted with the idea of rocket physicist. When I got to high school I had settled on becoming a journalist. I had friends who expressed interest in film making; but they aimed their passion more towards the technical capabilities of modern cameras and special effects. I found what they talked about interesting, but not as a potential career path. What I always loved was storytelling. In my tenth grade English class my teacher assigned the class a group project to write, film and edit a short film. I blew off most of my other homework to focus on writing a script, that ended up being 30 pages long, about a high school student who wanted to beat up and humiliate a classmate in an underground fight club in order to steal his date to the prom. I thought the script was fantastic. It was okay. But I was so excited about the idea that I realized maybe I should try to be a screenwriter. This led to me deciding to go to CU Denver to study film. And, as I continued to brainstorm and work on movie ideas, I thought I might as well be the one to make the movies that I write.

Q: What else are you working on?
BN: Currently I am using my time off from school to develop a few scripts. I am working on a feature length script which I hope to produce the summer before my senior year. I am also writing/outlining four different short film scripts. One is a short version of the feature script. One is a short version of a feature script I will eventually write. All four are potential scripts for me to make in my sophomore production class, or independently, this fall or next summer.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?
BN: I believe that in order to tell good stories a storyteller must experience the world and people around them. (That’s not weird, that’s just a way of me saying I like to/want to travel). I also grew up very outdoorsy, and have been a rock climber since high school. That is why after high school I took a gap year in which I worked, then lived in a van for six months to drive around the west coast and rock climb. It was a wonderful experience that has prepared me for the fact that I will probably have to live in a car when I eventually move to LA.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?
BN: People can follow my Instagram: @benjamin.neufeld.photography. There I post pictures I have taken casually or professionally, and info/updates about my films.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?
BN: I am extremely excited to be a part of the EFP. I have heard great things from my teachers at CU Denver. I am proud to be a part of the growing Denver film scene.

The Intern will screen during The Emerging Filmmakers Project on Thursday, August 15th at The Bug Theatre.