Meet the Filmmaker: Anthony Ilacqua, “To Better Days”

“To Better Days”


Q_tsZliZe1QQJLGIsc5TVxPe1wTL0NlNB0UCvvueUQAQ: Why did you become a filmmaker?

AI: Oddly enough, I never had any intention of becoming a filmmaker. I never thought I’d write for the screen. To further that, I never had any intention of being a writer. When I set out in life, I wanted to be a botanist. Writing came later. I was trained as a writer of fiction, and that’s really all I’ve ever done. When you write fiction, you write dialogue. I had made a short film in 1997 called “New Boots” for a class project. There were three people involved with it and the collaboration was just too much for me. I knew then, as I know now, I really like the solitary act of writing. As a director, however, I found the whole process a little more intriguing. I found that an actor can be a muse. Working with good actors is a wonder experience. A good actor will study and know a character better than the writer.

Q: What are we going to see at the EFP? Has it screened elsewhere and what are your plans for it?

AI: We’re seeing “To Better Days.” “To Better Days” is a long (22 minutes) short film about unrequited love, adultery and murder. We built a screenplay that we could shoot in a modular sort of way. We took these classic film noir elements and put our mark on it. We chose night shoots and used the city, Denver, as both a backdrop and a character of its own. Initially, I thought a vague story with these elements and these characters would serve us as a marketing tool. I thought, if this screenplay becomes a film we could use it to find funding to make a feature. The feature length screenplay has not been written. This film has not screened anywhere outside of the studio.

 Q: What else are you working on?

AI: Currently, I’m waiting for my third novel, Warehouses and Rusted Angels, to be released. The release date is sometime in the fall. Aside from that, I have a few short-short screenplays that I hope will become short-short films, but there is nothing in development.

Q: Tell us one weird thing about you and/or your movies?

AI: The first night of the “To Better Days” shoot was outside. It was well below zero. The two actors were outside drinking beer. Since I still lived in Portland, Oregon when I wrote this screenplay, I had initially imagined a rainy night, not a night with negative temperatures. We bought those pocket warmer packs the day of the shoot. Everyone on set had those packs in their shoes, gloves, hats, pockets, everywhere. The two actors you see on screen were under blankets, loaded up with pocket warmer packs and high on hot cocoa.

Q: Where can people go to find out more about you and your work?

AI: Please visit our imdb page “To Better Days” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3829088/?ref_=nm_knf_t2

“To Better Days” official website http://tobetterdaysmovie.com/

“to Better Days” Trailer https://vimeo.com/88301180

The Rockethouse Pictures website http://rockethousepictures.com/

Anthony ILacqua at his blog: http://anthonyilacqua.blogspot.com/

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about The Emerging Filmmakers Project?

AI: Your mission is awesome. Thank you for being the vehicle for bringing filmmakers together and for introducing them to each other and a movie going community. Incidentally, I have watched many films made by friends on their computers. Thank you for the opportunity for me to screen this film.

“To Better Days” will screen on June 18th at the Emerging Filmmaker’s Project.

Kate Lowell