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Video Editing


Exclusive Q&A with Short Film Winner Richard Lounello on 'LifeQuest'

'LifeQuest' / Photo courtesy of Richard Lounello. All Rights Reserved.


Written and Directed by Richard Lounello


A young physicist lives out his life in search of his greatest scientific discovery and finds one extraordinary truth.


Q&A with Richard Lounello

Richard Lounello, Writer and Director for 'LifeQuest' / Photo courtesy of Richard Lounello. All Rights Reserved.
Q1: Tell us a little about your award-winning short, LifeQuest.

Jake and Lisa are a newly married young couple just starting their life together. Through the years their family grows and Jake’s work as a physicist brings him to the precipice of his life’s work at a new particle accelerator in China. On the eve of his trip to China, their world is upended in a devastating event and they are forced into a new reality.

Q2: Where did the idea for LifeQuest come from?

The seeds for this film were planted decades ago when I was a little boy. I was a very curious kid. When I was 5 years old (in 1969) my family drove to Florida for a vacation and I remember thinking the the states between NY, where I lived, and Florida didn’t actually exist until we got to each one. I carried that idea through my entire life until one day it found itself as part of the LifeQuest screenplay.

Q3: Were there any funny anecdotes or interesting and memorable moments while making the film?

On the 4th day of filming, which was by far our most complex day of shooting, a day in which I was not only the director and producer but also an actor with a 3 page monologue to perform, the fog machine we were using set off the fire alarm at the location we were at. We had to evacuate the building and wait for the fire department to arrive. It set us back but somehow we made the day and I actually did the entire monologue in 1 take!

'LifeQuest' / Photo courtesy of Richard Lounello. All Rights Reserved.

Q4: As an independent filmmaker, what were some of the unique challenges you faced in creating this film? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge of getting this film made was getting the money to produce it. I ended up financing 99% of the movie myself. HBO had to big projects (The Gilded Age & The Whitehouse Plumbers) shoot in my area in upstate NY and as a SAG actor I did about 6 weeks of extra work on each show. I saved every dollar and put it all into LifeQuest.

Q5: What brought you into the world of filmmaking?

As I mentioned, I am an actor and I’ve done a lot of film work in lead and supporting roles. I didn’t really have the luxury of saying no so I would find myself in movies that just weren’t good but they paid so I did them. LifeQuest is by far the thing I am most proud of in the film world.

Q6: What films or filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

The films that inspire me are the complex and/or quirky ones: “Mullholland Drive” directed by David Lynch, “Interstellar” directed by Christopher Nolan, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” directed by Wes Anderson just to name a few.

Q7: Do you have a favorite film project that you have done? Why?

Outside of “LifeQuest” (which is by far my favorite film project) I’d say the movie “Stephanie Daley” would be the runner up. I worked as an actor on that movie and I got to act opposite Melissa Leo, Amber Tamblyn and Timothy Bottoms. It was the first time I got to work with name actors on that level. Unfortunately my scene got cut from the movie but it was a great experience.

'LifeQuest' / Photo courtesy of Richard Lounello. All Rights Reserved.

Q8: What advice would you share with a new filmmaker about filmmaking or the industry?

The advice I’d give to new filmmakers is simple: don’t wait around until everything is perfect. Just do it with the resources you have available to you.

Q9: Do you have any future projects coming up?

I have a film about to be released titled “Earworm”. It’s a psychological horror/ thriller. I play a detective. I just got cast in a throwback 80’s Sci-fi comedy titled “Dead Man’s Party”. I play an evil space dude. Most importantly, I am developing “LifeQuest” into an 8-10 episode series!


You can find out more about Richard Lounello on IMDb.

Thanks for reading Cosmic Film Festival news!


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