An Interview With T3 And ‘Sound Of Silence’ Star Penelope Sangiorgi

March 3, 2023

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email: [email protected]

After watching the new horror film Sound of Silence, which impressed me, I knew I wanted to speak to the people behind it before its March premiere. I sat down with the Italian directors, known as the collective T3 (Stefano Mandala, Alessandro Antonaci, Daniel Lascar), and the film’s star Penelope Sangiorgi who is making her feature debut as the lead character Emma.


In the film, when her father is gravely injured, Emma returns to her family home in Italy. Alone in the house while her father recovers, she encounters a haunted radio – and the evil entity behind it. With the supernatural force growing stronger by the hour, Emma must reveal the dark secret behind the radio’s curse to survive the night.




I highly recommend that you listen to the audio. T3 and Penelope have amazing accents that you just have to hear.




Interview Transcription


Kelli: “So I just watched Sound of Silence and really enjoyed it.”



Alessandro: “Oh, thank you. Thank you. This is very good. I’m so happy to hear this.”


Kelli: “And I love the fact that when it was dark, it wasn’t too dark. You could still see what was going on. So that’s big, it’s a big thing for me; it’s one of my movie pet peeves.”



Alessandro: “That was my biggest fear, how to make, how making not too dark. Yes. How to make that work. It’s never easy to find the right balance, but I’m happy that you enjoyed it.”



Kelli: “Did y’all build the sets for this movie, or was it shot on location?


Stefano: “We did both.”


Alessandro: “Uh, sadly, uh, it was the locations. I mean, we did not have the money to build a lot, but we have built one very specific part of the location, the soundproof room. Cause the house that we found was really good. It met the needs of the script. It was very surprising. It never happens. Yes. So it was perfect, but it did not have a space to build a soundproof room. So we built, like, he [Stefano] built that one here in the studio. Plus, we also kind of built  Emma’s apartment at the beginning, Also here in the studio. And then we had the hospital locations. The rest of it was all on location.”



Kelli: “That sound room looked great. I loved the light in it, the red on the gray. It looked nice.”


Stefano: “Thank you. Thank you. It means a lot to me. <laugh>. Yeah. I’m so nervous about that. Very nervous.”



Kelli: “I did. So how did the story of this movie come to be?”


Alessandro: “The, the story? Uh, we, uh, actually shot, shot short in 2020. Then, thought about this concept as a feature. And it was, it was right after the quarantine. So we really wanted to produce something and were used to producing a lot. So being, you know, stuck for some months was, it wasn’t easy for us. So as soon as we were free, we got back on set, and it was just five people shot the short. And when we had the short in our hands, we realized that it was effective, that it was working. And then, the short was selected at Scream Fest 2020. So we were sure that, that there was, that, that there was something special with that. So right after that, we, uh, knew that we wanted, really wanted to produce our first, uh, English, uh, feature mm-hmm. <affirmative> by T3 as a trio. Yes.


And so, we chose to turn the short film Sound of Silence into a feature. Mainly because, as I said, it was very effective. And also because we knew that the concept of the was very commercial and very strong. But at the same time, the movie was going to be easier to execute on a very low budget. There was gonna be that it was gonna be easier to execute than others than other projects that we had in our hands, like at the moment. So we chose that one. It was a strategy, and we’re happy we did that. Cause we managed to make, it work to like Exactly. We, we thought that, that a low budget version of that movie was going to be effective enough for us, uh, as a first movie. And in terms of the story, we knew, uh, that we wanted to make, um, at least try to make a very commercial and fun, uh, like with the scares type of horse type of ride of scares, uh, in the veins of the Conjuring and Insidious. And so we tried to do that. Um, and at the same time, we wanted to tell a story that mattered, and am still making a movie that meant more. So, we were very glad that this concept, the old radio, and the backstory while, while we were writing the backstory, we were very happy.


There is another, uh, yes, main character. That’s the radio [points behind him to radio prop]. That’s cool. That’s it. It’s, it’s off right now, so it’ll save not safe for the moment. So we were very happy and glad that we could, um, like through the mythology, behind the cursed radio, tell a story that meant more, you know, and deal with, uh, themes like the women abuse and Women violence and women empowerment. That was something that we really cared about. And we, and I know that Penelope, also loved that aspect of the movie. So yeah. So that’s how we, uh, we put it together, and it came out organically. Yeah. It was very natural. Like, yeah. Yeah. That, that’s the thing that I, that we loved about it. That never felt forced. We never tried to force this, like the themes in this movie. It, like, it was, it fit very naturally. We were thinking about the backstory and got there in a second. So that was very, uh, surprising, satisfying. It was something that we were very glad about.”



Kelli: “You said low budget. What was the budget for the film?”


Alessandro: “Ooh, the budget. Yeah. I’m gonna say that <laugh>, the budget was 70 K, so was very, very low. Yeah. Yes.”


Kelli: “It looks better than some of the, you know, higher-budget movies I’ve seen. So yeah. Ya’ll did good.”


Alessandro. “I gotta say that we are very obsessed with cinematography and with, you know, beautiful-looking movies. So even though we had a very low budget, we tried to do our best to get the more elegant and classic and beautiful movie, uh, looking movie. So, you know, it’s all about choices. So we tried to choose and find locations that felt very easy to use and to make the movie beautiful without, you know, even though we didn’t have enough money. So we tried to do our best. Of course, we are aware that, with a bigger budget, you can do more, you know. But I guess we now, we are happy with it. I think we did the best that we could do with what we had. Yeah. At the moment. And I’m also thinking about our own experience, you know, after this first movie, there are so many things that the three of us, but I’m, I’m, I’m sure even Penny, I’m sure everyone that worked on this movie now has a bigger, you know, experience that. And now we just are looking forward to using this experience in the next movie that’s coming <laugh> right after.


Kelli: “And speaking of the next movie, it kinda feels like there might be a sequel to this? I feel like the end of Sound of Silence left it open for one.”


Alessandro: Uh, yeah, we, uh, <laugh> we purposely added that scene. We were not sure how this movie was gonna, what this movie was going was gonna do. So we, we wanted to play it safe, but at the same time, we loved the idea of, you know, having a franchise type of telling a bigger, a bigger universe. Yes. A bigger universe with this, um, supernatural and haunted objects. So we loved the idea of having a franchise of haunted objects and keep telling the stories. And with Stba and Emma, maybe. And the idea is like to keep bringing in. Yeah. The characters of Amazing and Emma keep telling this and, and, and that we always had that idea. But at the same time, I gotta say, that grew on us while we were shooting the movie.


And I have to say that’s all because of the actors. Like, cuz we looked at them like we were looking at them on camera, like Emma. We were looking at two characters that could do so much more in the future because of how they relate to their relationship, how they care for each other, how they look on camera, and how great actors they are. We just have many ideas for the sequel, and this with so many things that might happen between the two of them and with More Supernatural. But the next movie won’t be a sequel to this. It wouldn’t be something new. <laugh>.”


Kelli: “And do we know what that one is?”


Alessandro: “<laugh>, The name of the new one? We don’t have a title yet, but, um, it’s, um, it’s still gonna be, supernatural Horror, like Sound of Silence, but it’s gonna be the perfect second like step, you know? And so it’s gonna be a little bigger in terms of a movie, a little bigger part of a mythology. And we are going to try to make a very commercial ride, a fun ride full of scares. Um, like a Smile movie would be like the Smile movie. Oh yeah. But at the same time. Yeah. Uh, but at the same time, that movie and ours and our movie too will try to, to get that has a very psychological, you know, element. So we’re going to, uh, we’re gonna have, it’s gonna be very, very relatable for I guess all of us or most of us, cuz it, it, it will handle grief and, loneliness and depression.”


So we were gonna have a very more serious and like, uh, lead leads, characters journey, uh, and psychological. And they say, and at the same time, we’re gonna have a fun ride of scares. That’s the idea. And we are very excited about it. Cause first, because, uh, I’m hoping that we’ll get a slider, bigger budget to make it, and, second, cause we’ll bring in all the experience we got from the first movie. So we can’t wait to show what we learned from the first movie. And then for like last, we finally we’re finally gonna be able to, um, you know, move away from the sound on and off tricks to build the scares. So since we love creating the Scares, we’re going, we’re gonna go back to, um, creating ver very inventive and, you know, crazy creative scares without, you know, being stuck with the sound, uh, concept. So that’s, so those, those are the reasons why we’re very excited about it. And, uh, we should be able to start shooting in May. Mm-hmm. We lost the script. Yeah. I’m hoping, like, of course, it’s not like 100% sure, but you try Safe. But yeah, we should be able to start shooting and having the movie ready around October. That’s the idea. And yeah. Very excited about it. Mm-hmm.”



Kelli: “That’s awesome. And, speaking of making movies, how did the three of you get together?”


Alessandro: “We met seven, like eight years ago. Yeah. Eight. Uh, and we started T3. Uh, and we started, you know, working together on, on very small things. And then we made, um, uh, a first experience, a very low-budget Italian horror movie in 2018. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Together. Uh, and then after that movie was selected, a Scream Fest in 2018, we came to LA for the first time. We met some people, and then that’s when the T3 was born. And then that’s when we started working on this T3 project and building the Dior vision. We started shooting the shorts. Um, and then we, and now we are here with the first English, with the first T3 official mm-hmm. Feature at the Sound of Silence and more to come. Yes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, hopefully at Stay, hopefully.”



Kelli: “So all three of you direct, is that correct?”


Alessandro: “Yes. You know, many times people ask us how we make it and survive. How do we pull it off? Uh, you know, how do we handle our egos? And, you know, the key for us is that it’s never about our egos. Our egos or about what we like or about our like what we, meaning who we are. Yeah. Us. But it’s more about the movie. So we manage to make the best choices and dec and the, and decisions for the movie all the time. So even if you know someone is not, does not, does like, is not, or does not agree on something that we, we now trust each other enough to know that if the other two are pushing for something, that’s because it’s good for the movie. And, of course, it helps that each of us actually does his own thing.



Like I, um, so we split on set. So when we write and create, it’s the three of us together. But then when we are on set, we split and like I do the cinematography and camera work and then the editings or those technical things, uh, he does, uh, set designing and writing and production builds (points to Stefano). He also builds things, and he also cooks for everyone. That’s definitely helpful. Cause he’s a great cook. And we love, you know, treating everyone on set as a family; that’s key for us. So like, food and like hugs all the time and just being happy all the time. That’s the only way we can make anything happen. Having everyone happy about what they’re doing and caring for what they’re doing. Yeah. And then if you wanna say, where is me? I am an actor, so I speak with actors and, and this is the most moment for me, it’s the magic moment for me. So, uh, let’s ask if it’s, everything is true to Penelope <laugh>. Is this true? We keep a family on the set. <laugh>.”



Daniel: “I stand by everything they said. <laugh>.”


Kelli: “That’s amazing. Now, Penelope, let’s talk about you.”


Penelope: “Yeah. So, hi.”


Kelli: “So, is this your first film?”


Penelope: “Yes.”


Kelli: “Wow. Really?”


Penelope: “Oh yes. <laugh>”


Kelli: “You did an absolutely fantastic job.”


Penelope: “Oh, thank you. That means so much. <laugh>. Like, I was really nervous going into it, and still now, looking back on it, I feel like, I wanted to do so much more. But, you know, that’s obviously anyone’s response to their own work. But it means a lot that you say that. Thank you.”



Kelli” You have an extremely expressive face. Like you can just read your face, you know, what your character’s feeling. I mean, you can just see it and believe it. And that’s a great thing.”


Penelope: “Thanks, <laugh>.”


Kelli: “So how did you come to be in the film?”


Penelope: “Um, I knew Marita, who plays,  Seba in the movie, uh, because we went to the same acting course while we were in Rome, um, with this American director, uh, Danny Lemo. And we both had this American dream sort of approach to things. And that’s where we met. Um, and Rakus from Turin, which is where T3 is from. And so they had worked together. And when they were looking to cast someone, they had asked Rocco if he had any suggestions. And so he passed me the audition, and then I eventually auditioned, and here we are. <laugh>.”


Kelli: “Right, right. Well, I mean it. I mean, you did great. I’m a little surprised it was your first movie. That’s, that’s impressive. What was it like trying to get in that state of mind that Emma was, that panicky, scared, terrified frame of mind?  How did you get there?”



Penelope: “Um, challenging for sure. Um, but I never felt it throughout the process. Like there weren’t people that were, that weren’t trying to help me to get there because I had all three of them, but especially, especially Daniel, who’s the acting side of T3. He coached me throughout the film without being overpowering. He was just fine-tuning those bits where, you know, maybe we were in a different moment of, uh, the chase, as I call it. Uh, and so it was a different type of fear, and there were different nuances to that. And he was extremely helpful, as well as everyone every other actor on set. Um, they were so generous with me, especially Rocco, who, uh, is the one, well, I don’t wanna give anything away <laugh>, but we, um, um, we really got off of each other, um, for both the good and the bad of the movie. And, uh, really, when you’re shooting something like that, all you can hope for is that you get someone like him on the opposite end that can help you get to where you need to get some extremely grateful for this guy. Not only for getting me the job but also for being the talented person that he is.”


Kelli: “Are you nervous about the movie coming out?”


Penelope: “Oh, yes. <laugh>. They keep sending me videos of us being sponsored on IMDb, and we came up after a shot of Mia Goth, um, for Infinity Pool. And I was like, and I have no business standing next to Mia Goth. Like, there must be some kind of mistake here. Um, but, um, it’s new for me. And again, um, I think there’s a sort of stigma from people that are not familiar with the industry that you always have to be top of the game, top of the range at everything you do. But it’s a process for us as well. It’s their first movie, they did it with a very small budget, and because of their attitude toward it, they’re getting rewarded for it. And I’m just grateful to be on the journey with them. Like, this is huge for me. I never expected to be on IMDb <laugh> at my first feature movie. Come on. Um, so it’s exciting, it’s scary as it should be, but it’s, it’s really exciting.”


Kelli: “Well, congratulations. And like I said, it impressed me, and I’ve watched a lot of movies, so I see great things for you in the future.”



Alessandro: “We wanna turn her into a horror final girl. That’s the project. So now let’s see what happens. But that’s the project we already told. We at T3 agree with you that she has a bright future. She has. And she works very well in this genre, in my opinion.”


Kelli: “Yeah. Well, that’s awesome. A future scream queen, then.”


Alessandro:Yeah. Yes. <laugh>.”



Kelli: “Do you have another role ready to go? Are you taking a break between movies?”



Penelope: “I’m in London at the moment trying to, you know, do the hustle <laugh> that, uh, most actors are doing. And I’m, I’m staying open, I’m learning the ins and outs of the career because at the end of the day, especially for the place where I’m at at the moment, you’re still trying to balance your career and the reality of the industry. So, um, I’m getting on my feet at the moment, but again, it’s another reason why I’m extremely grateful to have worked with these guys, <laugh>.”


Kelli: “Oh, I’m sure it is. I would love to see the sequel, personally, but even if it doesn’t, the ending was good. I could see a whole franchise filled with haunted objects.”



Alessandro: “Oh wow. I’m so happy. I’m so happy that, that you enjoyed the ending we had, we had a lot of fun. That’s, that’s how, like, I think that from that scene, you can see how much fun we have with the scares. That’s exactly what we love to do. And we, and we, and already there like, like we were very happy that we could, like I said before, move from the sound, you know, uh, talk, um, uh, concept and make playing with something different. And, and, uh, and that scene, um, you know, we made a, um, a short in 2019, it’s called The Crime Boy. And that was also screened at Scream Fest. And it’s about a painting. It’s about a haunted painting, and it’s a, it’s a different story. It’s something different, but and we have an amazing feature that we’d love to develop from that movie, but it’s a bigger movie, and we are not ready for that yet. Um, but you know, this, this final scene was inspired by that cuz we love paintings, and we love those types of scares. So that’s the most fun that we have. <laugh> scenes. Yes.”



Kelli: “I’ll tell you something. It’s hard to spook or scare me, but Sound of Silence got me. I jumped before the opening credits even ran. So y’all get brownie points,”



Daniel: “<laugh>, Hey, good. Good. This is good. Really good.”


Kelli: “I can’t wait to see what y’all do next. The premise of Sound of Silence is simple; the film is well executed, the effects are nicely done, and the cast has a great cast. I’ve got high expectations for all of you now.”


Alessandro: “Yes. I’m happy with that. Yes. Trying to meet those expectations will be harder now. Yes. <laugh>.”




T3: ledt to right Stefano Mandala, Alessandro Antonaci, Daniel Lascar  Credit: T3


T3 (Alessandro, Stefano, and Daniel) make an amazing team who have created an entertaining horror film that you should definitely check out. You can learn more about T3 by visiting their website. Also, keep your eye on upcoming star Penelope Sangiorgi (pictured below), whom I expect we will see in many films in the future.


Penelope Sangiorgi Credit: @samuelblackphotography



Discover the Sound of Silence on VOD and digital platforms on March 9, 2023. For updates and more, follow Penelope on Instagram and T3 on Instagram.



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