Love in a Minor Key: Interview with Pazit Cahlon and Hector Herrera

An updated take on the 1940s screwball comedy, Nora Ephron’s classic rom-com You’ve Got Mail screens August 15th at Bell Manor Park as part of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos series. You’ve Got Mail depicts the relationship between Kathleen (Meg Ryan), the owner of an independent bookstore, and Frank (Tom Hanks), the executive of a big bookstore chain that aims to put Kathleen’s store out of business. The two make enemies of each other as soon as they first meet, but unbeknownst to either of them, they are online pen pals - who are beginning to fall for each other. Paired with You’ve Got Mail is the animated short Typesetter Blues, directed by Pazit Cahlon and Hector Herrera. Featuring narration by Gordon Pinsent, the short portrays the unrequited love story between two cartoon monsters who work together as typesetters.

We spoke with Pazit Cahlon and Hector Herrera about their short film.

TOPS: This year’s festival theme is titled Dynamic Duos. In your film, the two characters have different ideas about the nature of their relationship. What was it about this dynamic that interested you? 

Pazit Cahlon (PC): We’re both fans of minor key songs, so we were looking to tell a story that had a bittersweet note at the end and showed us a wide range of emotions… like life! 


TOPS: Gordon Pinsent is a Canadian film icon and has lent his voice to a few other animated characters, including the beloved Babar. What was it like to work with him for Typesetter Blues? 

PC: It was fantastic! We already knew we were really lucky to be working with him, but as we were setting up outside the booth in the recording studio, he read the first two stanzas for the sound engineer to calibrate, and he sounded so good that we just turned to each other with our jaws dropped. It was an honour and a pleasure to work with him and he was so nice to us. 

TOPS: The duo in your film are a couple of cute monsters. How did you decide what kind of creatures you wanted the characters to be?

PC: We just wanted characters that didn’t look like anybody so that everybody could identify with them… and Hector was drawing a lot of monsters during that time.


TOPS: Your film is paired with You've Got Mail, a screening in honour of the late, great, Nora Ephron. Do you have any favourite rom-coms? 

Hector Herrera (HH): Amélie

PC: How to Marry a Millionaire

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TOPS: Who is your favourite cinematic duo, and why?

HH: Han Solo and Chewbacca. They’re the perfect pair of rogues, with Han being the impulsive one and, funnily enough, Chewie being the more centred character.

PC: Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby as Wallace & Davis in White Christmas are pretty great as the quirky goofball and the straight man. 

Typesetter Blues screens alongside You’ve Got Mail (Nora Ephron, 1998) on August 15th at Bell Manor Park.