This is the next post in a series of interviews with writers who have had their first films, web series, television assignment, etc. make it to the big or small or computer screen. It is an effort to find out what their journey was to their initial success.
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Next up: an interview with Nick Felice, writer/director of Getting Out
Nick Felice became inspired to become a film director at age 13 after seeing Martin Scorsese’s “Casino”. At the age of 16, he started taking video production classes in high school and bought his first VHS camera to make short movies. Also at this time, he wrote his first feature screenplay and has been writing ever since. Over the past 15 years he has written/directed/edited and produced numerous short movies and commercials. In 2007, he attended the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan where he excelled even more in the art of film-making. His first short movie as a writer/director, “One Night In Rochester”, was even hailed the best film out of the class. At his graduation, he was nominated for two screenwriting awards as well. All of this lead him to personally finance his first feature film “Getting Out”.
What is the name of your first screenplay that was produced, or your first project that was produced, or your first writing assignment?
The title of the first feature screenplay I ever wrote was The Games People Play. I wrote it at age 16. Most of the shorts I made in high school didn’t have titles. My first titled short that I wrote, directed and produced was called The Signature. My first feature film is Getting Out.
Can you tell us a bit about the journey as to how it came about?
I spent about six months writing the script for Getting Out while residing in Missouri. I then posted the movie on a Michigan acting website hoping to gain interest in the project and planned on shooting it in Michigan. After being bombarded with submissions from talented actors in the Detroit metro area, I managed to nail down a cast and crew (having never met any of them). With what little money I saved to make the movie, I moved up to Michigan where I spent nine months from the time we started shooting to having the final cut. I hope it will gain interest within the film community and showcase my talents that will lead to other projects.
Since completion, it has been accepted for showings at many film festivals and has won awards at Universal Film Festival in Kansas City, Missouri; Nevada International Film Festival; Los Angeles Urban Film Festival; and The Boston Independent Film Festival.
- Tell me a little bit about the experience of having the project come to completion.
I’ve always longed to make movies and will always have that desire. After having my first feature come to life though and seeing all the awards and recognition it has received for being a little indie movie, it all seems surreal to me. I feel all of it has been a long time coming.
- What was the hardest obstacle to overcome in achieving that first project?
The hardest thing I had to overcome (with my shorts) was working with my friends and not serious actors as we would always joke around too much and not work. As for my feature, it was fighting time and dealing with a limited budget.
- What have you learned about the industry when it comes to being a writer?
That success doesn’t happen overnight and people like me are just a little fish in a big pond.
- What are you working on now?
I’m hoping to have cameras rolling for my next feature early next year. It’s titled “Desperate Cowboys” and I plan on shooting again in Michigan and using some of the same actors. The script is finished. I’m just waiting to see what “Getting Out” does financially.
- What is your favorite movie or TV series?
Favorite movie is Once Upon A Time In America
- Where do you think the movie and television industry is heading? What do you think its future is?
As it is now, I think the industry/Hollywood is more focused on money-making blockbusters and less on telling good stories through movies. Also, I feel that in a few years film is going to become all digital one way or the other.
- What parting advice do you have for writers?
If you’re serious about writing, don’t ever give up, no matter what obstacles you have to overcome. It took me nearly 20 years to write/direct my first feature and I even surprised myself with what I did with it. Of course, I was always in it for the long haul.
- What do you do when you’re not writing? What do you do to get away from the industry?
When I’m not writing I watch a lot of movies whether at home or in a theater. As for the industry, I’m not really *in it* as of now. Hopefully with “Getting Out” the industry will take notice of my capabilities and talent and open their door to me.
- Tell us something about yourself that many people may not know.
When it comes to film, I’m not after celebrity or fame or even an Oscar. I’d just like to make a living making the movies I want to make.
Bryce Richardson, http://ow.ly/OWxBS
Tracee Beebe, http://ow.ly/ODrGq
Mary Krell-Oishi, http://ow.ly/Olp7W
Stuart Creque, http://ow.ly/O1Ubu
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