Director Nick Dalmacy Discusses SCORN.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some creative folks on my blog. In fact, I’ve probably done more interviews than informative posts because I’m inquisitive like that. An information junkie, I’ve been told. And if I don’t actually sell books while sharing these interviews, so be it. I have enjoyed each one. I hope at least one or two readers have too.

Well, Director Nick Dalmacy recently gave me the honor of an interview, where we discussed his movie SCORN. Since I’m a native North Carolinian, and that’s where he resides with his lovely wife and SIX children, I am tickled pink to share this with you.

IMDB Synopsis: Scorn takes a look into the trials and tribulations of a group of people dealing with relationships, love, pain and friendship during the course of one year.

Q. How did you come up with the title for the movie?

A. For some reason the title just came to me. I was lucky! I’m terrible when it comes to titles. I sometimes need my wife to help me with names and titles. I never really thought about the title while writing the script until I reading the newspaper about a woman getting back at her husband for beating her and they mentioned that famous quote “Hell hath no fury, than a woman scorned”. And the rest is history.

Q. Was it more difficult to write the script or direct the film and why?

A. Being an independent, I would say that both can be evenly a challenge. You’re really never done writing a script. You change numerous times while writing it. You rewrite it during production. And you rewrite during post production. If I was to go back and read the script and compare it to the finished film, it’s very different. Some scenes were cut out from the shooting phase. Dialogue was changed even during the post production sound phase. It was total madness! So doing the film in whole, from the moment you enter FADE IN on a blank page to the final picture lock, is difficult!!

Q. What is the main advice you would give an aspiring film director and/or script writer?

A. Learn the craft. Don’t go into this business seeking fame and fortune. The ones that get into this for all the wrong reasons tend to fall flat on their face before the cameras roll. Leave your ego aside. You have to be patient and collaborative. You’d be surprised how many times I had to look towards my team for advice if I wasn’t too sure of something. And the main thing, learn the craft!

For a screenwriter: This is simple. Just write! Write! Write! The more you write the better you will get at constructing your character, telling a cohesive story, building the plot. It’s good to read other scripts and books on screenwriting. A colleague of mine recommended this book “Story” by Robert McKee.

Q. Where did you learn how to direct films? Is going to film school essential?

A. Film school is not really essential. IT’s a good place to meet other filmmakers who you may eventually work with down the road. You’ll be able to use the equipment when you need. But don’t think that you’ll be able to get a job as a director or producer or editor right after graduation. You still have to struggle and network and ultimately raise the money to shoot your first film. Degree or no degree the struggle will always be there. But to each their own. I went to NYU film school and It still took me over 10 years to finally get my film done. I first learned how to direct when I did a music video for an independent music label. I don’t really count the class room sets because you have professors to help guide you and some people can get a little comfortable with that. Once I did my thing on my own, I felt liberated and wanted to do more. But you never stop learning, especially with today’s technology in filmmaking advancing every so often. Look at the masters like Scorsese and Spielberg. They created some of the most influential films of all time and yet they still had to learn the craft of 3D filmmaking. Bottom line is that you may get the knowledge from books or in a classroom or online on aesthetics but you will continue to learn on a film by film basis.

Q. Leading lady, Tawanda Auston, mentioned this was her first time acting. What was it like working with a new actor?

A. It was a challenge working with new actors for the simple fact that you have to rehearse countless times with them. Before and even during the shoot! It can get a little agitated at times because they are trying to get how you want them to convey the role. At times they can nail it during rehearsal but then when it comes to shooting, I would feel the same as I did when we first rehearsed it. I’m like, you had it some weeks ago and what’s the problem now? lol. Anyway, it did help me become a better communicator with actors. I worked with both seasoned actors who barely needed direction and novices and the one thing I learned is how to communicate and collaborate with talent. Once you can get those two factors down, then everything will be as less stressful as you may think.

Q. What is the next project you are or will be working on? What is the expected release date?

A. I am currently adapting a book called Respect The Jux for Frank Matthews with the hopes of also directing it. I recently completed a feature script called Sound Clash which I will hope to start raising the financing over the summer.

Q. Which director do you most admire and why?

A. Jean-Luc Goddard (Breathless, Alphaville) — An outlaw from the french new wave cinema. He was unconventional with his craft which I truly admired. I watched Breathless over and over while editing Scorn.

Thank you for the interview, Nick. I wish you, your family, and your career in the film industry MUCH successs!

For more information about SCORN, visit http://www.scornmovie.com and watch this INcite-tv interview, where Nick gives more incite into his characters, his writing process, and why people will benefit from watching his movie. You can also follow the movie on Facebook and Twitter.

Hip Hop Is Alive–Meet Davida Chanel.

As an indie author, I must market and promote my books to people I know. Which means I don’t have anonymity. So, you probably already know my real name is Davida. *takes a bow* But that’s not the interesting part. Going to law school with another Davida–THAT was interesting. People got us confused all the time, but I didn’t mind. There was no one cooler to share my name with.

Meet DaVida Chanel. She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She’s ambitious. And she’s a filmmaker. Today, I’m THRILLED to share her artistic side with you.

1. What was the transition from law school graduate to pursuing your passion for film/television production and being an apprentice for Vincent Cirrincione (long-term manager for Halle Berry) like?

DaVida: My intention for going to law school was to work in the entertainment industry. While at Thurgood, my peers (you included lol) were seeking internships with local firms and judges whereas my path was different. I interned in the office of Matthew Knowles at Music World then during the summer following my sophomore year I went to L.A. and interned for the Los Angeles Film Festival and Handprint Entertainment. So my goals for law school were to be in a position to work for someone like Vincent so it worked out quite well.

Dicey: I’ll bet that internship with Matthew Knowles was more exciting than mine. I’m jealous. 🙂

2. Having lived in Houston, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and New Orleans, LA, which do you think has a richer arts culture? Why?

DaVida: Hands down NEW ORLEANS! I’d wanted to live in Los Angeles since I was like 8 or 9 so moving there was a huge deal in my life. Living there was exciting-it is a city where everyone is hungry for the same type of success so it is very business like-people generally begin conversations with, “What do you do?” and your answer may determine if that conversation continues.

I didn’t enjoy my time in Houston but in all fairness, I think it was because I was in school. As you know the law school curriculum doesn’t leave much room for anything else. I basically went to school, church and happy hour so not sure I truly experienced the “culture” of Houston.

But New Orleans…well New Orleans is where my soul comes alive! There is something about this town-it feels as if it is alive and I love it! Creatively I’ve blossomed here and I feel like I’m a part of an artist community. I absolutely love living here!

Dicey: You make me want to catch a plane to NOLA right now.

3. Does your academic background play a role in your current roles? In what way(s)?

DaVida: Going to law school or becoming an attorney wasn’t really a passion of mine but I do believe the education I received was invaluable. A legal education prepares one for life in a way that is difficult for me to articulate. For instance, my knowledge of contract law comes into play daily-I’m anal about making sure all parties involved are on the same page (always seeking an offer, acceptance of that offer and valid consideration lol). Torts law helps me be ultra aware of my rights and that I’m not being taken advantage of in any situation. Finally, my law school education plays a huge role in my communication. I always feel the need to explain myself or rather my point and provide backup information for what I’m saying.

Dicey: I get what you’re saying completely. I wasn’t passionate about it either. It felt like a means to an end. I thought I needed to perfect my day craft so that I can pour money into my true love. Now, I feel more like an artist moonlighting as an attorney. LOL I must say that getting a masters and going to law school was the loooong way around being an author, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m better able to negotiate contracts, research, network…and I have more experiences to draw from in my writing.

4. As an African-American woman, do you find the film/entertainment industry a welcoming place for minorities? If not, how have you overcome this challenge? If so, what do you think is most influential in creating such an environment?

DaVida: This is a great question and as an African-American woman behind the scenes I do feel welcome. I’ve always been able to capitalize on employment opportunities and felt the process of hiring was fair, based on experience not race. The problem is I don’t know that many people are aware of ways to get that required experience. I’ve interned A LOT and I’ve worked extremely hard for no pay at points and have constantly had to start over from the beginning in my career.

Dicey: I’m glad the market is welcoming and that you’ve had positive experiences! I get what you’re saying here too. The creative process comes naturally, but making a name for yourself requires hard work. Sometimes unpaid work. For me, that translates into giving away books after putting my time, heart, and soul into writing them. But you have to get your product out. You must gain exposure. And DaVida? I believe you will continue to do so.

5. Lastly, what is the last project you completed and what are you currently working on?

DaVida: My last project was Hip Hop Is Alive a play that I produced for the New Orleans Fringe Festival that I’m looking to take on the road this Spring. I’m currently working on USA’s COMMON LAW to premiere this summer starring Michael Ealy.

Dicey: Awesome! Looking forward to seeing his eyes him in the premiere. 🙂

Check out this promo trailer for DaVida’s play HIP HOP IS ALIVE:

Thanks so much for the interview, DaVida! I’m so proud of you for going after your dream. Keep me posted on future projects.

I love supporting indie authors, filmmakers, and musicians. More interviews to come.