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.