GEORDIE: Hi Nik, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about your new short film 8:47. I’d like to start by asking where the idea for 8:47 came from and also your decision to shoot the film in one take, which came first, the story or the one-take idea?
NIK: Well, I had specific key visuals in my head for a little while. I actually started writing different versions of it a few years back, but this time around the idea of doing it in one take really made me want to commit to solving how to pull it off. So I wrote the opening section and then came up with the approach of treating it like a play. So I guess the story and approach kind of happened at the same time.
GEORDIE: Having a varied and successful background in Music Videos, Commercials and CGI Animation must have been quite handy when it comes to making your own short film. What were some of the benefits that you were able to apply to 8:47?
NIK: Funny you mention that. My goal for this film was to actually throw away everything I knew and felt comfortable with. I have a background in visual effects and design, so I wanted not to rely on that training. Keep it raw. Be disciplined and purely focus on performance and camera. It was a great exercise. Really forces you to get your hands dirty and nut everything out. But that being said, being exposed to and having experience making music videos and working on feature films, obviously helps understanding the process.
GEORDIE: Most good sci-fi seems to stem from low budget movies that are more focused on interesting ideas than giant effects blockbusters. Do the budget limitations drive you to be more creative, think about something other than the obvious?
NIK: Oh they definitely do. It’s a common theme that we see in films and filmmakers’ careers. Our need to tell stories sometimes forces us to deal with what we have to work with and find solutions. That’s why I really enjoyed the challenge of this film. It was like solving a puzzle; never did I think it was unsolvable. Sure with more money it may have been easier, but it would have also been something different.
GEORDIE: The Australian film industry is either in a healthy state, or at deaths door, depending on who’s sound bite we hear from one week to the next. What is your take on the current state of the Australian film Industry?
NIK: I love, and hate this debate. And I agree, everyone you talk to has a different opinion. I guess I have accepted the up and down nature of our film industry. There are days where I too feel like it is blossoming, then others when there is no hope. But to be honest, to me, it always comes down to the filmmakers. The stories. There are many ways to get your work out there today. We just need to accept that it may not be the traditional way. Aussies are hard workers. And there is great talent in this country. We just need to keep pushing.
GEORDIE: You obviously have ambitions to move into feature film making, how difficult is it raising the capital in Australia to fund a genre feature?
NIK: Seeing as I haven’t quite done it yet, I would say, very hard! Ha! Look, to me, if you can find a story that resonates with an audience, then that path is clearer. Like I said, there are many ways to get your work seen, so I don’t like to have excuses. Just gotta keep writing and making films
GEORDIE: 8:47 has had a few festival screenings already, two fantastic showings at big film festivals: Fantasia in Montreal and Hollyshorts in Los Angeles, when and where can we see 8:47 nationally?
NIK: We want to see how far it can go in the festival circuit. But when the time comes, I’m very keen to launch it online as we have some great supporting material to really expose the challenges on making a film like this. Rehearsal footage, behind the scenes go pro footage. It was an intense process and experience.
GEORDIE: An easy one to finish, what is your favourite classic film, when you first saw it, why it’s still a favourite; and any new releases that have impressed you?
NIK: I love this question. I have a story. As a very young kid I had some friends who’s parents owned a video store. This was back home in Macedonia. We would sneak in and “borrow” films to watch them. Films we were very much not allowed to see. The first film I ever saw was Robocop. Fucked me up real good. Kind of desensitized me pretty quick but I loved the realization of how much cinema can affect an audience. I’m a huge genre fan, I read graphic novels, I watch animated films, and I have a great time. But then I watch a film like PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, and I walk away feeling changed.
Check out the trailer for 8:47 HERE. Hopefully we’ll have a link to the full film soon…