Paul Booth chats to Filmmaker Nick McCallum…

Paul Booth: Tell us about your film, Past God, which recently picked up two big awards at The SoCal Film Festival?.

Nick McCallum: We won Best Feature and Best In The Fest which was really nice. With the entire process and difficulty of getting a film made it definitely feels good to have the work recognized.

PB: You wrote, directed and acted. Which hat was the hardest to wear? Also, which was the hardest to take off?

NM: Overall I had no choice, but to throw myself in 100% so there was very little concern with which hats I was wearing really. It came down to focusing on what needed to get done to achieve the goal with every day being a process of figuring out the best way to do that. If anything it probably helped my acting be more instinctive not having the time to over think any moments.

PB: Tell us a brief Synopsis and any upcoming screenings?

NM: Raised in a strict religious family by his Pastor father, James Grant moved to Hollywood for the ultimate dream of Rock Stardom. After falling deep into an abyss of drugs and recklessness, James learns the devastating news that his sister has committed suicide. Upset and still under the influence, he tries to piece together her possible mindset which leads him down a dark path of life altering decisions. As James navigates his newly created world of high stakes danger and secret hidden agendas from everyone he meets, flashes of the past begin consuming his fragile mind. What could have been?

The next step for us is figuring out the best way to get it out into the world for people to see it. There are a lot of new options nowadays with streaming becoming so big. We’re hoping to have some good news soon.

PB: For your next short you made a film titled, She. Did you write, direct, act or just do one?

NM: I’m acting in a few frames of it as a flashback, but mainly I just wrote and directed that one. I rescued a one-eyed dog a few years ago from a shelter and my life changed for the better because of her. Starting out just wanting to make a fun little piece highlighting the power of love and what we’ll all go through to find it, that mysterious movie magic kinda happened thanks to this dog and people really just love it. It was truly one of those learning lessons filmmaking can teach you about not planning on any outcome good or bad. The main thing is to just be open and prepared to find the great moments when they come.

PB: Has it played an festivals?

NM: It’s submitted to quite a few we won’t be hearing from til December, but it played at Buffalo International, Pollygrind in Las Vegas and San Jose already.

PB: What directors inspire you most? Are you more inspired by the writer/director/actors like Redford, Gibson, Affleck and Clooney?

NM: I’m very drawn to psychological thrillers and noir as a genre so Aronofsky, Lynch and Nolan are some of my favorites, but really any filmmaker who’s got a unique voice and vision for their films is who I appreciate. Malick is high on that list. So is PT Anderson. Of course I’m a fan of all those guys you mention too and I’d add in Costner as well. Dances With Wolves will outlast most.

PB: What is next for you?

NM: Besides finding the best home for Past God, I’m super excited that we’re starting pre-production on my next script to be shooting in the late spring. It’s another psychological thriller that’s sort of Zodiac meets Donnie Darko meets 12 Monkeys on an Indie level.

PB: This is your moment, what is Nick’s Message to other filmmakers.

NM: Someone who I’m a big admirer of right now is Brit Marling. With the way this town is when it comes to who’s hot or who’s the “it” person of the week, you can get caught up in how daunting getting to be part of the big game can be, but looking at what she’s done, writing her own films and building that into a full on career you can’t help, but be inspired. I don’t know if I’m one to give messages, but I personally am taking that templet of finding my own creative power, what makes my vision unique and trying to stay true and focused to that. We’ll see what happens.

Interview by Paul Booth, Lead Entertainment Writer

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