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An Interview with Christopher Di Nunzio, Director of Under the Dark Wing

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2013

Films directed by Christopher Di Nunzio on (re)Search my Trash


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We have talked about this at quite some length before [click here], but in a few words, your new film Under the Dark Wing, what is it about?


Johnny Boy goes on a routine job, things go awry when he meets a vulnerable young girl. His boss George sees her as a money making opportunity. Neither one has a clue of the deep dark secret that lays within the girl. Once revealed it will change the lives of these thugs forever.

For me it's about people who try to control others with fear, the unknown, and life and death.


Under the Dark Wing is a bit of a mash-up of gangster and horror/fantasy motives - so did you at all let yourselves be guided by/play with genre rules, and other influences on your movie?


No I don't believe in rules. At least not in cinema. There are no rules only guidelines that you create for yourself but those are more just personal filmmaking techniques than anything.

I had been watching a lot of Bergman, Bela Tarr and reading about the philosophy of death. I kind of wanted to play off of my upcoming feature film A Life Not To Follow and do something different with the crime/noir type of setting. Also I really wanted to shoot a film in black and white.

I also have been wanting to make films that are more personal to me. One part of this film is about life and death. That's a personal thing for me because at a young age it's something that I had been thinking about and been exploring more as I got older. I have a lot of feelings about it that I can't express and filmmaking helps with that.


I think Under the Dark Wing relies quite heavily on style and atmosphere - so how did you go about achieving this, all storyboards and planning or also quite a bit of improvisation?


There's always some improvisation when making a film, but me and our cinematographer Nolan Yee went to every location beforehand and discussed how to shoot everything and how the lighting should be. We pretty much tried to cover every base and then tried to execute it all the best we could. The music plays a big role in the atmosphere as well. I picked the pieces I wanted to work with and felt would help further tell the story or give it the feeling we wanted. Pedro Alvarado is another big contributor to the overall atmosphere. He writes fantastic dialogue as well. With him on board I can focus more on the smaller things. Everytime we get together and work on something it's so fun. It becomes a deep philosophical conversation about characters and life.


You produced Under the Dark Wing with Skip Shea [Skip Shea interview - click here], a quite accomplished filmmaker in his own right. So what was your collaboration like?


David Graziano

He is definitely an accomplished filmmaker. His last film Ave Maria just won a big award at a film festival in Italy! Congratulations again Skip!

I wanted to work with Skip for a few reasons. 1, I know he gets things done at a fast pace and still puts out high quality work. 2, it's a good chance to get to know him better! Our collaboration for me was to have someone to bounce ideas off of and just get things done fast and the right way. I knew he would get the script and if there were any flaws he would be able to point them out. It's always a good learning experience to work with others whose work you respect. I also know if something wasn't going right Skip wouldn't be afraid to let me know. Skip was a big help with getting things organized and making sure we stayed on track.


Fiore Leo

Do talk about your key cast for a bit, and what was it like working with them?


David Graziano [David Graziano interview - click here] is an actor that I just started to work with and we quickly became friends. On my last film A Life not to Follow it was just amazing to watch him completely transform into the character Tobias Kane. He has a great understanding for the script and acting as a whole. He really cares about the outcome of the film and he puts so much energy and effort into his performance. It's a pleasure to watch him work.


Jessy Rowe

Keith Bennett

Fiore Leo is someone I have worked with a lot in the past. He's just so professional and someone I can really trust on set. We have a great working relationship and I'm always happy with the outcome of his performance because he just prepares so intensely. He always seems to be asking the right questions and is always on the same page with me. He's a name that people need to know.


This is my first time working with Jessy Rowe. She was absolutely fantastic to work with and it took me a very long time to find her. Skip and I kept looking through a bunch of different possibilities and no one was fitting the bill. Then boom we found Jessy! At such a young age she's very professional and can adapt to the situations she's in. She takes direction extremely well and she's one of nicest people you'll ever meet.


Keith Bennett is just a fun guy who I think if he keeps at it he'll do a fantastic job! Again he's someone who takes direction well he's great to have on set. He wants to learn and contribute. He also has a great look for film and is just an all around solid guy.


What can you tell us about the actual shoot and the on-set atmosphere?


The shoot was a breeze. It was really easy. The best I have ever had and that has a lot to do with Nolan Yee's preparation. All the actors came in prepared and ready to go as well. The crew showed up pumped and it was as smooth as it could be. I wish I had a good story to tell but it was just fun!!!


The $64-question of course, when and where will the film be released onto the general public?


As of right now were just sending it to the press and getting more feedback. For screenings we want to aim at film festivals so keep a lookout on our Facebook page to find out more information about upcoming festivals. After the festival run I'm sure we'll find a way to release it online - but to see it soon get to those film festivals!


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Right now I'm writing a few things. I'm concentrating more on feature films but nothing too much to talk about just yet. I'm working with my writing partner Pedro Alvarado on a script and I'm trying to write, something else that I can take in a new direction. The big thing I'm waiting for is to finish up A Life not to Follow, which looks like it should be done very soon and we'll have it ready for the 2014 festival season.


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


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x-rated  find Christopher Di Nunzio at

My website:

Under the Dark Wing:

A Life Not To Follow:


Anything else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?


I think I covered it all! As always thank you so much for taking the time to interview me.


Thanks for the interview!


© by Mike Haberfelner

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and shall not be held responsible for
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Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


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Michael Haberfelner


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