Your movie The Nixer
- in a few words, what is it about?
Beyond the obvious gangster capery stuff, it's about not being happy
with where you are in life and wanting to do better, but may be not having
the ability to get where you want to go.
What were your
inspirations when writing The
It's been so long since I wrote it I'm not
sure I remember. I started writing it when I was in college so at the time
I would have been watching things like Spaced,
Black Books, a lot of Tarantino films and whatever weird things I could get my hands on. I do
remember that originally it was a very different script, bigger, with car
chases, explosions and all sorts of stuff. That was all scaled back when I
realised I'd have to pay for it. But the video store was always in it, I
always loved the idea of working in a video shop that wasn't part of a
Nixer being at heart a gangster movie - is that a genre at all
dear to you?
I do love gangster films, it's one of the
genres that just fascinates me. I think it's because it's a genre where
the characters are less black and white than others. There are rarely
clean cut good or bad guys, it's one big grey area which allows you more
directions to take the story. Plus it's fun and there's lots of guns.
Nixer features a cast of quite colourful characters - so who do
you identify with the most?
Well as a writer you have to be
able to identify with all your characters otherwise they're not going to
come across as believable but which one do I identify with most? I think
I'll cop out and keep that to myself, it might reveal more about me than
I'd like it to.
What can you tell us
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
auditioned the cast upstairs in a pub in Dublin city centre, the process
took two days and the cast I picked were just the ones that stood out as
the best for their respective roles which is a bit of an obvious answer.
I suppose the auditions did change my mind about some of the characters,
like Daniel was originally supposed to be younger then Michael who was
supposed to be more of a mentor to him, but during Ray's audition for a
different part, someone who knew him suggested I have him read for Daniel
and after that I rewrote the part.
I think the only people I didn't audition were Neill Flemming and Rory
Mullen, I had been working with them on the set of Portrait of a Zombie a
few months before and loved their performances. Since filming I have
worked with a lot of the cast again on various projects, they are an
incredibly talented bunch and it helps that they are all lovely people and
so easy to work with.
Do talk about the film's
look and feel for a bit if you can!
Well firstly it was
important for me to have the film not only set but shot on the North side
of Dublin city, it has such a unique character to it that can't be
replicated anywhere else. Also being from there I wanted to shoot the
areas I grew up in.
With the look we were going for, a sort of gritty realism for want of a
better phrase, I think the word gritty is a bit overused but I can't think
of another one. So that and the pacing are what I think really made the
film for me. Because it is a low budget indie film it was important that it be fast paced and there be no opportunity for people to
interest. This was made possible by two things, our DOP Padraig Conaty who
has a great style of shooting and the fact that it is very hard to get
Irish people to talk slowly.
words about the actual shoot, and the on-set atmosphere?
was surprisingly relaxed considering we shot the whole thing in ten days.
Of course I'd have to give all credit to my producer Lisa McNamee, the
whole thing would have fallen apart without her. But the cast and crew
were incredible, everyone got on so well. It was like a weird little
hippie commune with a bag full of fake drugs and money.
can you tell us about audience and critical reception of your movie?
far the movie seems to have been received well, people seem to really like
it. I think the best screening we did was in Mexico City in CENTRO –
Diseño, Cine, y Television, the crowd really took to it there.
future projects you'd like to share?
At the moment there's
a few things I'm working on, I've got another feature called Whitewash
that I'm trying to raise the funds for as well as a six part TV series Flats and a sci-fi graphic novel
Nemesis in the works.
What got you into
filmmaking in the first place, and what can you tell us about your formal
education on the subject?
When I was 11 my uncle got Pulp
Fiction on VHS, so me and my brother were sent out of the room while the
grown folk and my two older brothers watched the film. However the door
separating the TV room from the kitchen was glass so I lay on the floor
and watched it through the glass. I didn't know who Tarantino was or
exactly what a director did but after seeing that film I knew I wanted to
do it. So I spent four years in The Dundalk Institute of Technology and
then went on to do my masters in TV and radio production in The National
University of Ireland Maynooth. But I got my first job on a film set when
I was backpacking in Australia called Sleeper which was directed by Dru
What can you tell us about
your filmwork prior to The Nixer?
to The Nixer I had been a
freelancing continuity supervisor, which I still do now as well as camera
op and focus puller. It's important for me as a director to be familiar
with everyone else's job on set but being able to work in different
departments it also means every job I do is different so I never get
As far as I know, The
Nixer was your debut feature film. So what caused that big step, and what was the exerience
like compared to your earlier work?
The big step was caused
by impatience and boredom. There wasn't a lot going on at the time work-wise for me and I didn't want to wait around so I thought why not do it
Nixer I had done a few music videos, documentaries and a short
film called Deadline - none of which were anything like The
Nixer. I shot
my first short film about four months before shooting my first feature,
and I can safely say it didn't prepare me in the slightest. Still I don't
think there is much I would have done differently.
would you describe yourself as a director?
I'm not really
sure how to describe myself as a director, I'm just happy I get to make
stuff up for a living.
who inspire you?
I think everyone has films they watch and
think I'd love to do something like that or where they admire the talent
of the filmmakers, but I get most inspired by the people I work with on a
day to day basis. You'd be amazed at what comes out of a conversation on
set or down the pub.
Your favourite movies ...
and of course, films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
movies I always find the toughest question cause the list is soo long as
soon as I say anything I change my mind. So taking into account were not
including TV here's a few of my favourites, The Godfather, Star Wars
(original trilogy), Casino, Almost Famous, Serenity, On the
Waterfront and Chumscrubber.
I'm not going to name any films I deplore as I'd like to believe every
film has some redeeming feature even though that's not true, but saying
that am not a fan of horror films.
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Film website: www.thenixermovie.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheNixerMovie
you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
can't think of anything else at the moment but if you have any more
questions or if I didn't give enough info on anything let me know!
for the interview!