Your new movie Up on the
Glass - in a few words, what is it about?
Up on the
is an indie thriller about a wanderer-type named Jack
DiMercurio who secretly desires the life and wife of his more affluent
friend, Andy Shelton. Past tensions surface between the two men during an
informal reunion at Andy’s cottage on Lake Michigan. One heinous act
allows Jack to draw close to Andy’s wife Liz, but Jack finds living
Andy’s life is a dangerous lie.
What were your sources of inspiration when writing Up
on the Glass?
creative partner Kevin Del Principe [Kevin
Del Principe interview - click here] and I were inspired by the slow-burn
psychological vibe of stories by Patricia Highsmith as well as the class
dynamics in The Servant, a 1963 drama whose screenplay was written by
What can you tell us about your writing partner (and director)
Kevin Del Principe, and what was your collaboration like?
very lucky to have found a partner in life and creativity in Kevin. We had
worked on a couple short films together that we co-wrote and that I acted
in and he directed before embarking on our first feature, Up on the
These experiences allowed us to establish a solid collaborative
foundation. I'm constantly inspired by Kevin's depth of insight, and I'm
always learning from the way he brings that perspective on humanity into
his creative work.
on the Glass isn't your first time working with Kevin Del Principe
- so what can you tell us about your previous collaborations, and how did
the two of you first meet even?
first met in the Writing for Screen & Television MFA program at the
University of Southern California in Los Angeles back in 2011. We became
friends while in school and kept in touch after graduation by
participating in the same writing group. Over a matter of months after we
graduated, our conversations deepened and, ultimately, we became a couple.
Though we had been together for some time by the time we shot Up on the
Glass, it was actually the herculean effort of making the film that
inspired us to tie the knot. The extraordinary outpouring of support from
our families and the local community where we filmed helped us to realize
the value in bringing people into our lives in the form of shared
What were the challenges
bringing Up on the
Glass to the screen from a producer's point of view, and how
hands-on or hands-off are you as a producer?
Given Up on
the Glass is an ultra-low budget film, one of the biggest challenges
was making the most of the resources we had at our disposal. We could not
have made this film without support from the local community of Shelby,
Michigan where we shot. People put up cast and crew in their homes.
Businesses allowed us to use their shops as sets. One of my closest family
friends, Tom Schultz and Julie Woods,
their kitchen into a canteen and prepared every meal for cast and crew. We
had a lot of help, which I needed as the sole producer on set with Kevin
focused on directing.
have to talk about Up
on the Glass's location, and what was it like filming there?
very excited to be able to share the beauty of Lake Michigan and the
surrounding community in Up on the
Glass. I grew up spending summers there
as a child and so this place will always have a special place in my heart.
also appear in front of the camera in Up
on the Glass - so what can you tell us about your character, what
did you draw upon to bring her to life, and did you write her with
yourself in mind from the get-go?
Kevin [Kevin Del Principe
interview - click here] and I did not write the role of Kate for me from day one, as the
script took shape, we recognized that she would be a good fit for me. Once
that decision was made, my experience spending time in the lakeshore
community of Shelby began to inform Kate's character. In that sense, it
was not a stretch to bring Kate to life. Though her history is different
from my own, we both feel at home in that Lake Michigan coastal town and
want to believe that people are mostly good at heart.
Do talk about the rest
of Up on the Glass's
cast, and as writer/producer, how much of a say did you have when it came
to casting the movie?
and I made the casting decisions together as a producing team, though, of
course, his sentiment as a director mattered greatly in making these
choices. Our casting director, Rachel Imbriglio, did an incredible job
finding actors who would be well-suited to each part. Each of our cast had
at least some connection to the Midwest, which we felt was important for
bringing the feel of this small-town environment to life.
A few words about the shoot as
such and the on-set atmosphere?
shot the film in eleven and a half days, and so we had to move fast and be
efficient. I'm very pleased that we were able to take advantage of the
natural beauty of the environment by shooting outdoors, which I think
helped to expand the world of the film.
Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of Up
on the Glass?
the most part, I think people tend to understand the story of the film.
Everyone has felt like an outsider at some point, and that's really the
crux of Jack's story. We're early on in our roll-out to critics, but I
anticipate that it will be a mixed bag depending on the critics'
appreciation of films made in an independent spirit.
Any future projects you'd like to
Del Principe interview - click here] and I have started thinking
about developing Kevin's novel, I Animal, into a movie. I'm also working
on a novel, and we've created a press arm for our production company
Them Wild Dogs called Save Them Wild Dogs Press and will be releasing a
book of poetry, Tracking the Masked Dawn, by Brian Brogan, this fall.
What got you into the filmworld to begin with,
and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
studied screenwriting in the University of Southern California's MFA
program. This is also where I first dipped my toes into acting. Wendy
Phillips, known for her roles in Bugsy and the TV show Big
Love, taught an
acting class for writers. She encouraged me to continue training as an
actor and took me under her wing. I'm really grateful for her mentorship.
seem to be equally comfortable in front of as behind the camera on your
projects - so what do you prefer actually, and is there anything you could
really do without?
am a writer first and foremost, but I also find acting incredibly
rewarding. As an actor, there is something magical when all the
preparation comes together in a moment, and the character becomes real.
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Up on
and I wrote two short films together that I acted in and he directed. We
were able to screen both at the Other Venice Film Festival in Venice, CA.
These experiences definitely prepared us for making Up on
Filmmakers, writers, actresses,
whoever else who inpire you?
am inspired by Tom Ford's specific choices and eye for aesthetics. I also
love the humanity of Debra Granik's films. As far as actors go, I think
Alicia Vikander has amazing presence.
Your favourite movies?
absolutely love The Clouds of Sils Maria, and Gladiator is a guilty
and of course, films you really deplore?
When it comes to well-known films
that many people applauded, I did not care for Amadeus.
movie's website, social media, whatever else?
Facebook, Twitter & Instagram: @upontheglass
My website: https://nikkidelprincipe.com/
Company website: http://savethemwilddogs.com/
else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?
covers it! Thank you for the interview!
for the interview!