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An Interview with Nick Snow, Director of The Blacklight

by Mike Haberfelner

November 2022

Films directed by Nick Snow on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your new movie The Blacklight - in a few words, what is it about?

 

The Blacklight is a genre-bending supernatural crime thriller. Despite trying to leave behind a life of crime, Danny reluctantly teams with naïve rich kid Liam and wildcard drug dealer Kit Viper for a robbery that leaves them in possession of a mysterious supernatural artifact with immense power. Ultimately the film is a parable about greed and the lust for power

 

You came up with the story for The Blacklight with one of the film's leads, Brooks Russell - so how did you two conceive the idea?

 

I had a great group of character actors I had been working with for a while, and I wanted to write some great parts for them. As the characters developed, the story started to take shape more and more. I brought Brooks in as a writer fairly early on and he was a great help with structuring it out and finding more interesting paths for the story to take.

 

Your sources of inspiration when scripting The Blacklight?

 

We were really inspired by the classic Guy Ritchie style crime comedy thrillers, where you have a big ensemble of colorful characters all clashing against each other.

 

To what degree could you actually identify with Liam or Danny - or any of the other characters for that matter?

 

Well, the characters in this movie are all driven by an emptiness in them, and a longing to fill it with something. They're just drawn to the wrong things. I think to some extent I identify with that kind of longing. The film is kind of a cautionary tale about seeking the wrong things.

 

What can you tell us about The Blacklight's approach to the thriller genre?

 

I introduced the supernatural element to add a different dimension to the genre than I'd seen before. It kind of gives the story permission to be really larger than life and go to some pretty crazy places.

 

A few words about your overall directorial approach to your story at hand?

 

The Blacklight mashes a couple genres together, so it was really about finding balance between those. On one hand, the film is basically a neo-noir, where it's this really heightened melodrama, and you get to watch these amoral characters driven to their destruction by their own worst impulses. So I drew a lot from that film noir tradition of high-contrast, expressionistic imagery. It lets the audience know right away that this story will be larger than life. And because the story has a very wry sense of humor, you can have a lot of fun with the style in a way that gives the audience permission to laugh. On the other hand, there's a dark, supernatural side to the film, so I used a lot of horror techniques like slow, creeping dollies and unmotivated camera movements, as though the camera is aware of something the audience isn't. It helps create that sense of dread and foreboding.

 

Do talk about The Blacklight's key cast, and why exactly these people?

 

A big part of why I wanted to make this film to begin with is because I have so many insanely talented friends and it seemed like a great way for us to mutually showcase our abilities. Most of the main actors are friends who I've worked with many times, so I had a sense of their strengths and tailored the roles to them. They all had such great instincts and ideas that really elevated the material even further.

 

What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

Because of the low budget, this film was shot very untraditionally, in sections over a long period of time. Everyone has their own lives going on outside of this, so it was tricky to find times where all the actors needed for a given scene could be in the same room together. Thankfully everyone was great about making it work.

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Blacklight?

 

We've gotten some great reviews and really positive feedback overall. It's hard to say with a wider audience at the moment since it hasn't been out very long.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

I'm in the middle of writing a new feature now that we can hopefully get off the ground soon. It's a modern mystery thriller in the vein of classic noir detective cinema, but given a more modern sensibility.

 

What got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I love storytelling in general, but I think cinema speaks to me more because movies were so important to me growing up, both as escapism and a way to learn more about people or the world. So that visual, cinematic language is kind of baked into the way I think about stories. To me the big attraction of filmmaking is giving people the kind of experience I want when I sit down to watch a movie. When it's truly engrossing and exciting, it's such a fantastic feeling. I love the challenge of trying to create that feeling for others. I studied at a 1 year film program, but most of what I've learned has been through practice.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to TheBlacklight?

 

The Blacklight is my first feature I've written and directed. Before that I had worked on a variety of film projects like short films, comedy sketches, music videos and commercial content.

 

How would you describe yourself as a director?

 

Passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic.

 

Filmmakers who inspire you?

 

Stanley Kubrick, The Coen Brothers, David Fincher, Ridley Scott, Paul Thomas Anderson and Guy Ritchie.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

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The Seventh Seal, The Big Lebowski, Network, The Shawshank Redemption, The Silence of the Lambs, The Elephant Man, Nights of Cabiria, Road to Perdition, Blade Runner, The Innocents, The Deer Hunter, 2001: A Space Oddysey, The Passion of Joan of Arc.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

Not a big Zack Snyder fan. And The Shape of Water is an awful movie, I'll stand by that to the day I die.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

www.DashfordMedia.com, @dashfordmedia on Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok.

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD