Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Filmmaker Nick Corporon

Nick Corporon is a writer/director and lives in Los Angeles.  His LGBT-themed short film LAST CALL played in over 40 film festivals around the globe and was released on a compilation DVD in the U.K. He just completed another gay themed film EMPIRE, which is now hitting the festival circuit.  He’s currently securing funding for his new short film, BARBIE BOY. He works in TV casting.

What is the current project you are working on?

Two projects actually. I just finished post production on a short called “Empire,” a contemporary love story, which had a soft premiere at the Downtown Dayton LGBT Film Festival last month.


I'm currently raising funds for my new short film "Barbie Boy" on Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/470649909/barbie-boy-short-film-project)

It's about a little boy named Bobby who plays with Barbie dolls.  One day his father tells him that dolls are for girls and this really forces Bobby to put things in perspective.

To me it's a movie about the first time any of us really come of age.  It's about throwing away your favorite blanket...but it's on a grander level that I don't think Bobby is even aware of.  It's about killing that special little part of our selves to conform.

For most gay men I think there's a moment, in our youth, when we decide to start hiding.  We start to throw away the things that make us different.  We start covering up our differences out of fear.  To fit in.  And that's what "Barbie Boy" is about.



What is the casting process like?

Casting is one of my favorite parts of the process.  Firstly because it’s actually my day job. In between projects, I work as a casting producer for a production company in L.A.

Two, I love it because it’s the first time you get to hear people breathe life into your words.  I sit and toil on a script for months and months and when I start hearing people say my words – it’s a rewarding experience. It’s also very sobering. Things you write and think are great fall dead on the ground. And things you think could never work do. And that’s a tribute to actors. I love working with actors.

How do you measure success?

Hard to say, really.  I try not to think of things like that.  I try to see things as “Ok, this works, let’s keep on this path and keep on it.”  So I guess I measure success on just being able to keep moving, keep doing what I love.


How do you handle rejection?

Learning how to handle rejection is the greatest lesson anyone will ever learn in this industry. And in L.A.  Any actor, writer, director who is still around will tell you this.  It’s a tough pill to swallow.  More people will tell you “No” in this line of work than they will tell you “Yes.” It’s a matter of finding the people who say “Yes” and not taking “No” for an answer.  Find those people and hold on to them.

Did you always want to be a filmmaker?

I’ve wanted to be two things in my life.  Superman and a filmmaker.  Around seven or eight-years-old, I figured the Superman thing wouldn’t work out, so I wanted to be a filmmaker.  I made lots of movies with my dad’s video camera.  In high school the closest I could get to filmmaking was theatre, so I did lots of that and learned a lot of skills that have actually helped me become a better director.

What inspired you to become filmmaker?

My parents, both of whom are actors. I grew up in a very wonderful, open, playful environment that just fed into the creativity that goes into filmmaking.  My dad’s love of all things movies, too. He would take my brother and me to movies once a week in the summers.

What is the best thing about being one?

I’ve always been a kid who plays with toys. And this is playing with toys on a grand scale. Also, I think moving people emotionally is very satisfying.  I love going to screenings and hearing audiences laugh at the exact same line every time. Or gasping at a revelation. Or crying.

What is the worst thing about being one?

Well there are hundreds of thousands of me running around with cameras, making movies.  Which is wonderful, but awfully competitive.  Everyone has a camera, or a script, or a story.  And I think that’s jaded a lot of people in the industry.  “Oh you’re a filmmaker” – insert eye roll here, you know?  People don’t take you as seriously any more.


What is the estimated number of projects you have worked on?

Two high profile shorts that have played in 40+ film festivals, a fun viral video (T & A: The Musical), and have written a few features.

Who is is your favorite filmmaker?

I love old school Tim Burton.  Wong Kar Wai blows my mind.  Christopher Nolan, though really is tremendous in how he applies low-budget indie sensibilities to huge blockbusters.

What is one piece of advice you can give to someone who also wants to make it in the movie business?

I don’t have answer for that, because I don’t think I’ve made it in this business yet. Check back with me in a few years.

What do you like to do besides filmmaking?

I eat, breathe, and sleep movies, so that’s hard to answer.  But I like traveling a lot.  Spending time with family, friends.  I’ll have kids some day.

Have you had any other jobs before you decided to become a filmmaker?

Yes, in between undergrad and grad, I worked for an insurance company.  It was truly OFFICE SPACE.

What are some of your favorite American films? Foreign films? Television shows?

American films:  ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS mind is my favorite love story of all time...because I dig how it's a sci-fi love story.  AMERICAN BEAUTY because of its critique on suburbia.  THE DARK KNIGHT because it's fucking THE DARK KNIGHT!  ALIENS, PULP FICTION and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.  I like EMPIRE the best because it's the first movie where I realized the bad guys could win.  So after that I've had a bit of a dark streak.

Foreign:  HAPPY TOGETHER and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE are just wonderful poems on celluloid.  AMELIE, THE BICYCLE THIEVES, RUN LOLA RUN.

TV Shows: LOST because it's about redemption.  SIX FEET UNDER because it's about death...what a finale.  THE WEST WING for its writing, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and currently BREAKING BAD, which I think is the best show on TV right now.

How would you describe your film education?


I studied Media, Journalism and Film at Missouri State University and got my masters at Chapman University where I studied under John Badham (SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) and Gil Bettman (KNIGHT RIDER).  I would describe it as expensive, but fulfilling.

How would you describe the film "scene" where you live?

Exciting.  The good news is that we have HD and we can make movies so easily.  The bad news is that we have HD and everybody can make movies so easily.

How has social media changed the independent film industry?

I'm not a huge expert on this, but it does beg the question  - does your film exist if there isn't a Facebook page? Or if nobody's tweeting about it?

The fun part of Kickstarter for me was getting some celebrity attention.  God bless Jane Lynch (“GLEE”) for accidentally (I think) adding me on Facebook. I sent her the link and she posted it!

And then the one and only Sir Ian McKellen did the same thing. That was truly an honor because I admire him so much.  His support of LGBT projects is truly wonderful and for him to choose "Barbie Boy" to support was really touching.  He called it "a project worth supporting," because I think the LGBT ideas spoke to him.

What's your opinion on crowdfunding?

I’m currently crowdfunding “Barbie Boy” and it’s been a really nice experience. I didn’t think it would work but it is, to my surprise.  So I’m all for it, I think it’s a great resource.

How does independent film differ from the mainstream?

Money and resources, of course.  But it’s interesting how the indie mentality is vastly influencing studio filmmaking now.  I love how indie directors like Chris Nolan and Jon Favreau are doing all the tent pole movies now.  But again, the bad part is – everyone is making movies and it’s much more competitive than it was in the past.


You could go back in time and see any film being made. Which film would it be and why?

I’d have to say THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, which is my favorite movie.  How fun would it be to see them figure out how to shoot Yoda?  Or watch James Earl Jones deliver his voice over for Darth Vader?

What's your favorite movie quote and why?
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Jedi Master Yoda

What is your opinion on movie remakes and sequels?


Sequels – I actually love.  My favorite movie of all time is THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK because it raised the material to something bigger, better. Same with THE DARK KNIGHT, GODFATHER II, etc.


Remakes – BARF. I’m glad that they’re all starting to flop and audiences are realizing how much they suck.

What is your opinion on book to movie adaptions?

Love ‘em.  My favorite is THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.  My personal ambition in my hopefully long career is to adapt Stephen King’s THE DARK TOWER book series into a movie or TV series.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Just please support BARBIE BOY on Kickstarter if you can!