26th Raindance Film Festival 2018
UK PREMIERE | BEST ANIMATION SHORT | USA, 9 min | Tickets
An ex-con gets wrapped up in a con within a con.
Hey Nicholas, thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?
Going great. Have really been enjoying the festival run of BLIND MICE and working hard on my next projects.
Are there any nerves ahead of the screening?
Always some nerves. With short blocks, every screening is different, where the film is placed in the lineup and what films come before and after can really have an effect on how the film is received, it's a bit of roulette, but that also makes it exciting. Festivals are really the only chance a short filmmaker gets to experience the film with an audience, so each screening is a cherished experience.
What does it mean to be screening Blind Mice at Raindance 2018?
Screening at Raindance is very important. It's not only a top festival, but it's a festival that takes risks. Many of my favorite films have played there and I'm honored to be a part of that history. Also, I've always dreamed of going to London, and this will be my first trip there.
Tell me a little bit about Blind Mice, how did the film come about?
BLIND MICE is the second of two short films I made with funds raised through a Kickstarter campaign. In many ways, it's the culmination of many interests and styles I have been working with over the years. The creation of not just a film, but of a world, an aesthetic universe where this is just one of the many stories happening in it. The first film RING AROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH can be seen on Vimeo where it is a staff pick or at poxfilmsinc.com.
What was the inspiration for your screenplay?
The screenplay was inspired by a real-life hustler and pickpocket of New York's lower east side around the turn of the 20th century. This is a very important time, not only for the birth of my medium of filmmaking but in many ways it's a codifying time for American social structures regarding race, poverty, and criminality. Stratifications we are still dealing with today. I used the mix of anthropomorphic and human characters seen in the early animated films of Disney and the Fleischer's as a way of expressing these social stratifications. Who is American and what it means to bear that title is central to the arc of the film?
What was the most challenging part of making this film?
Every step is challenging, especially when it comes to stop-motion, and the most challenging elements are usually the most banal so I'll tell you the least challenging part, which is getting to work with other talented, intelligent, enthusiastic people. It's also the most rewarding part of the process.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Yes, always. The magic of animation has intoxicated me since childhood and years of working in documentary and live action taught me the power of filmmaking to cause social change, all of these modes are combined to create BLIND MICE.
What is the most valuable lesson you're taking away from making this film?
The greatest lesson I've learned is that all it takes to make something worthwhile is just keeping at it.
"...I hope the audience leaves with a feeling that no matter who a person is..."
How would you describe Blind Mice in three words?
American Anthropomorphic Noir
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?
My first goal is that the audience connects with the characters and goes along with them on their journey and in so doing leaves with a new perspective on a story and characters they may have had very solidified preconceived views on going in. Most of all I hope the audience leaves with a feeling that no matter who a person is, no matter what they do, no matter what mistakes they make, everyone has a poetry to them, everyone has the spark of life, and it takes all of us to make up this lyrical dance we call life.