Hello Nick! Thanks for taking the time to briefly discuss your upcoming thriller, Safe Place. Tell us a little what the film is about.
SAFE PLACE is about five college students that attend a party (Nathaniel Matos, Yvelisse Cedrez, Nick Graffeo, Kat Kemmet, and Timothy Noble) to celebrate their friend's (Ashley Mary Nunes) successful art show opening. Their presence triggers memories of a traumatic event in the host's (James Taylor) past, and he resolves to positively impact the course of their lives - by ending them.
Ha, that's pretty twisted. How did the film's premise come about? Any films you could point to as inspiration?
The film's aesthetic is definitely inspired by some of the works of James Wan, including films like SAW & DEATH SENTENCE, more overall inspirations point to movies like the 2003 remake of TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, FALLING DOWN, FRAILTY & many more. The film's message is universal; You have to fight to stay alive in the world. This film will delve into the psyche of the everyman, the why behind the things we do & choices we make. The title and premise is a formality miniscule to the overall message and feel of the film. SAFE PLACE specifically came from the rationale, what if the place you thought was a safe haven wasn't safe at all, and further was equally or even MORE dangerous? We all have an escape, but what if our escape wasn't available anymore to us? Then we as humans are forced to go against the norms, against the barriers, and break through them. The mind and body is capable of wonders when properly motivated. I explore ALL that and more here with SAFE PLACE.
The trailer for Safe Place has seen great success and visibility in the online space, and the film's production is getting healthy coverage. Does the positivity help greatly to push through the more difficult parts of production?
The positivity of the teaser trailer's success has been a MASSIVE motivational tool. I want to be clear the success is based on the public, not by mine or my team's own personal doing. The almost 6,000 views as of this writing are from UNPAID, ORIGINAL, and voluntary promotion. My team and I included, have NEVER paid for any advertisement for SAFE PLACE and have had amazing success. In the 18 months since we announced production we have an organic social media following of over 50,000 people that over the past 18 months have interacted with, followed, liked, reacted to, or shared our posts. With this being my debut feature film, its INSANITY, not to mention our brand being featured on 70+ podcasts, radio shows, webcasts etc. there are NO SIGNS of slowing down.That is what really makes the hard parts livable. Its a hard business to get into, a hard business to succeed in, and i have always been realistic in that I knew when I came into this it was 150% or nothing at all, I've had trials & tribulations, but I will continue on as i have many things I've promised the public i need to successfully fulfill!
When should we expect to see Safe Place completed, and how are you planning to distribute? Festival run first?
SAFE PLACE, FINALLY goes in front of the cameras in November for a hopeful 2nd quarter 2018 release. We always hope for things like theatrical distribution, and higher success than most, reality is our money will most likely be in online sales, dvd/blu-ray, subscription services, etc. we want to make this as accessible to every home in the world. Following the 1st quarter of 2018 we will be going on a festival & convention BONANZA everywhere & anywhere we can go! We may even be in your town spreading the fear!
We heard you refer to the film as a "socially conscience slasher", which is both funny and intriguing. Was creating a cast this diverse a priority from the outset?
I should explain the term "new slasher" or "socially conscience". I don't want to make something that tarnishes, makes fun of, or copies the originals THAT IS DISRESPECTFUL. I am not making a SCREAM or a parody. Our stories have evolved in horror, but the construction, the execution, and sometimes the characters are written just the same as 1985 and beyond. I feel as though we get the same character archetypes, and see the same "slasher" rules and mistakes being broken. Wouldn't it be comforting to NOT yell at the screen for someone to "not go in there", or "don't do that"? Not see the people make the same stupid decisions? Go into this movie not knowing WHAT THE HELL is going to happen? Well then, this movie is for you! Our slasher is molded and packaged to APPEAR as its predecessors, but underneath is a clever and complex creature that will be VIOLENT, VISCERAL, and NASTY, but also have heart, and soul, and life to it. In order to do this I need a very multi-talented, and both racially and culturally diverse, cast and crew. It is of the UTMOST importance my films showcase strong independent women portrayed in a positive light, and gives opportunities to actors with disabilities, and opportunities for the LGBTQI individuals to shine without being held by horror's sometimes rarely-changing platform. It is very important that the world sees this as different and knows the talent of seemingly different people who aren't so different at all.