A TRUE NATURE, 15min., USA, Fantasy
Directed by Nickolas Powers-Gomez
Plague survivors, Liam, Bird, and Hamill navigate morality and survival instinct as they struggle to make their way through a treacherous new world in order to reach the nearest safe haven known as, "the station."
A True Nature explores the themes of human nature and natural selection through the scope of survivors set in a post-apocalyptic world pushed to the brink of anarchy by a global Pandemic. Originally, the film started out as an experiment in the Zombie horror genre, but the real-life events unfolding scientifically, societally, and politically during the covid-19 pandemic redirected the course of this film. I realized the story had the potential for deeper subtext about the downfalls of a divided society and the choices we make as humans when faced with the power of nature and our own mortality.
Get to know the director:
1. What motivated you to make this film?
I was inspired to make this film because I had a lot of thoughts and feelings in regards to the way society was responding to the events of the covid 19 pandemic and how divided and polarized society had become when in the grips of fear.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
It took 2 days of production to shoot the project and overall from initial concept to final cut it took roughly six months.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
Finding a location that had all the set pieces was the biggest obstacle. I had previously produced a film shot fully in exteriors and that experience made me very aware of the importance of logistics and ease of getting to each set when filming in a forest setting. We wanted a location where we could have all the necessary set pieces in a small area and still have the feeling that the characters were traveling long distances through unique places. After a number of location scouts and countless meetings with local administrations, we were lucky enough to find and work with Redwood City parks and rec to lock in Stulsaft Park that had very diverse landscapes in a one mile radius and it made production much easier to plan.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
I was very pleased that the audience really got the message of the film and understood the deeper human struggle that the characters faced throughout the film. One comment that stood out was that this film wasn't a typical zombie horror, it was a human story set in a zombie world. Which is exactly what I wanted to create.
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I realized I wanted to make films after I studied animation and Illustration in college. I knew I wanted to tell stories and I had a talent for drawing, so I went the animation route but throughout my studies I found the process of animation was too slow and tedious for me. During that time, I was able to create a live action short film in a digital media class and with that experience I immediately knew that film was the medium for me as a storyteller.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I would have to say there's a handful of films that I always find myself rewatching over and over again. They are: Jaws, Alien, Casino, The Beach, and Snatch
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I think every festival should have a networking component. Now that filmmaking is a global industry it's imperative that aspiring filmmakers be able to connect and build a network of capable film pros. i think film festivals are the best place to find those opportunities if facilitated in the right way.
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
Filmfreeway has been a great resource to help promote and distribute my films in the festival circuit.
10. What is your favorite meal?
Taqueria street tacos.
11. What is next for you? A new film?
I am currently developing two projects. A series titled, "Food & Humanity," which explores the nostalgia of food and how that connects us as a society. The second is a feature project Titled, "Monsters & Men," centered around the philosophy of Stoicism and the themes of redemption.