You’re nicked, Nick!
David Black interviews the amazing, up and coming director, Nicholas Mulheron.
I’ve just finished watching a well-paced, beautifully shot short film called “What’s Your Genre?” by Nicholas Mulheron. I loved the concept of constantly changing eras and styles within the one story. Nick tells me that he doesn’t have an IMDb and most of his work is unproduced screenplays. He adds that he decided to direct “What’s your genre?” because he wanted to give producing his own screenplays a go…
Well, that has me confused! The quality seems way too high for a first time director. And that’s not just my imagination because this little piece that has been produced for the “Unscene Film Festival” has already clocked up over 8, 360 views on Vimeo after just 3 weeks! I’m going to have to get to the bottom of this and grill this suspect!
DB — Get in there! Now!!! If you want me to take the handcuffs off Nick, you are going to have to comply! You give me something and I’ll give you something. Capiche?
Nick — I’ll do whatever you say! Just don’t hurt me!
DB — So let’s get to down to tin tacks mate! What is your background? Where did you come from and what did you study? C’mon, and make it snappy!
Nick — I grew up on a dairy farm in a place called Swan Marsh. If you think you know where that is… you don’t. If you think there are swans there… There isn’t. As you can probably guess, it can get quite boring living in the middle of nowhere, so cinema became a way for me to experience the world. And when I had consumed all the stories at my fingertips, I turned to creating my own for entertainment. Eventually I escaped my cow milking prison and moved to Melbourne where I pursued a career in filmmaking. I completed an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media at Swinburne, took some time off to find myself then got accepted into VCA.
DB — Sooooooo…… Mr Mulheron! You really expect me to believe all of that? Just tell me something about this project that can make me believe that this is your work and not nicked from one of Hollywood’s top studios? Get the pun? Nicked, Nick?
Nick — It’s all me I swear! I have the script to prove it. The film was made specifically for the Unscene film competition so we had to follow the theme “the future of cinema”. I started thinking about the rise of ‘binge watching’, and how it somewhat mirrors the behaviour of an addict. People have become so hooked on stories with the rise of on demand services that they sit there for hours watching the endless amounts of content.
So what comes next? That’s when I came up with the idea of a pill that when ingested causes a cinematic hallucination with you as the main character. The ultimate film experience.
DB — Hmmmm, nope! That ain’t quite cutting it for me Nick. Tell me about another past project. I need to hear more.
Nick — When I was at Swinburne I went through my preachy leftist phase and made a short drama called “The Spilt”. It was the story of a child stuck between his arguing parents in a psych session. I was never happy with the result but I learnt a lot moving forward. Now I focus entirely on trying to find something more commercial that still has a strong story I want to tell, rather than making a film solely for myself. Since then I have focused on writing mainly, and now have a fair few scripts under my belt ranging from short films to television episodes. I worked on film sets where I could keep growing my skills. This year, I finally felt I had the experience to make my comeback to directing.
DB — So let me get this straight, you still expect me to believe all of that? Tell me, what skills do you have that makes you so special? What do you have that makes you different to all the other run-of-the-mill movie makers?
Nick — Ideas are my preferred currency. Stories and worlds have always appeared in my head and film offered the best way to bring life to them. I have a keen story instinct that allows me to create a compelling pace in my work while also bringing something fresh to the table. But an idea can only get you so far, being a low budget director is about assembling a group of talented people to bring it to life and cover your weaknesses.
“What’s your Genre?” would not have turned out the way it had without the skills of all those involved from producer to runner. Everyone worked so hard and believed in the vision I wanted to create. I think that is one of the biggest keys to being a director, to value and understand all roles involved.
DB — So, if I let you out of here, where do you see yourself being in five years’ time? Are you going to go on the straight and narrow? What are your plans?
Nick — With three Emmy’s and an Oscar under my belt of course! But really my only goal is to make a living from my stories. I’m a simple man who only needs internet, a laptop and a TV to be happy. The reaching for the stars dream job would be one in America. It’s weird, but because I have consumed so much content from there it’s always felt like where I belong.
DB — OK Nick, I’m going to let you go but first, you gotta give me some links so that we can trace your whereabouts!
Nick — I have an IMDB now!
I try and keep social media to a minimum but unfortunately in today’s world you cannot survive without Facebook, so you can always find me there.
Links go here: You can have a look at my latest film “What’s Your Genre?” at https://vimeo.com/240451248