Interview: Director Paul Nicoletos discusses ‘Icarus Down’
‘Icarus Down’ is a science fiction short film, which won its funding through a highly successful Indiegogo campaign.
The movie centres on a military vessel that is shot down on an unknown planet, creating darkness and chaos amongst its passengers.
I recently caught up with Paul Nicoletos to discuss the movie as well as some of the other short films he’s created.
SFP: How did you get into film making and what is the appeal for you as a creator over say writing a book or a comic?
Paul Nicoletos: It started when I was a young child growing up in Greece.
My father was a sea captain and he would go out for six months at a time and be at sea. So a lot of the time after he’d taken care of business he’d be bored. So he would be watching movies a lot. He would buy a lot of movies to keep him busy.
So when he came home he’d bring these large boxes of movies that i’d have the whole year to watch. And that sort of become the relationship that I built with my father… of watching movies together. We both loved doing that – plus he would leave me all these boxes of movies… it just became a thing because in Greece during the 80s they were not playing movies like that. You had the movie theatres, but you only had Greek movies on TV and I wasn’t really interested in that. So that’s really how my passion for film started.
It wasn’t until I moved to Florida when I was about 13 that it all clicked.
It was then that I decided ‘This is what I want to do.’ At the time I didn’t know it was directing, but I knew I wanted to be involved in film making in some way. And later I developed and became a director.
SFP: Your new film ‘Icarus Down’ did really well on Indiegogo for the funding that it needed. What made you choose Indiegogo over the other big crowd-funding website Kickstarter?
PN: I had used Kickstarter in the past unsuccessfully for another short film that I did.
When I started reading more of the fine print… not that kickstarter’s bad. They’re both equally great. But from my point of view Ingiegogo worked better because even if you don’t reach your full goal you still get to keep what you do raise. So say I wanted $15,000 but only raised $10,000. Indiegogo would let me keep that $10.000 whereas Kickstarter would not unless I met the goal.
So for me $10.000 was still better than nothing, which was the deciding factor.
SFP: For our readers and listeners that are not in the know about Icarus Down. How would you describe it to them?
PN: It’s a science fiction and action short film.
It takes place during a crash scene and right after the crash scene. And centres on a crew that has found themselves on an unknown planet, but are carrying something in their ship, which they know nothing about, but is of much importance.
That is the catalyst of everything that happens throughout the film.
SFP: While I was watching the trailer for ‘Icarus Down’ I was put in mind of the claustrophobic feel of the very first ‘Alien’ film. Did that movie influence your creativity in part for ‘Icarus Down’?
PN: Yes 100%. A lot of my influences come from those 1970s and 1980s classic Sci-Fi films like James Cameron’s ‘Alien’s’ , Ridley Scott’s first ‘Alien’ and even some of the Spielberg films, which may not be quite so dark, but still had elements that inspired me.
Those would be my main influences given that I had grown up watching those kind of films.
Those influences kind of meld together and create what I hope will one day be my own style. But yes there is definitely a lot of inspiration from those films because they were made by great film makers. It’s undeniable to have great influences like that.
SFP: How did Reloaded Films come into being and how many other projects have you directed and produced through the company to date?
PN: The company was started by me and my sister Tedi Nicoletos (who plays Captain Althenia in ‘Icarus Down’) and our producing partner Christian Nikolas Lemberg and we started it when we went to the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.
We had already done a project before hand while we were developing the company called ‘Kill Shelter,’ which is also online and is also a Sci-Fi action short.
And those are the two projects we have created under Reloaded Films.
We started the company because we wanted to work together and pool our resources and all our connections to create high concept projects with big production values.
We have several other projects waiting in the wings for after ‘Icarus Down’.
SFP: Another film that caught my eye was ‘Kill Shelter,’ which kind of has a science fiction horror look to it judging by the trailer. Would you mind telling us a little about that project.
PN: ‘Kill Shelter’ is a little bit different. It’s still in the Sci-Fi genre, but it has more to do with Aliens.
The concept of ‘Kill Shelter’ was originally to be a pitch for a feature film.
And it goes something like this: An alien invasion happens on Earth and they abduct human beings to neuter them because they cannot reproduce. The Aliens want to merge their Alien DNA with human DNA in order to continue their species.
So we have this guy who is caught in the alien facility where they are doing experimentation who escapes and fights these aliens. That’s the short film.
It was very difficult to make. It has been going to festivals and has won some awards, which is pretty good.
SFP: We touched on this earlier, but which film directors would you say have been the most inspiring to you creatively?
PN: I would have to say Steven Spielberg, James Cameron and Ridley Scott, but in my later years Martin Scorsese has been a great source of inspiration for me.
SFP: Do you have a favorite Scorsese movie?
PN: I would have to say Goodfellas.
You can find out more about ‘Icarus Down’ at: www.indiegogo.com/projects/icarus-down-scifi-indie-film-humanity-s-only-hope
Find out more about Reloaded Films At: www.reloaded-films.com
Reloaded Films Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ReloadedFilms
Written By: Ian Cullen
Ian Cullen is the owner of scifipulse.net. A wannabe musician. Ian is a legend in his own mind and when not working on the website host the hugely successful SFP-NOW Podcast he can be found skulking around empty corridors. A longtime fan of genre television and movies Ian was also a producer on the Reality On Demand web-series and has even been published in the official Star Trek Magazine.
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