FILMMAKER Q&A – Nolan Schmidt – Director, Producer, Writer, Actor, Co-Editor

GS: What was the inspiration for your film?

NS: I honestly didn’t plan on making a sequel to my first short film (which was originally made in 2008), but after the first film’s 2017 Redux version won the So Bad It’s Good award (and found its audience) at the 2018 Austin Indie Fest, I decided to finally make a sequel after getting a few interesting ideas in my head (which some of them made it to the final cut).

GS: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

NS: I came up with the idea on Halloween 2019, which was pretty funny when I look back to that day. It took the entire month of November to write the story into a screenplay, and then I filmed it within two days in December. After filming, my buddy, Zachary Hudson (who was my co-editor and cinematographer), and I went to work on editing, and soon, another friend of mine, Timothy Martinez, did the music. After I got the music from Tim, it didn’t take me too long to finish the final cut right in early January.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

NS: Well, it’s to make sure you’re able to tell all the story within a certain amount of time. Though the script was about 14 pages, the final product was about 19 minutes. I wanted to make sure it also had a good, steady flow during both production and post. Thankfully, Zachary was a big help on that as he was one of the few people involved with the project that really wanted this film to be as good as it could be for a low-budget short.

GS: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

NS: I would say timing during filming. We had a very strict sense of timing to make sure we didn’t lose too much daylight. There was one scene shot outside in the early afternoon that was edited to be Day-for-Evening, and one exterior shot done before the ones shot at night that was later edited as Day-for-Night. Plus, we tended to fool around a bit between takes, but made sure that the scenes were shot with the time we had.

GS: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

NS: The only thing I can think of is to make sure to find the people willing to help you with your project. I was very thankful that all of those involved in Reaper Island Part II were all my friends, so it was easy to get their advice, especially like I had with Zachary, who told me when the best time to film (Mid-December) was for the aesthetic look and feel the film needed.

Global Shorts Award for REAPER ISLAND PART II.