Saturday, August 7, 2010

ActNow Profiles...

Darren 'Nice' Malone

Darren ‘Nice’ Malone began his film career as a production assistant. He built his skills in all aspects of filmmaking and found his true passion to be writing, directing and cinematography. In 2004 Malone, armed with his knowledge of film and video production, founded Nice Looks Entertainment, a multimedia production company.

“Consequences” Malone’s directorial debut won The 2009 Indie Fest Award of Merit and is the SDBFF Official Selection for 2010. Malone took some time from his very busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.

How did you know you wanted to pursue a career in film?

I always had dreams of making movies. Even when I was little my brothers and I would act out epic sagas in our backyard. I would pretend to have a camera, since we couldn't afford a real one. I took theatre classes in junior high, acted in plays in high school, and worked on student films in college, even though I majored in Computer Science. After working in the corporate world for a while, I was laid off due to budget cuts. That was the excuse I needed to return to my passion.

Where did the inspiration for "Consequences" come from?

There were many inspirations for the setting, tone and characters. The main concept was inspired by true events that took place in a small town in the South. I thought about how stories like this usually end up on Jerry Springer or Maury Povich, and are presented as entertainment. The difference is that many real stories end in tragedy and children are affected by the outcome. As for the characters, they are all inspired by real people I have encountered at some point in my life, directly or indirectly.

"Consequences" was co-written by Celestine Rae. Did you find it easy to work with a partner?

It was a great creative experience, but difficult at times. I had never worked with another writer before and was very hesitant, at first. The story was about 95% completed when I wrote the opening scene. Celestine volunteered to help when I became stuck with dialogue between the mother and daughter. I quickly realized that having a young woman's perspective brought more depth and realism to the female characters in particular. I'm extremely visual in my thinking. Being that the characters were from my personal experiences, the most difficult part was communicating their characteristics in a way that made sense to someone from a different background. She asked many great questions that forced me to examine their motivations and backstories. I was pretty stubborn with the overall vision, because I didn't want to lose the message behind the story. It wasn't easy at all, but I think the result was definitely worth it.

What impact do you think this film will have on audiences at the screening?

You never know what impact a film will have on an individual. I just hope everyone enjoys the experience and takes something positive away with them.

Congratulations on winning The Indie Fest Award of Merit for "Consequences". How did it feel to win an award for your directorial debut?

It felt like I could exhale a little bit. I felt like "Ok, at least it doesn't completely suck." *LOL. Really, I was so excited. I felt so relieved that someone outside of my circle saw the film, liked it, and got the message. It gave me a lot of confidence for the future.

You watched "Consequences" with Michael K. Williams. (Omar from "The Wire") What did he think?

I never want to answer for someone else. He seemed to like it a lot. He pointed out particular plot points and character arcs. I was just glad that he really watched it and paid attention to the details.

What is your next project?

I'm gearing up for my first full-length feature. It's an indie project based on a novel which was released. I can't really give too many details right now, because there' still a lot of paperwork to be done. I will say it's going to be intense. I'm also launching a monthly video magazine which features actors, models and filmmakers. There will be interviews and also video segments very similar to still photo shoots for models and actors. The first issue should be out later this year.

What sparks your creativity?

Literally everything. The smallest details of life to the whole universe. I know it sounds a little out there, but I am truly inspired by everything past, present, and future. I'd have to say science and technology are special interests of mine, though.

How would you best describe your writing style? And what advice can you give writers struggling to complete a project?

I guess I'd describe it as 'visual emotion'. I see the story unfold visually and jot down the main points. Then as I'm writing in more detail I get inside each character's head to feel what they are experiencing. With action or suspense scenes, I sometimes feel like a spectator in the scene that is hidden to the characters. Like I'm there, but just observing.

As far as advice...Finish it! Even if you don't like the first draft, just get it done. It is much easier to have a complete draft and fix it than to sit for weeks pondering over each detail as you write it out.

Finally, can you name a film that changed your life?

Star Wars original trilogy. I'm still amazed by those films. The geek in me loves the sci-fi, but the story and the adventure is what pulled me in. It's why I wanted to make movies.

Check out "Consequences" August 11th at Littlefield. Showtime 7:15pm

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