During my time in this crazy world of entertainment, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know some really cool individuals. One such person has been “Jill of all Trades,” Nicole Kruex. It’s always refreshing to meet someone who understands the reasons behind your views of the industry and how it works. Nicole talks about her newest film, “Discursion” (in which she acted, produced, and did pretty much everything under the sun with this film) being put out by her production company, TriWar Pictures, some of her experiences with the industry, her own thoughts on the “overnight success” illusion, AND shares her love of gaming. Read on!
MU: Ok, you’ve worked in many different areas of the industry (modeling, acting, directing, producing, music, and I’m sure a few others escaping me at the moment). What part of the industry would you say you’ve enjoyed the most so far?
NK: My absolute passion is acting. I’ve been a performer since I was six years old. Most people are unaware that I took competitive dance for 7 years, I took on two roles in my elementary school play, I’ve done theater, commercial acting, and as of late Feature Film. Much unlike those around me I don’t actively pursue it as aggressively as most, but for good reason. Every year there are hundreds of indie films being produced, but only a few of them are really strong and incredibly sound films. When I started this? I wanted to do everything I could, I knocked down almost 60 projects in 18 months… but I realized I had nothing of worth to show for it. I was told by a talent rep that works with Spielberg that my course of actions were hurting me for large role consideration and so I slowed down and now just look for really good projects to be a part of vs. any project. It puts you between a rock and a hard place. I LOVE my indie friends, b-horror, and fun films… but I had to make a decision about what and who I wanted to be. Well, I’ve made it… and this year will prove a whole new reality about who and what I hope to become.
My second love is producing. I love the busy work of getting a project ready to be shot and the adrenaline rush of making it actually happen!! I do this for a living. Projects of all kinds from commercial to feature. It is HARD in the worst way but challenging in the right way. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, but love those that can handle the pressure!!
MU: Recently, your production company, TriWar Pictures, completed production on the film, “Discursion.” I like the concept of the film and was curious about how the idea came to be.
NK: HA! Discursion is the most incredibly ridiculous reality I’ve lived yet. The Director, Mitchel A. Jones, and I were watching these incredibly bad films release by Lionsgate. I don’t remember what the titles were or even what the movies were about? But we made a split second decision to just go shoot something, ANYTHING. So many people talk about it and then create a million reasons why they can’t make it happen, ie. money, resources, time etc. We were essentially broke, but we had a camera and the drive to make it happen. (Funny though, we had no script) We decided on a concept we knew could be easily shot on a dime budget and only needed a bit of cash for SFX. Enter Indiegogo!! We literally walked down our street and shot a 10 sec jib shot that we turned into a 50 sec teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH3zgdI-f3c
People got excited… we raised twice what we asked for and then investors started to call. Before we knew it we had a budget large enough to include actors and a bit more storyline. We wrote the script in about 2 weeks and in November of 2010 we started principle photography.
The film proved to be nearly impossible to shoot.
We had to postpone shooting until March of 2011 for dozens of reasons, but it allowed us to fine tune the project. We fought hard up though the summer and by October? We’d completed the entire film. At present we are in talks with distribution and waiting for the final word on the next steps to get the film out there to the public. From the beginning we expected none of what happened to actually happen but we’ve learned a great deal along the way.
MU: Now being that you have worked extensively in the independent realm and the entertainment industry in general, do you feel that there is a sort of disconnect in how people tend to view the industry vs. how it really works? I ask this because the mainstream media tends to saturate us with stories of the so-called ‘overnight successes’, the American Idols, the reality tv ‘stars’, etc. Do you think that such images tend to give (especially) young people a rather unrealistic view of becoming the ‘next big thing’?
NK: YES YES YES. There is no such thing as overnight success. It takes years of relationship cultivation, lo to no-pay projects, talent development, networking, etc. People don’t realize that even though it seems like Eli Roth or James Wan walked out of the door one day a successful director or some of these unlikely actors just appeared on screen without a history of trial and error? Each of them has a story of no money, eating ramen for breakfast lunch and dinner, and hoping that someone, anyone, would take notice of the little project they were in or created.
I’m amazed at how many filmmakers who’ve never created more then a short film assume that 100K is a reasonable budget to ask for. That would be like applying to be a doctor without attending college. There is a level of financial risk involved that no amount of “just think how cool this film will be staring my friends” will ever live up to. BUT If you pull out all the stops on a dime and make it look like 100k? Chances are someone will take notice and with a proven track record of completing something? You’ll get your chance at the 100K, then 1M, then who knows?
MU: I think we can both agree that despite the many strides women have made in the industry, there are still many challenges and stereotypes that follow us. Is there any particular challenge or stereotype that still tends to rear it’s ugly head at you?
NK: Funny thing? As an actress, it’s not so much being a women as it’s being an American Indian/ African Mix. I’m a Midwesterner, and one of the greatest challenges in my neck of the woods is available roles. Most calls for females are strictly “Caucasian” or “Black” with very little in between. I long for a market like Florida, Chicago, or New York where there is a larger market for every color.
But as a female producer? My community is very supportive!! There will always be the idea that men in the industry prefer to deal with men, and I’m okay with that! I’ve positioned myself with a great partner who is just as passionate about this as I am and will express my needs/concerns when I can not. I look at it as an advantage for the both of us, my female wiles and his force as a strong male at the helm gives us the opportunity to be an unstoppable force if we work hard at it.
I firmly believe in the power of a female in business? But I also believe in some of the duties of a female presence in a relationship, taking care of your significant other is important to his sense of being as a man and that means stepping aside to let him handle things as he requests. He knows I’m strong, I don’t need to prove it to anyone.
MU: Onto a more cheerful topic. You’ve done some recording in music. Are there any plans to do anything further with that?
NK: Yes ma’am! Mitchel and I are planning a project in the next year or so to turn out something reminiscent of ’30 Second to Mars’. Music is a great hobby for both of us, he’s played guitar for 15 years and I’ve sang for as long as I can remember. We want to take a serious look at performing for fun.
MU: If a 16 year old were to come to you and ask you for advice on ‘making it’ in this crazy business, what advice would you have for them?
NK: First of all… it’s not going to be easy, but it will be rewarding if you work hard at it! Don’t compromise for greatness, let no one take advantage of you, and nudity is NOT a necessity to a successful career. You must always do what you are comfortable with and don’t let any sleezy director tell you otherwise. Many incredible actresses never showed a nipple and are making millions in Hollywood, or at least they waited to work with reputable directors for real money. I’m not saying not to? Just saying that it’s not a requirement so don’t be pressured into it unless you are comfortable.
Also… don’t quit. If you really want it? You have to fight to get it. It may take a while but as long as you don’t quit? You’ll succeed one way or another!
MU: Are there any particular projects everyone should watch out for?
NK: TRIWAR will be producing several projects in the next 18 months. I wish I could give details? But at present they are too young to breath a word about. Keep an eye out though!! You’ll find out first hand at www.triwarpictures.com. You can visit me at www.nicolekruex.com, catch my gamer blogs on www.alienbee.biz, or findout about Discursion at www.discursionmovie.com.
Nicole Kruex Official Website
Nicole’s Gamer Blogs
Discursion the Movie
Tiffany Apan is an award winning and acclaimed independent recording artist along with being a stage/film actress, producer, and writer. You can find more about her at her Official Website , Web Blog, MySpace , Twitter , and Facebook . She can also be found on IMDb and her music releases on CDBaby along with iTunes, Amazon, and other digital retailers. She also writes for the publications Rogue Cinema and Horrornews.net . She is also responsible for starting up the Music’s Underworld Webzine .