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An Interview with Christopher Di Nunzio, Director of A Life Not to Follow

by Mike Haberfelner

March 2016

Films directed by Christopher Di Nunzio on (re)Search my Trash


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We have talked about this before [click here], but do bring us up to speed: Your new movie A Life Not to Follow - in a few words, what is it about?


It's a neo-noir film told in three interlacing chapters. This is the synopsis: Eric is a dead man and he knows it. Death is imminent and he must make amends for his past sins, by killing those who wronged him, no matter the price: A wiseguy willing to do anything to move up in the world must now make the ultimate sacrifice. He must kill his best friend or in turn be killed. An FBI-agent turned PI is on the trail of a missing girl. In his long search for her he comes face to face with a host of unsavory characters who will lead him to perdition or salvation.


With A Life Not to Follow featuring three stand-alone yet narratively connected stories, how hard was it to not eventually very literally lose the plot?


Not too hard because co-creator Pedro Alvarado and I made sure we spent a ton of time going over the structure and plot. One day we spent hours on end asking each other the same questions over and over again about where things are going and the timeline. It was so drilled in my head that when shooting came along I never lost sight of where the film was going. If we didn't put the work in it would have been chaos!


What can you tell us about your directorial approach to your story/stories at hand?


I always look for what tone I want to set for the film.  Then I always make sure everyone from the actors to the crew know and feel comfortable in what they are doing. Sometimes an actor is just not going to feel all that comfortable in a role or a scene. As long as that's understood I make sure they know I have their back. It's all about team work.  

For A Life Not to Follow it was about showing different parts of a crime world and how they connect. I had an idea that each chapter was a different film set in the same world. For me I feel the first chapter plays like a western, the second like a classic mob film and the last one like an old school film noir. I also wanted it to be raw and real. In the writing process we made sure everything connected and when making the film I tried to find each story's strength and bring it out. 


Do talk about your cast for a bit, and why exactly these people?


For me if you cast a film right that means less work you need to do as a director. If they look and act the part people will believe them. Sounds simple but that's not really the case. It's not an easy job. I'm very big on casting. It's such an important part, as if I need to sell it. Ha-ha. 

I'm big on how people look. I don't stick to one idea but I need to be sold on them visually first. Then can they act? We used a lot of non-actors because I wanted a real Boston mob feel. We just happen to know a lot of Italian guys and gals who are not afraid to let go in front of the camera. The way they speak and hold themselves is not easy for someone to copy. People try but are not always successful. Also most of them have heard a lot of real crime stories throughout their lives and know how things really go down so they helped in that way too. When working with non-actors you sometimes need more takes but it was worth it. They brought realism and were a lot of fun to work with.


What can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?


As a director it's your job to set the tone in the film and on set. For me as long as people show up prepared and ask only about their job and how they can make it better I'm a happy man. I ask everyone to be professional. If not you're gone. Just like that. I've been lucky to have hired a lot of hard working good people so we are able to get shots down at a great pace and have fun doing it. It's important that everyone feels comfortable and that they can ask me anything. It's hard work but you also need to have fun. I try to find that balance and so far it's working. We have an open and encouraging environment.


The $64-question of course, where can your movie be seen?


I working with Circus Road Films on getting it sold. So hopefully soon but I don't have a time table at the moment. They have been very good to work with so far.


Any future projects you'd like to share?


Feeling lucky ?
Want to
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there!!!

Find Christopher Di Nunzio
at the amazons ...


Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)

Germany (East AND West)

Looking for imports ?
Find Christopher Di Nunzio here ...

Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find Christopher Di Nunzio at

My next feature is called Delusion staring David Graziano [David Graziano interview - click here] and Jami Tennille. These two actors are amazing and great to work with. We are submitting to festivals as we speak. It's a horror/mystery film and you can read up on it here:


Your/your movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?


Check me and my work out at:

A Life Not to Follow:



Anything else you're dying to mention that I have merely forgotten to ask?


If anyone would like to see some of my films right now go to Amazon and check out my shorts Under the Dark Wing and Her Heart Still Beats:

Under the Dark Wing:

Her Heart Still Beats:

Also be on a look out for Sisyphus, a film written by me and directed by David Graziano.


Thanks for the interview!


Thank you for your time!


© by Mike Haberfelner

Legal note: (re)Search my Trash cannot
and shall not be held responsible for
content of sites from a third party.

Thanks for watching !!!



On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!


Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner


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