Your new movie A
Broken Arrow - in a few words, what is it about?
A Broken Arrow is
about a teenage boy who can’t differentiate his delusions from
given your young age, how did you even come up with a disturbing story
like this, and is any of it based on personal experience?
have always had an interest in mental health and have probably watched
every YouTube video surrounding kids with a mental illness. Once I was
watching one on a little girl with schizophrenia. Even though her
parents medicated her, the delusions were still bad. That got me
thinking, “Well what if there was a mother who didn’t want to
medicate her kid? And what if the delusions got violent?” That’s how
Arrow was born. I ended up taking an abnormal psychology class to make
sure that everything I put in the script could happen to a real person
what extent (if any) could you actually indentify with Arrow, and with his
lot of this film is up to the interpretation of the viewer, so I guess
anyone could see themselves in any of the characters. For me,
personally, I don’t really think that I identify with any of the
characters. Some of them I based on other people, but not myself.
Now once you've written the screenplay,
how did the project get off the ground?
screenplay actually took me a few months to write. Once it was finished,
we began the casting process. My parents did most of the technical work
such as finding camera people and special effects artists. The casting
process took about a month.
Do talk about
your movie's approach to the thriller genre!
wanted the entire movie to make the viewers think “What is really
happening and what is in Arrow’s head?” My goal was to make a creepy
and unpredictable character. Like in the film and sequel to The Boy,
that doll made everyone wonder not only if the doll was possessed, but
it was also just extra creepy, even if it’s an inanimate object…
kinda. I wanted a human version of that doll for Arrow.
you tell us about your directorial approach to your story at hand?
actors and actresses that we cast all were so amazing. When it comes to
my directional approach, for the most part I let them do their own
thing. Occasionally I would go and explain what was happening in
someone's head, especially Arrow, and motives and all that, but even
though the majority of the cast was young, they were extremely talented.
co-directed A Broken Arrow
with your father Joshua Nelson [Joshua
Nelson interview - click here] - so what was the collaboration
between the two of you on set like? And would you ever consider making
another movie with your dad? ;)
was really cool to work with my dad on set. We collaborated on some
parts, such as casting, and then other parts we split up. On set, my dad
worked closely with our DP while I was working more with the cast. I
would love to do a movie with my dad again!
Do talk about your cast,
and why exactly these people? And as writer/co-director, how much of a say
did you have/demand in the casting process?
used Backstage and Casting Networks for this film. In total we got over
900 submissions for all of the roles. With the submissions, they often
came with a headshot and an acting reel. Out of the 900 submissions, we
sent about 350 the sides to read. The people that we called for
callbacks were those who stood out, and for Ivy, Dax, and Delilah, could
also be natural. We had 2 kids come back for the role of Arrow, and 5
for the role of Dax. The girls just read for both parts. What we did was
we had them in groups read the opening scene. We did this to get a feel
for the chemistry between them all, and for Arrow, to see the less
creepy side of him. Ultimately I had the final say, and it was quite
obvious to me who I wanted the cast to be. We emailed them about an hour
after the callback. They are not only so talented, but everyone got
along so well on set, and I think that really showed in the final movie.
A few words
about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
We shot this film during Covid, so EVERYTHING had to be shot outside in 1
day. For the therapy scenes, we put a couch next to some windows and put
some plants around it. We then tried to get those scenes to look like
they were inside even though they weren’t. We had made a schedule
prior to filming, so everything ran pretty smoothly. And although we
were on crunch time, everyone had time to just sit and talk at times, so
it wasn’t stressful at all. Everyone had fun and was happy to be there,
which really made it possible to get everything done perfectly.
$64-question of course, where can A
Broken Arrow be seen?
we are submitting the film to film festivals around the country. We
haven’t heard anything yet since this is a relatively new project, but
Anything you can tell us
about audience and critical reception of A
movie was finished less than 2 weeks ago. You are actually the first to
review, thank you! But for the few that have seen it so far, there has
been positive feedback.
Any future projects you'd like to
currently in the works, but I would love to make another film soon.
As far as I know, A
Broken Arrow is your first film, right? So what got you into
making movies, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?
dad has made films for as long as I can remember, and I have written
some scripts in the past. This is my first script that I wrote and liked
enough to want to go through with the filming. As for training, I’ve
really got nothing. I took 1 week long online class the week before
filming, but nothing not really could have prepared me for the real
writers, whoever else who inspire you?
filmmaker who inspires me is M. Night Shyamalan. He always has an
unexpected twist at the end of the films. I also took inspiration from The
Sixth Sense for A Broken Arrow.
favorite movie is
from 2017. I love how you really feel for all the characters. There is
also a really great storyline and coming-of-age story within the threads
of a horror film about a demon clown. For the most part, I like movies
where you don’t know what happens next. That’s why in my movie’s
ending, I made it so that nobody could really know if Arrow actually
killed his friends or not. By putting in that last shot of his friends
staring at him, it makes everything the viewer was sure about not make
... and of course, films you really deplore?
I hate movies with predictability. I like to be wondering what’s going
to happen next. I want the gears in my head to be turning the entire
time. I also really hate movies that take a great book and ruin it. One
of the worst I’ve seen was
A Monster Calls.
The book was so impactful, and the movie was just CGI and bad acting.
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movie's website, social media, whatever else?
have an Instagram account: a.broken.arrow
for the interview!
thank you so very much for taking the time to support our film!