Nick Hunt

Nick Hunt Discusses ‘Safe Place’

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Nick Hunt Talks ‘Safe Place’

Horrornchill.com caught up with writer and director Nick Hunt. Nick is currently in pre-production for his debut horror film SAFE PLACE. Check out what Nick had to say about his latest project in our Q&A below:

What is Safe Place about?

Nick Hunt: SAFE PLACE it is about this terrible tragedy that happens to this family man Chris Craven, where he loses his grip on reality and is forced into this life of fear and seclusion, he crosses paths with Lori and her 5 friends and when they find themselves in distress he wants to save them from themselves and the world outside, and will do it by any means necessary, even if it means taking them out of the world, one by one.

Where did the idea for Safe Place come from?

Nick Hunt: SAFE PLACE comes from a few different inspirations. The title was an inspiration from the actual government signs which basically are in front of buildings that can be a sanctuary of sorts during dangerous situations. The idea I gathered from that was well…what is the place that was supposed to be your escape from danger wasn’t safe at all, and was actually equally or even MORE dangerous. The rest is really a work of inspiration from the world outside. We all are individuals and we all have singular opinions which are what makes us human. The world isn’t a great place by any stretch, and some people have in other’s eyes warped views about the world, and exaggerated views. To some those aren’t exaggerated views, to some its reality. The violence, the turmoil outside isn’t something we as a society or as individuals can escape; we simply have to fight to make it out alive. The last part of inspiration really came from the fans. What do the fans want to see? I tried as hard as I could to still sit in that audience’s perspective’s chair and live as an audience member throughout all of this.  We are evolving, we are changing, and what we want to see on the screen is changing. We want the emotional experience brought back to horror. Gone are the days you’ll see the clichés running rampant that you’re used to. SAFE PLACE strives to break barriers in a lot of different areas down to the way it’s written, the way its portrayed, the characters, the violence, the story, the effects, everything!!!

Nick Hunt

How long did it take to write the script?

Nick Hunt: The original script was written over 10 years ago and if I remember didn’t take that long, the rewrites an revisions of the screenplay since have been the longest and most arduous of the tasks making sure to get all of the emotional experiences, the tension and those characters right and realistic and true to my vision.

How did you get the money together to produce the movie?

Nick Hunt: Some of the money came from private sources and private investors, and we are still trying to procure the final remainder of the funding for things like marketing, film festivals, etc. The good thing is we save a lot of money by the fact we have 99% of our equipment and that’s a big expenditure we don’t have to really worry about which is a huge relief.

How did you get the cast together for the movie?

Nick Hunt:  For this film I really sought out feedback from other filmmaking friends and looked for presence and positivity, people that popped, there was no auditioning; these people were mostly brought on sight unseen. I did that because I had a feeling about the group and I thought they personified who I was looking for, especially when my niche is giving opportunities and breaking barriers in horror for having strong female characters, strong LGBTQ characters, strong minority characters, and even giving talents that are disabled the ability to showcase, in a genre that’s usually pretty cut and dry. We have a cameo appearance shooting next month in December with Lloyd Kaufman who is of course is a legend in the business whom I simply reached out to through Facebook and wanted to be a part of SAFE PLACE almost immediately after hearing about it! My main actress is Ashley Mary Nunes (ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE, upcoming DEATH WARD 13) who is just kick ass and amazing, destined to be the next big scream queen; We have character actor Dominick Santarsiero portraying Chris Craven our antagonist, and the rest of the cast is led by a group of young and up and coming talent the likes of Yvelisse Cedrez, Katy Votapka, Timothy Noble, John Gettier, Nathaniel Matos, Nick Graffeo & more!

Where will the movie be made?

Nick Hunt: The movie will be shot in and around the Orlando and surrounding central Florida areas this February in a mere few months!

What did you do before you were a filmmaker?

Nick Hunt: Most of my career has been spent in customer service, hospitality and restaurant. I have worked as everything but a bartender, and am a great food service manager, and love to cook as a general hobby.

What are your favorite horror movies?

Nick Hunt: I love the original Fright Night, the F13 franchise, the Halloween franchise, the Child’s Play films, classic Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento, all the Universal Monster Movies, I love foreign horror like Cold Prey, Frontier(s), Martyrs, Calvaire, Inside. At the end of the day though, anything and everything. Way too many too list!

What inspires you?

Nick Hunt: Hunger. The underdog. I love seeing that hunger that someone personifies come up and fuel them. I have had a lot of hard times in my life. Seeing someone make their way through the fire and flames so to speak inspires me more than anything else. Courage is a big character trait in my book. That’s why it is so important to me that SAFE PLACE really brings into light strong female characters, strong LGBTQ characters, and strong minority characters. This is a new day and age and the film world needs to keep up. The horror world more than ever!

What is the hardest part about getting your movie made?

Nick Hunt: The no money part is a huge thing, asking people for money, offering incentives, the business side, never thought it was something I’m good at, but I’m finding I am. The rejection sometimes. We originally had a lot of issues with a realtor with the original main location for the house, some casting issues, people I had hoped for not being able to commit. Besides that some days I sacrificed eating to boost a post on Facebook, or did something equally. It’s hard out there when all you have is your passion, now I’m starting to see it’s not just MY passion, but others that are fueling this project as well.

When will people be able to see the finished product?

Nick Hunt: The tentative release date is October 27, 2017 the final Friday before Halloween next year!

Tell us about your journey as a filmmaker.

Nick Hunt: Filmmaking has always been in my soul, I wrote my current film 10 years ago, not expecting to do anything besides a backyard movie with it; I lost hope, and focused on my other career working in the customer service, hospitality, and management field. In February a godsend happened and the opportunity to revisit SAFE PLACE offered itself, so i Took it, and ever since then I have been on 250% high gear getting this thing ready to shoot, and establishing a presence and fan base before it even comes out.

What are some of the failures & hardships you’ve encountered and overcome as a filmmaker?

Nick Hunt: The no money part is a huge thing, asking people for money, offering incentives, the business side, never thought it was something I’m good at, but I’m finding I am. The rejection sometimes. We originally had a lot of issues with a realtor with the original main location for the house, some casting issues, people I had hoped for not being able to commit. Besides that some days I sacrificed eating to boost a post on Facebook, or did something equally. It’s hard out there when all you have is your passion, now I’m starting to see it’s not just MY passion, but others that are fueling this project as well.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about film making since you started?

Nick Hunt: You sometimes need to take a step back, and bring on people to help. Up until recently i was acting as creator, director, line producer, location scout, casting director, graphic designer. My producing team let me know the project was in good hands

If you could have your dream cast for your next feature who would it be and why?

Nick Hunt: There are some of the greats I’d love to work with and some new faces. Lin Shaye, Tom Atkins, Brad Dourif, Jeffrey Combs, Kane Hodder, Robert Englund, James Remar, Michael Biehn, Bill Moseley, JUST to name a few. I also highly respect new faces like Miles Teller, Sharni Vinson, Katharine Isabelle, Alia Shawkat, Teresa Palmer, Alex Essoe, AJ Bowen and Josh Stewart

Please tell us a little about what its like day-to-day as a creator/director?

Nick Hunt: Its networking, meeting people, showing your passion, listening to an audience, its waiting painfully when you’re the most impatient person in the world.

How do you go about finding your talent?

Nick Hunt: For this film I really sought out feedback from other filmmaking friends and looked for presence and positivity, people that popped, there was no auditioning, these people were mostly brought on sight unseen. I did that because I had a feeling about the group and I thought they personified who I was looking for, especially when my niche is giving opportunities and breaking barriers in horror for having strong female characters, strong lgbt characters, strong minority characters, and even giving talents that are disabled the ability to showcase, in a genre that’s usually pretty cut and dry.

So what are you currently working on and do you have trailers up?

Nick Hunt: I am currently working on SAFE PLACE it is about this terrible tragedy that happens to this family man, where he loses his grip on reality and is forced into this life of fear and seclusion, he crosses paths with Lori and her 5 friends and when they find themselves in distress he wants to save them from themselves and the world outside, and will do it by any means necessary, even if it means taking them out of the world, one by one. The trailers link can be found here on YouTube or by finding the link on the Facebook page

Very quickly tell us the logline and a bit about your next project.

Nick Hunt: My next project is an anthology horror I am simply in the conceiving stages of, it will involve different legends, fables, urban legends and cryptozoology cases from around the world. I am gathering together several of the greatest modern horror filmmakers of the last 5/10 years and assembling a team to create what will be known as “WANDER Tales” derived from the German term

Discuss current work and when you are going to release your next/first piece?

Nick Hunt: SAFE PLACE will go into shooting in February in central Florida, once we show it up and down the coasts at next years festival circuit we are confident in our tentative release date of October 27, 2017

Where can people find out more about the movie?

Nick Hunt: You can follow us/me on Twitter @safeplacefilm or you can head on over to Facebook.com/safeplacethemovie where you can see the trailer, hear songs from the soundtrack, and lots more!

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