Review Fix chats with writer Chad Meisenheimer, who discusses the creative process behind his new short film, “Nite Nite.”
Review Fix: How was this film born?
Meisenheimer: “Nite Nite” is the first installment of my retro horror trilogy – this one being set in the 1980’s. I really wanted to do a monster in the closet kind of movie while paying homage to my horror icons – John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Tom Holland and Wes Craven. I really hope I accomplished that with this film.
Review Fix: What inspires you to create?
Meisenheimer: It really depends on my mood. Shoot that cup of morning coffee at Starbucks can get me inspired. Haha. But the biggest inspiration to me are films from these greats – Charlie Chaplin, Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Roger Corman, Kevin Smith, Russ Meyer, Mel Brooks, Lloyd Kaufman, Sam Peckinpah, Orson Welles, John Ford, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Stuart Gordon and Tom Holland. Just to name a few.
Review Fix: Why do you think horror films work so well in the short film genre?
Meisenheimer: I love the short film format cause it’s a challenge and with horror you have to keep the audience’s attention in that short span.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this film?
Meisenheimer: This film had two firsts for me – one being a period piece set in 1985 on a limited budget and second working with a child actor (Brady Bond). I was anxious about working with a child actor at first. I’ve worked on a couple sets as an actor with children in the past and lets say those sets weren’t fun. But Brady was amazing. He was super professional and super talented. I was blown away.
Review Fix: How did you feel the first time you saw it post editing?
Meisenheimer: I really enjoy the collaborative process. Seeing how all the editing, the sound design and the music brings the whole story together. Alyse Kollerbohm (editor) and Zijun Ren (sound editor) are geniuses. I’m hoping to bring them back on the next two installments of my retro horror trilogy.
Review Fix: You need a special cast to pull this off. How did they?
Meisenheimer: Tommie Vegas who played the Babysitter was amazing. Besides her being one of my best friends and a brilliant actor, I wanted to work with her hella bad. Originally she wanted to act in the third installment of my retro horror trilogy “Coeds” which is a 1970’s Dario Argento inspired short. But I talked her into doing “Nite Nite” instead. Brady was perfect in his role as the Boy. I really relate to that role a lot. I have a lot of weird phobias as a person, being afraid of the dark and what goes bump in the night.
Review Fix: Bottom line-why must someone see this film?
Meisenheimer: If you love nostalgic 1980s monsters in the closet movies then this is a must-see movie.
Review Fix: How do you want this film to ultimately be remembered?
Meisenheimer: I would love to see this fun, spooky 3 1/2 minute short film become a Halloween tradition with friends and families. Sorta like Joe Dante’s “Gremlins” or Bob Dahlin’s 1986 “Monster in the Closet.”
Review Fix: What’s next?
Meisenheimer: I recently just wrapped on directing a short horror segment called “What Bumps in the Night” for a horror anthology feature that is being released next year. I’m also in pre-production and fundraising for my second installment of my retro horror trilogy called “Little Girl in White” which is an asian horror cinema inspired story set in the early 1990s.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?