Review Fix chats with Nick Zafonte & Jacky Singer, who discuss their upcoming film, In the Shadows and so much more.
Review Fix: How did you two meet?
We met in college, where we were both taking an intro to Science Fiction class, but it wasn’t until one inspired all-nighter that we discovered a shared passion for storytelling and philosophical conversations. Shortly after, we became best friends and creative confidants; Nick helping to edit Jacky’s first book of poetry and her performing practically every job on his music videos (miraculously working her way up from costume assistant to Co-Producer over a weekend.) Since then we have written, directed, and produced films, fiction, and web content as a creative team.
Review Fix: What do you think makes your collaborations so special?
We creatively complement each other. Each of us comes at storytelling from a unique perspective. And the different gender POV’s don’t hurt either. Since we’re best friends, every project is a chance to hang out, have fun, and talk about what interests us. We get to share our passion for storytelling, delving into thought-provoking, meaningful topics. What do you each bring to the table? Nick’s a high concept, outlining devotee, while Jacky is a witty comedy, character-driven purist. While Nick is a student of structure, Jacky relies on intuition and her deep interest in psychology. That difference in process helps us create stories that feel real, fleshed out, and poignant.
Review Fix: How has COVID changed your creative process?
COVID accelerated our already virtual working style. We live in separate cities now, so early on we had to adopt remote tools to keep the collaboration going. We work on shared documents to outline and draft our stories, and brainstorm via Facetime or Zoom. Recently, we’ve even delved into VR, using the Oculus and Workrooms to ‘come together’ and hash ideas out. How do you find time considering everything else you both do? Being creative is more than a passion, it’s a necessity for us. So we got disciplined about making the time to work together. Yearly goals, monthly deadlines, and ‘Working Wednesdays’ create a slow and steady progress that ensures we finish each project, no matter how long it takes.
Review Fix: What are you currently working on and why is it so special?
Our next project is the movie In the Shadows, a horror meets psychological thriller about a man suffering from sleep paralysis. As he returns to his family home, his isolation leads to paranoia and terrifying nightmares that blur the lines between dream, reality, and delusion. This story is especially interesting to us because Nick has experienced sleep paralysis since he was a teenager, while Jacky has long been fascinated with the psychology of dreams.
Review Fix: Why should people check it out?
Besides being a terrifying, psychological horror in the vein of classics like ‘The Shining’ and ‘The Exorcist,’ the film echoes the current cultural landscape post COVID lockdowns, exploring the themes of boredom, isolation, obsession, and the sudden loss of family.
Review Fix: What other goals do you two have for 2022?
We are also writing a sci-fi young adult trilogy. Building out a world where human knowledge has been siloed, with separate scientific enclaves being the last vestiges of our mastery over technology. A world where the only hope for the future is a return to the values of logic, curiosity, intellectualism, and the willingness to connect, no matter our differences.
Review Fix: What’s next?
We’re preparing to produce In the Shadows, as both a film and custom VR experience, as well as finding literary representation for our fiction projects.