Having a daughter who is an actress has many perks. One such perk is the opportunity to interview people from the entertainment industry. After watching my daughter Michele Weaver play Raya West (Steve Guttenberg’s stepdaughter), in the movie 2 Lava 2 Lantula I became an instant fan . I later viewed the movie ten more times on DVR. I love the comedic aspect of 2 Lava 2 Lantula, and I especially was enthralled with the special effects throughout the movie. Soon after, I reached out to Nick Simon the director of 2 Lava 2 Lantula and he agreed to be interviewed.
Thank you so much, Nick, for accepting my request to be interviewed. I hope to see many more great TV movies that you direct in the near future.
Can you tell my readers what it entails to become a director in Hollywood?
It’s the best job in the world and one I never take for granted. I always say the best advice to aspiring directors, or filmmakers in general, is to be good with rejection. You hear a lot of “No’s”. If you can’t handle rejection, this is the wrong business for you.
How do you know a script is ready to shoot, and what is your process of getting it there?
The screenplay is a constant evolving thing. You can have a really great script that is ready to shoot. But while shooting one can always find new things to add or make better. There is always three movies you make… The movie you write, the movie you shoot, and the movie you edit. The best thing you can do with getting a script into shape… or a movie is to trust the people you surround yourself with. Be a collaborator. Filmmaking more than any other profession is a collaborative art form.
As the director do you get to decide who the cast members are?
Yes and no. I have a big say in it. But a lot of times, the decisions I make have to be approved by a network or studio.
What is the process like during audition?
My process is to always let the actor come in and do what they have been preparing for since they found out they are auditioning. I feel like it’s respectful to see what they have prepared on their own. Then, if I see something I like, I will give notes or adjustments.
Some horror movies can be very cheesy, but 2 Lava 2 Lantula was very entertaining and captured my attention from start to finish with some incredible special effects, as the director how were you able to make that happen so flawlessly?
I had a meeting with Steve Guttenberg early on… We decided that this film has to be a funny, crazy action, monster movie. It had to be funny because it was a comedy and not because it’s a bad movie. We always had that in mind every day on set.
In the first movie Lavantula Colton West had a son, but in the sequel the focus was on Raya his stepdaughter; what was the reason for this major change in character?
I actually didn’t write the movie. That decision was made before I came onto the project.
Are you on social media and do you use it in your work? Why or why not?
I am on social media. However, I think about leaving it every day. Hahahaha.
In the past there were only the movie screen and the television screen. Now we have many ways in which one can watch a movie: computers, tablets, and phones. As a director, how does this affect the way in which you produce a movie?
I don’t think it changes anything. Ultimately you are still telling a story. No matter what the format, a good story is a good story. I think whichever medium you are working in, it should always be about the story.
What is the best thing that ever happened to you while shooting?
I always love the unpredictable things that happen while shooting. The “happy accidents”. This art form is imperfect. That is what excites me. There is a shot at the end of 2 Lava when the three guys from the plane are walking back up to everyone at the hanger. We are using a big crane and slowly pushing past all these people. And then everyone clears frame at the exact moment that Michael Winslow is hugging Michele Weaver. It’s such a powerful moment. We planned to have those beats all take place. But, during that first take, everything just worked out amazingly and the timing was perfect.
What do you love about directing?
I love working with actors and I love telling stories. I have the best job in the world.
What areas would you like to explore in the future?
I really had a great time working in comedy. I would love to do more comedies. At least right now. I had such a fun time on this last movie.
To learn more about Nick Simon you can visit his website.
For more information about 2 Lava 2 Lantula visit their Facebook page.
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