The short film ‘Ellston Bay’ will screen this coming Monday at 6:00PM as part of the competition program at the 7th International Filmmaker Festival of New York. The film is Directed by Nicholas Eriksson, written by Edward Carter, and produced by Tristan Loraine. The talented cast includes: John Rhys-Davies, Richard Kovacs, Christina Hardy.
Nicholas Eriksson is an award-winning Director of Photography working within the field of Films, Commercials and Music Videos.
Nick has delivered a wide range of projects for numerous clients, working on projects throughout the UK and Europe, North America, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia, where he was based in Hong Kong.
NY Elite with Director of Photography Nicholas Eriksson
NY Elite: Congratulations on being an official selection at the prestigious International Filmmaker Festival of New York. What are your thoughts about being accepted at IFFNY 2018 film festival and having your film screen in New York City?
Nicholas Eriksson: It gives me great pleasure to be accepted to the International Filmmaker Festival of New York. To be shortlisted for screening at such a prestigious festival is testament to the hard work of our talented cast and crew, who worked tirelessly to craft the finished film. I would like to thank all our backers for their continued support throughout every stage of production.
NY Elite: Out of the 500 submissions world-wide, your film was selected as the top 40 for IFFNY. What does this mean for you in terms of representing your country/city at this international film competition?
Nicholas Eriksson: To have been shortlisted from over 500 submissions worldwide is a humbling achievement, and one that means a great deal to me personally. When I set about creating Ellston Bay, I hoped that others would see what excited about me about the idea / concept in the first place. Festival acceptance is the greatest validation of that aspiration.
NY Elite: With what project are you partaking at IFFNY 2018? What is it about?
Nicholas Eriksson: We are screening the short film ‘Ellston Bay’ at IFFNY 2018.
Ellston Bay Synopsis: Keir has not heard from his father for weeks. Concerned, he travels to Ellston Bay, where his father lives alone in a property on the coast. Upon arrival, Keir finds the house empty and his father’s boat tied on shore. Neither the locals nor police are concerned by the disappearance, and seem far more occupied with bathing for hours on end in the bay’s hot, languid waters. Indeed, after his first swim, Keir finds his investigations somehow less appealing than the water of Ellston Bay, and the soothing quality it seems to have on his mind and body. In days, Keir has surrendered to the town’s ritual compulsion – almost servitude – to the water.
When he notices animal-like scratches on the underside of his father’s boat, Keir breaks from this reverie, and becomes suspicious of the waters, the locals, and the police sergeant, who seems to play guardian to the town’s strange relationship with the bay. Unbeknown to Keir, he is about to discover a dark secret that the town has hidden for a considerable time, and one which will ultimately decide his fate in this isolated, yet beautiful landscape.
NY Elite: Who else is involved in the making of this project? Tell us a little bit more about the story and who is in it.
Nicholas Eriksson: ‘Ellston Bay’ was created by an extensive passionate filmmaking team, both during pre-production, principal photography and post-production. Due to our decision to originate the project on 35mm VistaVision, we had to overcome a great number of technical challenges to make it possible and were very fortunate to have the support of a massive number of technicians throughout London to advise and find solutions to our problems.
The film was written by Edward Carter, and we both worked very closely in helping craft a narrative that worked for the type of visual storytelling that I have such fondness for. The writing process took a great deal of time, but we both agreed that it was by far the most important element of the production, so we never had an urge to rush it.
NY Elite: What message do you want to convey with this project?
Nicholas Eriksson: I would prefer that audiences watch and enjoy the film and take what they feel is important away with them. The film certainly means a great deal to me personally, and I have my own deeper meaning buried deep in the subtext of what is happening, but I don’t feel that this should necessarily be shared with the audience. I always wanted to make a film that can be enjoyed on a the surface and also offers depth for those that are looking for it. To that end, I think I have achieved my objective.
NY Elite: The Red Carpet Opening Ceremony and the Awards Gala will take place at the renowned Kaufman Astoria Studios of New York. Do you plan to attend the IFFNY Festival taking place on May 25-29, 2018? What do you want the audience at IFFNY to take away from this film?
Nicholas Eriksson: Unfortunately, I am not able to attend the festival this time around, but I very much hope to return with a future project in the coming years as it looks like such a wonderful opportunity. I would very much like audiences at IFFNY to enjoy the film and have plenty of questions. If Ellston Bay can provoke audiences to discuss the film and what may or may not have happened between themselves, then we have done a good job.
NY Elite: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Nicholas Eriksson: I have thought long and hard about this in the past, and I have concluded that any film that offers something new on repeat viewings most likely qualifies as a great film. One of my favourite films in recent years is Robert Eggers’ ‘The Witch’. I have watched the Blu-Ray about five times in the past year or so, and I always find something new that I missed before.
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite films/projects you have been involved in?
Nicholas Eriksson: Every film is a challenge in different ways. Completing a project and making the Director happy (when I am working as a Cinematographer) gives me the greatest satisfaction. Despite the difficulties in making it possible, I would have to say that Ellston Bay is probably my favourite project to have worked on. Being able to work in exactly the way I wanted, with the people I wanted, and to have shot it in my hometown in Devon, England was a great feeling. I shot my first ever short film on the same beach when I was sixteen, so to come back in my late twenties and put all of my knowledge and experience to use in the place that I love so much was an amazing feeling. It was also great to just ride to set on my bike, and not commute for hours in cars, planes etc. Took me right back to doing my paper-round as a teenager!
NY Elite: What are your career highlights and achievements thus far?
Nicholas Eriksson: I have accomplished a great deal during my career, though my greatest achievement is that I am still doing what I am doing. To be able to make films for a living is a great privilege, and one that I have fought very hard to make possible. I have made many sacrifices, but it has definitely been well worth it.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Nicholas Eriksson: I have many passions and interests outside of the film world. I love music, and probably spend most of my waking hours listening non-stop! My big passion is sports and being outside. Mountain Biking, Swimming, Cricket, Football, anything that involves me running around and being out in the elements makes me happy. I also find a long bike ride with music very inspiring and get most of my ideas when out on my own, I tend to stop frequently to write an idea down, which I will eventually develop at home when the weather is bad!
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Nicholas Eriksson: Believe in yourself. If you want to do something, just do it, don’t wait for someone else’s permission. Don’t accept no for an answer. Surround yourself with positive people. Never, ever, under any circumstances give up.
NY Elite: What’s next for you?
Nicholas Eriksson: I have a very exciting prospect on the horizon, though unfortunately I cannot divulge any further information at this stage as it is a little early. I have some great opportunities to work with my regular collaborators in the coming months however. Apart from that, I am beginning work on an idea of my own, though that’s a long-term project, and a little early to talk about at this stage.