News Column

Area director promotes his first film

October 15, 2013


Oct. 15--HICKORY, N.C. -- Nathan Ives is hustling. He is traveling across North Carolina trying to get theaters to show his first film as a director.

The 41-year-old Asheville native has bounced from the Raleigh area to Charlotte to Hickory to get his movie, "It's Not You, It's Me" before audiences.

" The most challenging part of independent filmmaking is getting your film out to the world in the sea of other entertainment options people have (other films, great TV shows, gaming, and social media)," Ives said. "Harder than that is to get people to pay to watch it."

The film was presented at the Carolina Theater in Hickory to members of the Footcandle Film Society Thursday night.

The audience of around 225 gave the film mixed reviews, according to Billy Ray Teague, president of the theater.

" It's not your typical movie -- more of a Woody Allen type," Teague said.

It is scheduled to be shown at the theatre Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the upper theater, according to Teague. Tickets are $10, instead of the regular $3 for admission.

" Ives is trying to recoup some of his expenses," Teague said.

Ives responded to questions from the HDR regarding the movie industry and his experience.

HDR: H ow did you get into the film industry?

Ives: My career path has gone from car salesman, to pension analyst, to being the owner of a powerboat repair shop. In and around all of this I sold a couple of independent scripts written with my writing partner. The scripts were produced, but I never felt what was on the page was captured in the film.

A couple of years ago I decided I would write, produce and direct a film. That was mainly to hold onto artistic control. The result is "It's Not You, It's Me."

HDR: What are the challenges in producing a film?

Ives: T he biggest challenge is writing or finding a really good script that you believe in. Once that's done, raising the money is a huge challenge. Pre-production and shooting involve lesser challenges. I was lucky not to have any major setbacks. Post production was the most fun for me. That involves editing, choosing music, and scoring the film among other things.

HDR: What do you miss?

Ives: I miss the people most. North Carolina is a diverse community, with a lot of interesting people and stories. As a writer, it's a lot of fun. I also find folks to be typically very friendly, genuine, and helpful. I miss that about the South. And, of course, I miss good sweet tea and BBQ!

HDR: What does California offer you?

Ives: Los Angeles is a big, sprawling city. I wouldn't say it's better or worse -- it's just different. I've found a wonderful community of other aspiring and passionate filmmakers, and that's a lot of fun. It's faster pace, there's a lot more traffic -- but the weather and beach are hard to beat.

HDR: Do you think North Carolina can become a major film center?

Ives: It's all about tax breaks. North Carolina has long had a film scene -- Wilmington, in particular. But drawing independent filmmakers and studios to a state is about making it financially attractive. Unless a movie is tied to a location by the script, all things being equal, a producer will choose a state that offers the biggest tax breaks. It seems that every year there's a darling state that offers the largest tax breaks. Then another state undercuts them, and so on.

HDR: What would you say to those who might have a dream of writing/directing in film?

Ives: I could write a book on this topic, but a few key things are:

Filmmaking is a marathon, not a sprint. It's not going to happen overnight, and you have to be in it for the long haul.

Be passionate about the film you're making. If you aren't, it will show glaringly in the final product.

Whatever you do, don't do it because you want to be famous or rich. It's likely neither will happen. Do it because you have a story to tell, that you're passionate about getting it to the world.

Filmmaking, like child rearing, takes a village. Well over 200 people worked on "It's Not You, It's Me," and it's a small independent film. Be open to creative input while knowing the path you're on.

If you can think back to that relationship where you were madly in love, and the person drove you absolutely crazy -- that's filmmaking.

HDR: How is it to see your work on the big screen?

Ives: It's amazing. While I feel proud of the accomplishment, I mostly feel grateful to the many people who supported me along the way. That includes friends, family, cast, crew, and on down the line. I'm incredibly blessed to make a living making films. Not a day goes by that I don't pinch myself.

For more about the film: []


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