Interview with Filmmaker Jeremiah Nickols (THE NEARING OF JORDYN SIMMONS)

THE NEARING OF JORDYN SIMMONS was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the September 2021 LGBTQ+ Short Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

As a queer person who hasn’t necessarily had the space to own my narrative, this film gave me an opportunity to. Raised Catholic and dealing with a significant amount of shame around my sexuality, I was motivated to create something intimate that helped me process my own internalised homophobia. As my undergraduate project, I really hadn’t planned on it taking on a life outside of University, but I’ve been very fortunate.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

From end to end, the project lasted 2.5 years. I wrote the treatment back in mid-2018, then sat on the script for about a year, with constant rewrites, reworks and feedback. Production took four days in 2019, and post-production occurred in bursts over 2019-2020.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Shame & Intimacy

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Casting! We were lucky to cast the wonderful Jamie Treselyan as Hunter relatively early on, however, finding our Jordyn proved a much tougher task.

So much of Jordyn’s struggle was internalised, and finding an actor really able to connect to that particular vulnerability was difficult. We also have the switch, where we needed the same actor to shift away from the silence, to match the raw intensity of Jamie’s performance in the second half. It proved such a challenge that we only cast the brilliant Joshua Shediak, our Jordyn, four days out from the beginning of production, after a last-minute recommendation.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was a bit surreal! This project has been with me for quite a long time, and it’s become more and more personal. It was definitely surreal to hear people talk about the film like that, I’m so appreciative of all the lovely words.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

A very long time. I love storytelling and writing, and having the opportunity to do that within a visual medium was hugely appealing.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Hands down, Short Term 12 by Destin Daniel Cretton. That was also a huge inspiration for wanting to go into filmmaking.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s fantastic! Very accessible, it allowed us to submit to festivals all over the world, that I likely wouldn’t have been able to find otherwise.

9. What is your favourite meal?

Does coffee count? If not, probably a hearty lamb rogan josh.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

Slowly, but surely. I’m currently working in television, but definitely have a script up my sleeve for when things settle down again.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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