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New Stink Signing Nick Roney on Dentistry, Experimentation and His Parents' Relationship



The production company will represent the Californian director following his recent UKMVA nominations

New Stink Signing Nick Roney on Dentistry, Experimentation and His Parents' Relationship
Director Nick Roney has signed to the Stink roster, just as he receives several UKMVA nominations.

Last week it was announced that he’s up for Best New Director, his video for Cayucas - 'Girl' is nominated for Best Alternative Video International and Best Special Video Project, while his video for Flasher - 'Material' is in the running for Best Rock Video Newcomer. 

“I’m thrilled to join Stink’s roster, I only wish they weren’t charging me so much,” he said on the announcement.

Stink asked him a few questions to help us all get to know him and his work a bit better.

Q> When did you start directing and how did you get into it? Did you always know you wanted to be a filmmaker, or did you do something else before you took this career path? 

Nick> I spent about seven years as a dental assistant in south-west Iowa before falling in love with filmmaking. Once – while helping with a peculiar apicoectomy – we found a patient's infection beneath their lower left lateral had miraculously hardened into a pearl. I filmed it on my iPhone and later submitted the footage to a local film festival under the title ‘Parson’s Secret’. It won bronze which gave me the confidence to take on more ambitious projects. 

Q> What is it about storytelling that you enjoy? 

Nick> I like figuring out what gets a reaction. Every project is an experiment in that. 

Q> What would you say is your specialism? 

Nick> Offbeat comedy with a docu-fiction slant. 

Q> Where did you grow up and where are you now based? 

Nick> I grew up in a small town in Humboldt, California of about 200 people. It was secluded and there were only four kids my age. That’s how I got into movies, there wasn’t much else to do. Now I live in LA in Elysian Park. 

Q> Have you won any awards for your work to date? If so, which ones? 

Nick> I won a UKMVA in 2017 for Best Rock Video - Newcomer for my Lemon Twigs video. My video Flasher - Material made most top ten lists in 2018 including Rolling Stone, Stereogum, Paste Magazine and Billboard. 

Q> Tell me more about your film 'Girl'. I know you already tell the audience quite a bit of info throughout the film but it would be great to know a few extra facts so that we can touch on it even more in this feature. 

Nick> Late last year, I returned home to discover that my parents were having relationship problems. Without explanation my mom was pulling away from their 24-year marriage, leaving my step-dad scratching his head. It was not yet clear if this was a phase or something more serious. However, they didn’t want to go to marriage counselling or talk about it with each other. To me, it was a shame that a relationship this long might fall apart with so little reflection. 

One night as I was listening to ‘Girl’ by Cayucas, my step dad entered and started dancing. The lyrics matched his situation so perfectly, it got me thinking. Maybe by pointing a camera at their relationship it would force them to analyze the situation more carefully before it was too late. I’m no therapist, but I’d seen something like this work on Indonesian warlords in the Act of Killing so it seemed worth a shot.

We took a skeleton crew to my parents’ house in rural Humboldt County not far from “murder mountain.” Along the way, we passed signs riddled with bullet holes and burnt cars, which made the band uneasy. When we arrived, the band was further agitated because one of their beds was too short. However, the final straw was a power outage which left them without internet. On the morning of our second day, they departed. 

Needless to say this became our biggest hurdle. The band was tied so closely to our initial concept, it was not clear what direction the story would head. That’s when we were forced to turn the cameras on ourselves, which ended up being a blessing. If there is anything innovative about this project it is how it weaves through the different perspectives of the people that were involved. 

Regarding my parents’ relationship the video was a success. No, they did not end up together. However, both felt that the experience was cathartic. Here are some text messages that they sent me to me about the project recently.
From Mom:

Overall, Girl marked a change in my directing approach in that I focused on finding real moments for the first time. To do this, I developed scenarios that allowed my parents and the band to respond naturally without direction. From the gaffer calling his dad, to the band leaving, to my dad’s realisation… the most poignant moments happened unprompted. I tried to push the video further in this direction by getting my parents to take MDMA on camera but they declined. I guess love does have its limits.
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Stink Films, Tue, 01 Oct 2019 11:28:43 GMT