Rockford native writes screenplay for film project

By Susan Johnson
Copy Editor

Nicholas LaSalla, a Rockford native, started Forest City Short Film Review in March 2013, and a year later after receiving strong positive response from readers and filmmakers, he created Forest City Film Review, which has been running for about three months. The two blogs look identical and are linked together. LaSalla wrote the screenplay for Dralien, a short film that was recently shot on the Gold Coast of Australia. The log line states, “A determined detective follows a missing author from the real world into the fantasy world she created and joins her fight against an evil sorcerer.” The Rock River Times interviewed LaSalla and asked him to tell us about the film.

It’s in post-production right now,” said LaSalla. “We are looking for a November release at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The director of the project is Linda Curry. I wrote a film review blog on the Internet called Forest City Film Review. She discovered that and contacted me. She initially brought me on as a consultant and asked, ‘Could you look at the script I have?’ It was supposed to be a 7-minute film.”

After looking at the script, he said it should be at least double in length, and Curry then asked him to write it. After they went through a couple drafts, he said: “She liked it a lot and started using it to attract financiers and crew. … The turnaround on Dralien was extremely fast. I was hired in February of this year as a script consultant, then hired on as official screenwriter and completed two drafts of Dralien in March-April. Linda gathered the money to shoot the film from, a crowdfunding website where visitors can donate however much money they want to different projects. She raised $11,100 in Australian dollars, which translates to about $10,500 in U.S. dollars. She got some extra funding on the side to complete the film. According to Internet Movie Database (IMDB), the film’s total budget was $15,000 AUD, which translates to about $14,000 in U.S. dollars. So, we wrote the script, and I was working on it from February until May of this year. She shot the film over seven days, spread out. In July, she filmed some pickup shots. They are extra shots to cover the film, like cutaways or block, etc. All this was filmed on the Gold Coast of Australia. It was extra cool for me because I’ve never been to Australia. Now, they are in post-production, and she has a man by the name of Lee Stripp. He is doing the editing and CGI (computer graphics). We have magic and dragons. We are trying to accomplish an epic fantasy in 15 minutes. So, we’re hoping to release it in November.”

In an update, he added that there is talk of turning Dralien into a web series or even a feature film following its release in November.

Does he have any other projects in the works?

We are working on a second short film — a comedy,” said LaSalla. “I have turned in the script for the next Gutzee Geko Films production, which will be a 7-minute comedy film named Yeye Niazu’s Magic Mirror. This will be filmed over two days in Brisbane, Australia, in the beginning of September. After this, Linda Curry (producer/director/owner of Gutzee Geko Films) and I will begin working on a full-length romantic comedy film. I am writing the screenplay right now. I am also working on a full-length feature film that I will be filming in Rockford. I’m hoping to get it off the ground next year. It’s going to be called Hawking the Dead. It’s a psychological horror film. … It helps people to express their fears, going to these films.”

Watch for future developments from this screenwriter.

From the Sept. 3-9, 2014, issue

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