With filmmaker husband Kevin Del Principe, actor, writer and producer Nikki Brown has crafted a truly captivating yarn in UP ON THE GLASS. The film, starring Chase Fein, arrives on disc and digital in September.
Nikki, thanks for the chat. Silly question, how was your 2020 been?
Thanks for asking! 2020 has certainly been a strange year. In mid-December, my husband and creative partner Kevin Del Principe and I moved from Los Angeles to Memphis. Just as we were starting to get settled into our new neighbourhood, the coronavirus pandemic hit. Fortunately, we have great neighbours so we’ve still been able to make friends despite the obstacle of social distancing.
Did it affect your work as a writer and producer at all?
We’ve been lucky to be able to continue moving the ball forward for Up on the Glass and our other creative work in spite of the pandemic, though it hasn’t been without challenges. To quality-control the film, we turned our living room into a work-space with a 5.1 sound system. One great aspect of being writers is that you don’t need anything but your mind and a laptop (or notebook), so both Kevin and I have used this time to develop new ideas as well.
What about in terms of this film’s release?
In February, Up on the Glass was accepted as an official selection of the Capital City Film Festival in Lansing, MI, which was originally scheduled for March. We were very excited about the prospect of screening the film in Michigan where we shot and be able to share the film on the big screen with so many friends, family, and community members. In a matter of a few weeks, the festival was postponed to late summer, and later postponed indefinitely. Through a friend’s referral, we connected with Jeff Cooper, President of CUT ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, who is now our sales agent. Jeff was able to secure distribution for Up on the Glass with Gravitas Ventures for North America. Things moved quickly after that with us working to provide Gravitas with deliverables. We recently received word that Up on the Glass has been selected to screen at the Buffalo International Film Festival in October, which will now be our festival premiere. As of September 8th, Up on the Glass will be released across streaming platforms and be available to purchase on blu-ray and dvd.
Take us back to your writing roots. What was your first script?
I’ve loved telling stories ever since I was a child. My sister and my favorite way to play was to make up elaborate tales in fantastic, imaginary worlds and act out the parts of all the characters. When I was a senior in high school, I tried my hand at writing my first script. I had no training beyond watching a lot of films. It was called the Mystery Club and was about a group of misfit kids who discover another world. I would probably have some good laughs if I looked back at that script today.
And do you have writers in the family?
Though neither of my parents are professional creative writers, they played a major role in fostering imagination in myself and my sister Randi Brown, who is also a writer. I’m also very lucky to be married to the best writer I know, Kevin Del Principe, who I am constantly learning from. It’s a real joy to be able to encourage one another on our individual writing projects and put our heads together like we did for Up on the Glass.
When did you set out to make the film a reality?
In the summer of 2014, Kevin and I first came up with the idea for Up on the Glass. We were sitting on the deck of my parents’ cottage on Lake Michigan (you’ll see that deck many times if you watch the film), and Kevin had the spark of an idea, so I got a notebook and started writing things down. At that point, actually making a feature film ourselves sounded like a near-impossibility. We fed our creativity by writing scripts and making short films. After finishing our second short film together, we understood that, in a way, making the feature would basically be the same process times ten (and throw in a lot more unexpected hurdles!). The summer of 2017, we started scouting locations. We shot the film in June of 2018 and finished post-production in October of 2019. Come September 8th, our film will be released on-demand, blu-ray, and dvd. It was a long process!
Is it easier or harder working with a director you know personally?
It’s much easier to work with Kevin; we know each other so well that we can communicate without actually having to say too much. As an actor especially, I will say that there is a comfortability working with Kevin that would be difficult to replicate with any other director.
Have you shown the film at any festivals yet? Has it opened doors for you as a writer and producer?
Our festival premiere will be at the Buffalo International Film Festival (Oct 8-12) in Buffalo, NY. We have also been selected to screen at the Capital City Film Festival in Lansing, MI (Dates TBD). The reality of COVID has meant that festivals and filmmakers are required to be much more flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing situation, so we are not sure if these festivals will be socially-distant theater screenings, drive-in screenings, or virtual.
Where can we find the film come September?
Up on the Glass will be available on-demand across streaming platforms and available on blu-ray and dvd through retailers. It’s currently available to pre-order for streaming on iTunes and Vimeo. The blu-ray and dvd can be pre-ordered on Amazon.
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