While major movie studios seem to miss the mark when it comes to original productions (as the sheer about of remakes and reboots indicate), one place that many science fiction fans turn to in order to get their sci-fi fixes is film shorts. Many independent filmmakers have turned to this format to not only get their work out but also a means to attract Hollywood big wigs that they don’t necessarily need a big name behind the camera to have a good story told. One such hopeful is Tedi Nicoletos, the star and co-producer of the short film ‘Icarus Down’.
ScienceFiction.com had the opportunity to speak with Nicoletos about her involvement with the short as well as what it’s like to work with her brother, Paul Nicoletos. The siblings own ‘Reloaded Films’, an independent production company based in Los Angeles, CA.
ScienceFiction.com (SF): What made you decide to get involved with ’Icarus Down’?
Tedi Nicoletos (TN): It all started because I wanted to work with my brother, the director of the film, Paul Nicoletos and we always had this idea that we wanted to do something set in the future and in space. And he’s also the creator of the story, so we were going to do it in an arid land, like the desert, and it was going to be post crash. But when he was scouting locations, he stumbled upon this set which was an actually crashed station, so we decided to take the whole movie to another level and make it during the crash.
SF: Do you find yourself drawn to sci-fi?
TN: It is my favorite genre actually. I just love all the movies about the future. Space and time travel –time travel is my favorite.
SF: What sci-fi film influenced you the most?
TN: ‘Alien’. Ellen Ripley is one of my idols.
SF: I was going to say that your character in ‘Icarus Down’ had that Ellen Ripley badass feel to it!
TN: Exactly! I mean grew up watching those movies so that’s why it had a lot of influence on me and my brother. So that why when he has women leads, he always tries to make them strong because Ellen Ripley is also one of his favorite characters like mine.
SF: For those who haven’t seen ‘Icarus Down’, how would you describe it?
TN: It takes place in the future in space where Earth is no longer an option and we have exhausted all our resources. We embark on a journey to find a new way of life. The whole story of the film takes place on board the transport vessel, the ESC Icarus. The crew of the vessel has been instructed to transport an unknown passenger that’s carrying a mysterious case to a space station. The crew knows nothing else… what’s in the case… they don’t know who the guy is. There is something in that case that people want and the vessel is shot down. That’s when everything goes crazy and all hell breaks loose. That’s when the captain has to make decisions to what is best for the crew.
SF: The short has been highly raved about in film festivals. Are you close to getting a deal to make this a feature film?
TN: Yes, they like it at the festivals. The only critique is that the film is too short. People want more. We have a lot of interest. This is just a little bit of a story. We have other stories that have been created from this. This is a little prequel.
SF: Are you thinking of doing an anthology?
TN: Yes. Exactly. I mean, people have suggested that it would be a good idea to do TV as well.
SF: You’ve done the sci-fi, what other acting genres have you also done?
TN: I’ve done drama and action but, I mean I do love science fiction. I wish I could do comedy but I’m just not that type of person. I’m move sarcastic, ironic, those styles.
SF: If you can star in a superhero film, what would it be?
SF: You would make a good Wonder Woman.
TN: I was thinking of that!
SF: You and your brother founded Reloaded Films. For me, it would be hard to work with my brother. How hard is to work with your sibling?
TN: It’s really good as we push each other to go that extra step and we motivate each other. That is what’s good about it. He is really into sci-fi too!
SF: Is that the direction you are looking with Reloaded Films?
TN: We are starting with science fiction action. In the future we are also doing projects that will question the world. WE are in development for a feature – we haven’t come up for a title for it yet – it will take place in the future as well where society has completely collapse and how the holocost happens in the future with everybody not just one race. A panel determines if you are good enough to survive and it you’re not, you are used for energy… basically. We are on our third draft now and it is still in development.
SF: With this project, I love that it is a way for you to open doors for other women in the genre. It shows that you can be female, a geek, a lead heroine and work behind the camera as a producer.
TN: Yes, that’s what I see – especially in acting where they are always naked – (laughing). I think, how come we can’t write things that make them the hero or, you know, give them more substance for women? So that’s what I started doing. I’m also more direct and more powerful in the way I talk and everything so I decided to do this for movies as well because people know what they see.
SF: I love the fact that ‘Icarus Down’ has a strong women character and that you are produced it and that there will be more films about strong female characters coming from ‘Reloaded Films’! I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings for you and your company. Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us!
TN: Thank you as well!
You can watch the entire short of ‘Icarus Down’ below: