These days, Nicole’s physical address is Brooklyn, New York. But where her heart resides? Autumn Rain Pictures.
Her production company since 2004, she made her feature film directorial debut with Layla’s Girl – a heartwarming film about one woman’s journey toward peace and healing after the death of her estranged mother. Nicole also produced an eclectic hodgepodge of projects, including the feature film, 1700 Block and music videos by LeToya Luckett and rap artist Bizarre, Cosa Boys and Lil Mike Mike.
Check the list of ingredients for these projects and you’ll find that most were shot on film. Not so long ago, Nicole wouldn’t have had it any other way. For her – and most of us – projects shot on film and distributed in theatres, television or DVD was the only legitimate route to take.
Then she was introduced to Queen Hussy.
‘We shot for four days in L.A. this past July. But before that, we did everything – interviews, production meetings – via phone and Skype,” said Nicole of the mockumentary 70’s comedy web-series. Shot on Super 8 and the 70D Canon camera, it’s currently running on Youtube and QueenHussy.TV.
“It was kind of grueling,” she continued. “We didn’t all come together in person as crew until week or two before we shot.”
Yet as grueling as production was, said Nicole, it doesn’t hold a candle to the new tool that every filmmaker dreads, but must learn and master – Social media marketing.
“I don’t necessarily want to figure out how to market my projects. However, I’m not naïve enough to believe that I’m at the point where I can just pass this off to someone else and walk away,” she said. “If I want to remain relevant and exist, I have to embrace this aspect of the art.
And yes, it does take some getting used to, admitted Nicole, but excelling when she’s uncomfortable is one of her favorite pastimes.
“Before if you couldn’t afford to put your movie in theatres, you had to wait to see if HBO or Showtime wanted your project. Today, you write something, shoot and edit it and put it on-line. That’s just the way it is,” she said. “I am very encouraged as filmmaker now. Don’t get me wrong, I still want and will continue to do theatrical features. But what you can do online is changing the way you can exhibit your projects. It’s 100% under your control.”