Hi reddit, my name is Nicole Gomez Fisher. I'm a Latina comedian, writer and director living in Brooklyn; my first film, SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES, is premiering at the Brooklyn Film Festival tonight. Ask me anything about indie filmmaking or anything at all!

Proof! tweet

Edit - thanks everybody for sharing the time and asking a question - i hope it was helpful - if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in this thread, I'll go through again later. And if you get a chance to see the movie at the Brooklyn Film Festival, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Comments: 36 • Responses: 12  • Date: 

WastedWookie3 karma

Would you ever sleep with a wasted wookie?

nicolegomezfisher5 karma

Are you kidding me? No. Only sober.

(actually just kidding, I'm married)

chooter2 karma

Was the film inspired by people that you know at all?

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

Yes. It's loosely based on my family, but the story itself is fictitious. It's about a 30-something, late in life coming of age story - a girl who goes home and discovers that with all of the changes she's experienced, she gets a new perspective on what really matters. Some people find the film amazingly funny and heartwarming, but if you're expecting a big moment where things resolve, there are those times when things are unspoken - and people move on - and that's ok. So the film tries to captures that as well.

makokitten1 karma

It looks great! :) When will we be able to catch the film in theaters?

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

The film got accepted into the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (August 9-11) and then we submitted to Woodstock, The Hamptons, Melbourne, Toronto... these are all in the Fall so I won't know until August / September. But if you're in New York, we're having screenings tonight or next Saturday June 8th at 10:30 PM EST at IndieScreen. There should still be tickets available!

makokitten1 karma

Awesome!! Unfortunately I'm a little far from New York, but I might be able to catch the screening in San Francisco.

Are you Latina and Jewish yourself? What's it like to be a Latina filmmaker?

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

When I have the dates & times set for the San Francisco showing (I just know I'll be showing that weekend), I'll post it!

I am both Latina & Jewish. As a Latina Filmmaker, I think female or not, as much as we try to push and get noticed and get funding, the truth of the matter is is that it's a lot harder. Studios base everything on numbers, so if they don't feel like they have J.Lo as the lead of a film, it's even harder. Here's an interesting example; a friend with a friend of mine is working on is for a film is in the middle of getting funding - the film has a latino screenwriter, a latino director, and a latino lead actor. Their problem with trying to raise money is that a lot of people - even though this particular actor has star quality - they are getting a lot of people saying "why doesn't he take the sidekick role, and we can have another actor in the lead role" - it's is definitely an unbalanced world for a Latino filmmaker. You have to make your own opportunities. That's not to say that there aren't opportunities out there, but here they have someone with a good, solid name, and they are STILL having trouble finding funding. Studios look at numbers when making decisions.

My film is led by 3 female, Latina actresses - plus the genre (comedy and indie) was a challenge. But I'm excited by the positive responses I've gotten so far, and I'm hoping my film resonates with people to show that there is an appetite in the community for a film like this.

slappybutt1 karma

How has your day been so far?

nicolegomezfisher2 karma

Stressful! With my film premiering tonight, I've been running around like crazy. I honestly can't wait until tomorrow so my brain can shut down. But I'm super-excited too. I've been getting the artwork to the film festival; dealing with press; and just confirming talent showing up. There's going to be a step-and-repeat tonight, so we'll have Gina Rodriguez, Priscilla Lopez, Tibor Feldman, John Cariani, Orfeh...lots of awesome people who were involved with the project.

oneday7521 karma

Do you have a favorite screenwriting tip for fellow writers?

nicolegomezfisher4 karma

Yes, I do! I have several. So the first thing I would say is - be patient with yourself, when you find that writers block hits, because at the end of the day we all experience it, and we all need to sit back and find out what our story is.

Next thing: write a treatment. At least have an outline. Otherwise, you're going to hit page 30 and stop. Everyone always gives up at the end of act 1, because they don't know where they're going. I've had this happen to me, it's inevitable when you don't have an outline - I've written things where I didn't have time to write an outline, and there is no time for character development or thinking about where you want to go with the story - structure is incredibly important, balanced with character development. You can have the best structure, but if the characters are boring, no one is going to care.

The last thing I would say is to make sure that you have at least 1-3 friends whom you really trust their opinions to really read your work. Avoid your mom and dad, but find someone with a good eye, who understands what it takes to put a story together, and whose opinion you value - they can help you really determine what you want to say and help you put the story together. It's incredibly helpful.

Last thing: don't give up. I've been in many situations where I've started writing and then had breakdowns where I decided I wanted to start over, and started over with an idea that was less strong than the previous one. By page 30, everyone stops. I have 5 scripts where I got to page 32 and had to stop - I keep them because I might go back and find something there where it wasn't there before. It's better to write and get it on paper than lose it. But don't give up on it. You never know when you might have this amazing idea.

And buy a good book on screenwriting. I would recommend Blake Snyder's book SAVE THE CAT - it's the best.

oneday7521 karma

I always appreciate it when people actually answer questions with helpful advice.

Thanks for the tips! I've had the same problem with not being able to finish a script. I did manage to finish a TV pilot, though. Progress.

nicolegomezfisher3 karma

Glad you got it done! Again, show it to 3 people that you trust. Then once you feel it's in a good position, and it's worth putting it out there, don't try to get an agent/ manager off of one pilot.

Submit it to some screenwriting competitions. If you make it to semi-finals or finals - not only is it exhilerating to experience, but you can also win money and within a year's time, they will help push and promote your stuff to agents and managers FOR You. these are the ones I would highly recommend - if you don't have friends to show it to, you can pay for services to have a professional reader read your work, and the feedback is incredibly helpful.

Sometimes you have to pay a fee to enter, and if you don't have the money, you can be hesitant - if there are times when I don't have the funds, I'll do one every few months, and be selective - know which ones are going to push for you. Do your research and be selective. But hopefully this helps!

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

(Page and Creative World Awards are my favorite - CWAs are where I send my work when I've sent it to every Tom, Dick and Harry and I really want to pinpoint where I'm missing something in character or story development - I'll reach out to the, it's costly but sometimes you have to do it, especially if you don't have an agent or manager, you have to be your own)

oneday7521 karma

Thank you! It definitely helps a lot. I'll bookmark those sites.

Good luck with your movie!

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

Thank you so much for your kind words - and best of luck with your writing, hope it all works out!!

123blaze1 karma

Was it fun making the movie?

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

Yes. Raising the money was a hard thing, but once you actually get the funds and put your budget together, making the movie was a lot of fun, I had a blast and a great crew. It was surreal for me; I remember on day one, looking at my DP and asking him what I was supposed to do and he said "cry ACTION!" - everyone on my crew was so experienced, and they were looking to me and take control. All the camera guys and the lighting people were staring at me, it was awesome. We had a smooth 3 week run; shot for 19 days. We shot for 6 days a week, 12-15 hour days. Yes, it was great.

123blaze1 karma

It must have been so fun, I think you're really lucky :)

nicolegomezfisher1 karma

Definitely lucky, but a lot of it honestly is perseverance. This is a tough business, you have to really want it and you have to believe in yourself (it's easy to say this, but it's really true). The writing in hopes of getting somewhere - you're pushing yourself out there. It's been a year of so many lessons learned. I'm a big kid now.

ByzantineSteve1 karma

Did you ever have any moments when you realized that you wanted something slightly different from the script you'd written while you were filming?

nicolegomezfisher2 karma

Absolutely. One of my biggest issues while I was shooting was - my concern was that the resolve for the main character came too easily. It wasn't high-stakes. The whole time we were shooting, i was trying to think of ways that we could re-do this that everyone would be looking for - every time we would go back in, they would say to me that I didn't need to add this, it wasn't a commercial film. I kept trying to re-write in scenes that were high risk and high-action - very commercial moments - and it finally hit me one day when I was sitting on a dark day on my computer, I sat there and re-read one of those scenes where I would want that big moment to happen and something hit me, where I realized "It is what it is - why am I trying to force my hand to make this film something it's not? It's a slice of life, it's a 2 day peek into this girls' world and hopefully you like her enough to stay involved." I had to stay true to her story.