May 22, 2017
Brothers Eshom and Ian Nelms come from humble beginnings. Neither went to film school, instead, they learned from going out and shooting a lot of bad stuff. Their first feature, Squirrel Trap, may be the perfect example. Shot for $1500 in the woods behind their parent's house, their crew consisted of only three people. Their father lit the whole thing with a flashlight and a bounce board. After submitting to a ton of festivals, they only were accepted to about four or five. Things are much different now, to say the least. Their latest film Small Town Crime, was one of the buzziest films at SXSW this year. It's a sterling entry into a resurgent neo-noir genre, which stars John Hawkes as an alcoholic ex-cop who finds the body of a young woman and becomes hell-bent on finding the killer. Much of the duo's success can be credited to the fact that they are just that, a duo. Each acts as the yin to the other's yang with different skillsets and strong-suits, but they are able to maintain a synchronicity on-set that is much appreciated by the entirety of their crew. With a co-director at your side, you have the ability to delegate different jobs, divide and conquer, and possess an instant soundboard to shoot down or agree with your ideas. No Film School's Jon Fusco sat down with the directing duo as well as their recurring partner in cinematography, Johnny Derango, and composer Chris Westlake to discuss all the benefits of having a partner in crime on your film shoot.