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Meet Nick Psinakis of Four Eighteen Films in Mid Wilshire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Psinakis.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nick. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up on Long Island and went to undergrad at the University of Delaware. Upon graduating, I moved to New York City and attended the William Esper Studio studying the work of Sanford Meisner. It was a great school with really recognized alumni and it taught me a lot about acting, directing and writing.

While in New York, I met my business partner and long time collaborator Kevin Ignatius. We began creating videos almost immediately and in 2010, I joined him and moved to Los Angeles.

Has it been a smooth road?
No. But I don’t think it ever is. Where is the fun in that? The biggest struggle was probably after we had our first TV deal. I’ll spare your readers the gory details but we we’re essentially locked into a two year option of sorts. During that time we basically got pushed out of our own show (basically promised to be paid to go away, we never were). The amount of time and effort that we put into those two years, trying to make it work, taking notes, pleasing the producers, taking more notes, it was soul sucking. At the end of the day the show never got made and we eventually regained the rights but that became a crucial positive learning experience for us.

It was a turning point. We could have spent another two years trying to please other people all over again; pitching new or existing ideas and trying to convince someone to give us money. Instead, we decided to pull all the resources we had, any connections we developed over the years and make a movie ourselves. That movie is called My Best Friend’s Famous and comes out September 6th on Amazon Video.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Four Eighteen Films story. Tell us more about the business.
Kevin and I started Four Eighteen Films around 2010. We’re committed to creating low-cost, high-quality film and televisions productions that center strongly on character and story.

Our library spans many genres including comedy, sci-fi, drama and horror. Our early work was mostly comedy. We did some work with FunnyOrDie, specifically the sketches The Adoption Agency starring Rex Lee (Entourage, Young & Hungry) as Kim Jong Il and Shannon Elizabeth Vs. Black Ops starring Shannon Elizabeth (Scary Movie, American Pie).

More recently, we traveled around the festival circuit with two sci-fi short films “Hook Man” (iTunes) and “J” (Amazon Prime).

I think as a company we are most proud of our work ethic and creative tone. You don’t need a lot of money to tell an interesting, thought provoking and emotional story that resonates with people.  A lot of filmmakers get caught up with “bells and whistles”, they want a lot of people working around them, maybe the latest camera gear, etc. The problem is that they forget to focus on what really matters, truth, performance and story. We will take less money with great actors and story any day of the week.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The film industry is in a very interesting place right now. We are in uncharted territory to a certain degree. Technology has changed everything, from being able to make inexpensive films, to being able to self distribute. In short, middle men and gatekeepers are becoming less and less necessary. Creators are in demand. Owning your own content is extremely valuable so we are really excited about the possibilities.

I personally think audiences are starting to get sick of studio produced Hollywood films. It seems like they’re so scared to take any chances or do anything original. People can sense that. We’re getting bombarded with remakes and sequels filled with lousy special effects and bad acting with little to no story. I think people deserve more and are longing for something different. It’s really an exciting opportunity for indie filmmakers. I really think true independent film is going to come back in a big way. Hopefully reinventing what made the 90’s so iconic.

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