MPI asked Nick Stumphauzer to update us on what inspires him and what he is doing since graduation.
1. I've been making short films since I was 8 or 9 years old. I have always loved filmmaking and aspired to become a director like Christopher Nolan. As I began to make more professional short films, they gained a bit of traction in the film festival circuit. My 2nd semester film at MPI Goner won innumerable awards and started to give me credibility. This laid the foundation to get to where I am at now.
2. I have always believed that if you want to succeed in your field you have to breathe what you do. Since before graduation and up until this moment, I have been non stop attacking my niche in an effort to rise to the top of my corner of filmmaking and begin to make a name for myself. Since graduation, I have been in production and post production on my first feature length movie.
3. Halfway through MPI I began production on a feature documentary How to Kill 14 People without Saying a Word. Since February 2017 I've been constantly working on the film wearing all the hats to bring it to life. The film has just debuted on the 27th of October, 2018 and is beginning to get recognition and start conversations.
4. MPI is hands down the best and only school someone interested in film should consider. It gave me incredible insight and awareness into what it takes to be a filmmaker, and then gave me the tools to be the absolute best I could be. If I could go back and do it again, I'd skip high school and just do MPI. I feel capable of walking onto any set and being a worthwhile crew member as well as beginning my own film career solo - which is the route I've chosen to take.
5. If you have to consider it, it's not for you. Film should be something you can't not do. This isn't a career, it's a passion and a mode of communication of ideas you believe in. It's art. If you're truly an artist, you'll do whatever it takes to make art. Step 1? Go to MPI.
6. That people care about you and what you make. No one willingly gives of their time, attention, or money. No one. They won't buy a ticket or "like" your Facebook page or go to your event unless you hustle, shake hands, look them in the eye, and provide value to their lives. Entertainment is valuable, but to bridge the gap between interest and action requires an incredible amount of work and is not a seamless or easy process - and it's one I'm constantly being humbled by.
7. Do not have a plan B. Hang your livelihood, your rent, your food, your career, your social status on what you're making. That way, you have no choice but to succeed.
8. Being a filmmaker. Just having the opportunity to make movies is incredibly fulfilling.
9. I'm in pre production on another film, however I am devoting my efforts and attention to getting this documentary to the top and that requires a lot of work.