Interview with filmmaker Nicholas Carrodo

Since his childhood, Nicholas had always been fascinated by film. After watching Peter Jackson’s King Kong in 2005, he realized he wanted to pursue a career in the film industry. Now a senior enrolled in the TV/Film program at the prestigious DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania and with 8 films now under his belt, Nicholas is excited to show off his latest film, “Intrusion”.

Since his childhood, Nicholas had always been fascinated by film. After watching Peter Jackson’s King Kong in 2005, he realized he wanted to pursue a career in the film industry. Now a senior enrolled in the TV/Film program at the prestigious DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania and with 8 films now under his belt, Nicholas is excited to show off his latest film, “Intrusion”.

Hi there! Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?

Hey, thank you so much for having me! My name is Nicholas Carrodo and I’m a filmmaker from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Shortly after graduating from Northampton Community College, I started Ducklatch Productions a small, independent film crew that specializes in short suspense, thriller, and horror films.

After creating Ducklatch and making a few films, I decided to go back to college and get my Bachelor’s Degree from DeSales University to get the best shot at turning my dream of becoming a feature film director into a reality. To make a long story short, I’m a film student.

“I came out of that theatre wanting to create something that would make someone feel the same way I felt watching that film. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with filmmaking.”

Nicholas Carrodo on set

After directing 8 films, you released your latest work “Intrusion”, a post-apocalyptic short. Tell us how filmmaking started for you. Is there a specific time / event that made you realised that this is what you wanted to do?

I still remember exactly what made me want to become a filmmaker. In December of 2005, my dad took me out of school so he and I could see Peter Jackson’s King Kong on opening day. Not only was it a sweet memory with my dad, but watching that movie and marveling at the scale of everything and the incredible design of the creatures sticks with me to this very day.

I came out of that theatre wanting to create something that would make someone feel the same way I felt watching that film. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with filmmaking. It makes me feel like I’m working on what I was meant to do.

“I aimed to capture and draw upon the emotions I felt in quarantine. The shutdown was a very difficult time for everyone and things seemed very bleak. I looked at how I personally felt–my experiences–and tried to turn the negativity and stress from that into art.”

Why “Intrusion”? Why was it important for you to release that film?

Intrusion has a very interesting origin. It was originally a script I had to make for my Sci-Fi class at DeSales. I really liked the script, but didn’t think I’d have a chance to make it due to the pandemic – I wrote it in March of 2020. Fast forward to fall semester and I enrolled in a class for Production and Distribution. The final project for the class was to successfully produce a short film and create a distribution package for it. I figured I’d give it a shot to make Intrusion.

I thought it was important to finish something I started a while ago when I had no hope of seeing it brought to life. I refined the script and came up with a completely different version. With this new version of the script, I aimed to capture and draw upon the emotions I felt in quarantine. The shutdown was a very difficult time for everyone and things seemed very bleak. I looked at how I personally felt–my experiences–and tried to turn the negativity and stress from that into art. I wanted a positive outcome from an otherwise negative situation.

Alex Solitario as Oliver – “Intrusion”

At the time of our shutdown, I was only 2 months into my first semester back at college in 2 years. I had just acclimated myself to this new environment, and all of a sudden it was taken from me–Much like Matt 23 days into an alien invasion. He is making his way through this new situation when Oliver shows up and tries to take that away from him. It was relevant, and I’m sure more people could relate to a situation like that. Obviously not with such high stakes like in the film, but the basic premise. On top of that, I wanted to capture that feeling of “being stuck” that we all felt in quarantine.

The film takes place entirely in my garage. It’s a very tense, cramped atmosphere. This film is very much a “Quarantine inspired” film in so many ways.

“Intrusion” has a strong sound mixing and cinematography that adds to the story’s tense moments. Tell us about your filmmaking process. How do you go from an idea to a produced film?

Originally, I had intended to shoot Intrusion over a single weekend. Friday, Saturday, Sunday – film the entire thing and call it a day. On the very first day, we had a potential exposure to COVID on set and shut down production indefinitely. While I waited for everyone’s negative test result, I organized the script into scenes and scheduled 12 days to film over the course of a month and half. I honestly think that initial shutdown, and the time that I then had to better plan the shoot, made this film infinitely better.

Being a full-time student and part time employee, it was a struggle to film over such a long period of time. Having a lengthy production like that took a lot of time away from my classes, and it was incredibly difficult to balance everything. If it wasn’t for the rest of the team at Ducklatch, Alec and Ben, and the incredibly flexible schedule of my actors, I don’t know how I would have done this.

Isaiah Morales as Matt – “Intrusion”

The success of this film is a result of everyone coming together and giving me their all, and I couldn’t be any more thankful for that. It was a small miracle to pull this off, but I think we did very well all things considered.

“I absolutely love a challenge. I’ve always felt like the only way to truly grow is to challenge yourself as much as possible. Intrusion was a massive undertaking.”

You said that “After working on Intrusion for around 10 months now, I can confidently say that it is a testament to all that I have learned throughout my career”. What has been your greatest challenge in making the film?

I absolutely love a challenge. I’ve always felt like the only way to truly grow is to challenge yourself as much as possible. Intrusion was a massive undertaking. I had never attempted something of this scale before. I know it seems like such a small scale short film, but so much went into it.

Prior to Intrusion, I had never used microphones or proper lighting equipment before in any of my films – which was honestly one of the reasons I went back to college; I wanted to learn how to be the very best I could be. This was my first “professional” production. On top of that, we had to deal with the pandemic.

Nicholas Carrodo directing “Intrusion”

The safety of my cast and crew was top priority. The very first day we started shooting, one of the actors received a text that they had been exposed to Covid-19. I immediately shut down production until everyone could produce a negative test result. From there we simply pushed on while being as cautious as possible. Filmmaking during a pandemic is a massive challenge, but it can be done. I felt like if I could pull this off now, when literally everything that possibly could be going against this was actively doing so, I’d have no problem pulling off something of equal scale once we’re through the pandemic.

What would you like the viewers to take from “Intrusion”?

One thing that has always affected me is the fact that one decision or mistake can lead to an event that will change your life forever. There’s a split second where you consciously realize that no matter what, your life from that moment on will be different from what you’re used to. Once you realize that the life you have is so fragile, you start to appreciate every aspect of it more.

That’s probably why I like the horror genre so much. Although Intrusion is set in a fictional reality, a small decision like letting the wrong person into your house can produce disastrous results in any setting. What I’m trying to get at here is that you should never take what you have for granted, because at any moment it can be taken from you. Love what you have while you have it. I’m sure we all learned that in 2020.

Nicholas Carrodo on set

“I’m incredibly proud of how it has turned out already, and we have such a talented crew working on it. If you liked “Intrusion”, I really can’t wait until you see “The Door”.”

What are the upcoming projects you are working on?

I’m currently in post production on my senior thesis film, “The Door”. It’s a short horror film revolving around two brothers who find a mysterious door in the middle of the woods. It will start its festival run later this year, but it will be quite a while until it’s publicly available.

I’m incredibly proud of how it has turned out already, and we have such a talented crew working on it. If you liked “Intrusion”, I really can’t wait until you see “The Door”.

What can we wish for your future in filmmaking?

I’m in my last semester of college, on the cusp of earning my Bachelor’s degree, and I’m hungry for the next step in my career. I would love to see “The Door” find success. It’s a proof of concept for a feature film that I’ve been working on for over 4 years and would absolutely love to make one day.

As my final student project, I would love for it to be my stepping stone into professional filmmaking.

Intrusion, directed by Nicholas Carrodo

23 days into an alien invasion, an old friend comes knocking on Matt’s door.

“After working on Intrusion for around 10 months now, I can confidently say that it is a testament to all that I have learned throughout my career and easily the best film I’ve made to date, the effort and passion put into this film is on full display here.” – Nicholas Carrodo

Read more about Nicholas Carrodo’s film with our review of “Intrusion” here.

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