Interview with Peter by Florence Film Awards
Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a
filmmaker / actor / screenwriter ?
I wanted to be a filmmaker since early age when my grandmother bought me a “Smena Symbol” photo camera. I am still remembering when I was sitting next to the fireplace in my old house and watching through my window outside in the small room. My room had a table, bed, window and fire place, no tv, no cell phones, just me a pen, notebook and my imagination. The moon was shining and the snow was covering everything outside, all around became white, it was a magical winter night. This could be a great story for my next movie, a childhood dream that became alive in recent days. My dream was bigger to become the next George Lucas, but not yet, still working on my dream to become the greatest film maker.
At this time, I have no idea how film making works but my dream become a reality a decade ago when I bought a MiniDV video camera and slowly shifted to a career.
I do not feel that I am an actor, but as indie film maker you must learn and understand the different types of acting, took few acting classes on how to develop you acting style, did a standup comedy, lots of public speaking at Buckhead Toastmasters. I really love to play roles as a bad guy, a villain characters, gangster, or just performing comedy.
When I wrote my first scripts, I did not know that there is a difference between script writing and screen writing, I actually was doing the screenwriting on the fly while filming it was a creative process in my brain. However, when I gain more practical experience, I pay more attention on screenwriting, how to open the scene, where the actor will be, lightening and etc.
I was born in capital city Sofia in Bulgaria; I grew up in a small city called Petrich which is border between Macedonia and Greece. In old days it was fun no cell phones, we were playing outside, going to the mountains, rivers. There was no internet, if you need to learn something you buy a book or you go to the library. We had a black and white TV with just two channels on it. I am coming with software development background that helped me in film editing. Later, I moved to USA in Atlanta Georgia. I joined the Fork Shop film making group where I have a chance to practice making short films. My name is Krassimir Nikov, but I am using a stage name Peter Boidazhieff, that’s make me more exotic and special, that’s what I love to create a perfect character. I know it is confusing but you will get it later, even I struggle with identity crises, but able to manage it.
I love film making, the whole process, from writing the script, casting the actors, filming, editing, and distributing you cut on internet, dvd, or theatre
I think that is enough for now!
Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker / actor / screenwriter ?
There are many films that inspired me over the years for example like ‘After the Sunset’ 2004 with Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Woody Harrelson.
“Obvilion” 2013 where Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper he need to finish his mission, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko as Julia and I am seeing lots of similarity of where today’s world is going.
“Stargate Atlantis” the series with Joe Flanigan, Jason Momoa, Torri Higginson but most interesting is “John Carter” – 2012 by Walt Disney. I really love the story telling, the acting, the effects, and how they are able to go back and forward in order to support the story.
Also, one of the short experimental films that we did at the Fork Shop a year ago called “Get Well Soon”
where I played a small character and participated in other roles of film making process, like camera operator.
Who is your biggest influence ?
My biggest influence is one of the local film makers his name is Stephen Blackmon, his founder of Fork Shop film making group. He is able to get people together and showed the practical aspects of film making. You do not need to have expensive gear; you just need to have an idea then get a motivated crew and The Movie is born, the rest is history! Even I produced a film you can watch it here
Another great influence is one of Youtuber Casey Neistat with his movie called “Do what you can’t!” that resonate with me, for example, my father told me you can’t move to America, my friends told me you can’t be a software developer, you will never be a film maker and etc. if you watch the film above you can get to the point what I am talking about and you might find something similar that happened in you life.
In other words, “Do what you can’t!” is the biggest influence for me.
What were some of the challenges you had to face in making your films ?
There were many challenges that I faced; one is finding the right actors who will be able to commit to the role. Another is finding the right locations, or building the set in the studio. The most important is the audio, many times I did the filming and when I got to the editing part found out the audio is not very good and I need to go back and asked the actors to re-record the audio.
In other words, with any project there are challenges and this is part of being an indie film maker, I need to be able to adapt and overcome any obstacles and keep filming, do not stop because something is preventing you of finishing you film project.
Do you have a favorite genre to work in ? Why is it your favorite ?
Let me tell what I really do not like the true story movies, because they are very predictable and boring from my point of view.
One of my favorite genres is Comedy, to make funny story and make something with unexpected ending to make audience guessing what it is going to happen next, but I really love Science Fiction and Fantasy. For example, my favorite ones are the series “Farscape” where John Crichton (Ben Browder) is testing a spacecraft and goes through a wormhole, you must watch and find by yourself.
You should be able to laugh at any situations, even in the difficult ones, unfortunately we brought to earth to struggle. We need to find a moment to relax and enjoy ourselves and the Fantasy is my favorite genre that I found that moment.
What’s your all-time favorite movie and why ?
One of my favorite movies is “Lucifer”, it is a TV series where Lucifer Morningstar is the actual devil and helping detective Chloe Decker solving crimes. I love the acting, the chemistry between them and how their characters are developed during the series. The idea that the devil is actually a person who helps people and every day is a party, drinking, smoking, and the concept of hell, when you die if you are going in hell.
The hell is actually torturing you performing the same task over and over for eternity, like never ending dream. Great drama, and lovely love story and romance between them and the rest of the characters are amazing, too like Detective Daniel "Dan" Espinoza, Mazikeen, Amenadiel, Dr. Linda Martin.
If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be ?
I would love to work with Pierce Brosnan one of my favorite actors, also with Michael Bay the best director, one of his movies The Island, Margaret Lawson she played in the series Psych, and Daniella Alonso.
Or just scratch all of these people above I love to work with Conan O'Brien the late-night host on TBS.
Probably this won’t be happening until I became famous, let get to realistic goals and I really love to work with both actors Paul Black, Brittany Black that I already worked in my film project The Secret Project 53, very talented actors and I really love to work with them, again.
Tell us something most people don't know about you.
I am enjoying rafting in Ocoee Tennessee in Ocoee River, which is one the best rafting location in USA. In 2018 I was part of the rafting race in Ocoee River Championships in Olympic Section of the river.
Our rafting team was able to finish almost first in the Olympic section of the river.
The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.
I have many people that do not believe in me and lots of haters, in most of my life they said that I can’t and I won’t be. The same thing happened when I began making films got lots of jokes and laughs.
However, I proved them wrong, most important that I proved for myself that anything is possible you just need the courage to do it. It is more important that I proved to myself that I am able to do what I can’t.
The person who believed was one of my co-worker David, he always encouraged me and helped me to make my dream as film maker becoming a reality.
What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker / actor / screenwriter ?
I have leaned many lessons, but the most important one is do not get discourage from you mistakes. For example, you have an idea in your mind how to film a particular scene but when you are fuming it, looks totally different. The most important lesson is practicing the scene before you actually filming it, what this mean, brake down the scene in small segments and think how you are going to film it, from which angle, lights, what do you want the actor to say, react. I believe this will save you lots of time while filming it and then will be easy to edit the scene later.
As an actor I found that there are no small roles, do not underestimate them. Get the most difficult role and try to perfect it, do not go for the money.
As a screen writer please take critics and keep writing until you script is perfect and also give room for you actors to act, and try to remove unnecessary dialogue. Someone said less is better than more. That someone was my personal leader, live coach James Bell who believed in me while I was giving speeches in Buckhead Toastmasters.
Is it harder to get started or to keep going ?
What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either ?
For me it is harder to start, but once I started the film project it is easy to keep going. For example, sometimes I am going in a “hole” stuck with the script, cannot find the actors, locations, and I am experiencing the moment that I call a “hole” not doing anything and going into a loop doing nothing for day or months for one or another reason, they called a “hell” like in “Lucifer” TV series, in other words doing the same thing over and over for eternity and beyond.
Once I get out of the “hole” I can keep going and nothing can stop me. How to conquer the “hole”, because it sucking me down like I am sinking in the water and the best way on the surface is just relaxing you brain and focus on another subject for a moment. Sometimes is just going rafting for the weekend, or just watching a motivation speech.
What keeps you motivated ?
The biggest motivation I found in the nature, being outside enjoying the sunset and sunrise and forget about the social media, you cell phone at least for one day in the week. For me this is clearing my mind and make me feel alive.
I love rafting in Ocoee Tennessee and the beautiful view of the maintains which one way to get motivated. As you look around the nature, I found many things and activities to get motivated.
How has your style evolved ?
At the beginning of my filmmaking, I did not realize that I was making the films for myself and to fulfil my desire, or ego. I focused more of story details and the message to have a meaning to the audience. In other words, making a movie for the audience that will enjoyable to watch from the most of the audience. Also, to be able to adapt you script to the location and to you actors. For example, not writing a script that won’t be able to film with current resources, because sometimes my imagination can create scenes like mermaids, jumping on the buildings, or train running on fire.
On set, the most important thing is:
One of the most important things on the set is timing, I have been in several films where people are coming late, then the filming runs more than expected.
In other words, time all of your scenes and organize the actors to come when their scene is ready to film. For example, if the actor had just few sentences, he or she does not need to be all day on the set. Another thing explains to all crew that timing is very important and when you are saying filming at 9 AM, everyone should be ready and camera is rolling at 9 AM.
Again, timing and timing is the most important on the set even in most scenarios the time won’t be enough and you always run out of the time, but at least you are going to have a better experience if you plan your timing in advance.
The project(s) you’re most proud of:
I am proud of few projects that I was able to finish last year. One of them is “Comedy Sketches” which is one of my dreams to be able to perform comedy stand up. Another one is “The Secret Project 53” where I was inspired by a true story and make it as science fiction, and finally “The Reporter from Ocoee with Love”.
Another one is the “Braaking Newz” where I played comedian and president and I won the best actor supportive role awarded by Golden State Film Festival. Some of the critics compare the movie to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. You can watch the film at our web site Braaking Newz.
The most challenging project you worked on. And why ?
The most challenging project was a music video that we filmed last year for one of the rappers in Atlanta. It is called “Quarters”. I was part of the video playing as Homeless Man on Park Bench. We filmed in a small studio where we build the sets, like church, jail, office, and etc. The biggest challenge was that we need to take the all scenes in one take. Not sure if the right word for this one is Blocking.
However, we rehearsed several times and start moving from one set to another until we get it right, I think we did the whole thing more than 50 times, but yes, we are able to do it and if anyone tell it is not possible, I would say anything is possible with practice and film crew that is not afraid to try something new.
This is link to the video
What are your short term and long term career goals ?
The short terms goals are to finish my short film projects, have lots of rafting videos, few older films, and make one documentary video about the nature. Release one of the short films as documentary and make it a feature and I already had a title “A Movie is Born”.
The long-term goals are to make a feature film and able to distribute to the Theatres and make a tv series like Money Heist distributed on Netflix.
Your next projects ?
I have few short films to finish, make a new version of The Secret Project 53, complete the Braaking Newz next episode, and I love to create a new web series about the detective and his buddy that are going to solve crimes, at least 5 episodes up to 40 minutes and hope to finished in 3 months.