Nightmares by the Sea
TYPE: Narrative Feature
After losing custody of his son, a young father is forced to confront the meaning of his existence while combating depression, alcoholism, and self-doubt, but the promise of new love could change his life for the better.
Niko Rhodes has recently lost the custody of his son, Yutaka. As he tries to figure out where he went wrong in life, he allows his best friend, Kevin, to set him up with an awkward, but nice girl named Serena. Niko is enthralled by Serena. Although he’s constantly yearning for the past when his life was happy, he sees Serena as a way to rebuild the family he once had. After their initial encounter, Serena leaves Niko at the beach with just her name and the first nine digits of her ten digit number.
Over the next few days Niko desperately tries to reconnect with Serena. Just as he’s about to give up, he guesses the correct number and is reunited with her. Serena invites Niko to a house party that night and in the weeks after their relationship moves fairly quickly. They eventually decide to take a road trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Before the road trip, Niko calls his Aunt to deliver the good news of the new relationship, and to confess his plan to propose to Serena at the end of the road trip. His Aunt strongly advises him against that and suggests that he slows the relationship down a bit. Niko ignores her advice and goes forward with his plan.
In the desert, Niko and Serena discuss everything from family, love, God, and the afterlife. At the end of the trip Niko propose to Serena with confidence. She becomes upset and demands that Niko takes her home. After returning home, Niko decides to personally deliver a Christmas gift to his son Yutaka although he’s not allowed to have unsupervised contact with him. Once he arrives at his son’s house things don’t go as plan sending Niko into a dangerous spiral of hopelessness.
Niko goes home, grabs a leather belt, and wraps it around his neck. His life flashes before his eyes. Filled with regret, and a desire for a second chance at life, Niko desperately tries to snap out of his nightmare. Fortunately, the leather belt breaks giving Niko a second chance at life.
This movie was birthed from a bout of depression I was dealing with in the summer of 2016. I was struggling with my responsibilities as a Father, and knew that in order to work through the depression I had to write. I soon found myself at my computer writing Nightmares by the Sea. I wrote the first draft in four days. It was therapy for me. A weight had been lifted off my shoulders temporarily. I knew that I had something that could be impactful to others. I learned, through this creative process, that there is much beauty in the nuance of life, and that second chances await us constantly. Life is beautiful.
Skinner Myers - Writer/Director
SKINNER MYERS is an award winning filmmaker who currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Skinner's made his feature film debut as the writer and director of the documentary, Drinking From The Well, which has screened in film festivals domestically and internationally. Skinner wrote and directed four short films: Chimera, The Last Supper, Obscured, and Nigger, while studying film at USC School of Cinematic Arts. His sixth film, La Tierra Del Exodo, has played in over 80 festivals worldwide and have already garnered a ton of awards and countless nominations including Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Short Film. He is currently in development on a handful of projects with his production company One Hand Clapping Pictures.
Michal Sinnott - Producer
MICHAL SINNOTT started her acting career as a kid actress, which saw Michal land a small role in the movie of the week Ironclads starring Virginia Madsen and directed by Oscar-winner Delbert Mann. She went on to graduate high school from The Governor's School for the Arts (GSA) Drama Department, a five-city-wide Performing Arts High School based in Norfolk, Virginia. She continued her study of the craft at Catholic University where she received a degree in Drama. She then moved to NYC where she studied at the GATE acting conservatory, which was ran and taught by Stella Adler-trained actor and teacher Gregory Abels. She also studied the Sanford Meisner Technique under Paul Le Mos and Maggie Flanigan.
Matthew Halla - Cinematographer
MATTHEW HALLA is from California’s Central Coast. Before graduating from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, he worked as a television photojournalist in San Francisco, covering everything from the Oscar Grant Oakland BART riots to presidential dinners at the Getty mansion. While in television news he received five Emmy nominations taking home one for the win. Matthew is an observer, looking deeply at the communities and cultures around him for inspiration in crafting fiction and documentary storytelling characters and worlds. He enjoys travel, hanging out with family and friends, and riding bikes. This is will be the second film that Matthew has photographed for Skinner Myers.
Dwayne Kemete - Production Designer
DWAYNE KEMETE began his journey into film at the age of nine years old. Originally an actor, Dwayne attended Sylvia Young Theatre School in London. It was during this time that he watched Luis Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou, which proved to be a transformative experience as he learned about the freedom that experimental filmmaking fosters. Dwayne obtained his undergraduate degree in film production at the University of Portsmouth in England. He made a number of films both documentary and fiction while learning the craft and forging a signature style. Dwayne has production design on a number of films in Los Angeles.
John Conway - Editor
JOHN CONWAY, originally from the Washington, DC metro area, is an independent writer, director, producer and editor based in Los Angeles, California. A recent graduate of the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of the Cinematic Arts, he has worked as a director, producer, assistant director, editor and camera operator on a diverse range of projects for clients such as Cracked.com, Coca-Cola, Subway, KCET Los Angeles, Interscope Records, and Capitol Records, as well as the short film La Tierra Del Exodo, which has been selected by over 90 film festivals worldwide. A firm believer in the power of the moving image, John hopes to continue telling stories that engage audiences intellectually, viscerally and (most importantly) emotionally.
Tina Trinh - Costume Designer
TINA TRINH was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from California State University Northridge with a degree in Liberal Arts. Shortly upon graduation Tina began to pursue a wardrobe styling career. Her work has taken her from Los Angeles to New York City and all over the world. In the fashion world, some of her work can be seen in the magazines of Metafore, Jute, and DISfunkshion. Two years ago she made the switch to working in film and television as a costume designer and has not looked back since. This will be the second film that Tina has costume designed for Skinner Myers.
Mu Sun - Executive Producer
MU SUN was born in China, but raised all over the world. His international upbringing has had a strong influence on his work, striving to tell stories that have a universal and timeless relevance. A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Mu brings together a strong technical background with a diverse set of artistic influences, that include East Asian Cinema, Russian literature, and contemporary independent film. In addition to being an accomplished filmmaker, with six short films that have screened at film festivals around the world, Mu has also directed commercials for leading brands that range from web commercials to national television campaigns. Mu is determined to bring powerful stories to the big screen.
Bernardo Duran Jr. - Producer
BERNARDO DURAN JR. was born in East Los Angeles as the youngest of three children. He earned a Bachelor of Science in General Management from Cal State LA, an MBA with an emphasis in Finance from the University of La Verne, and an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. While at USC, Bernardo produced more than 15 short films. He was the In-House Producer for Diego Luna & Gael Garcia Bernal’s production company, CANANA, where he produced small to mid-level branded content projects. Most recently, Bernardo was the Finance Manager for Joel Silver’s production company, Silver Pictures, where his role consisted of managing the day-to-day finances of the company, and supervising the feature film’s financial standing. Bernardo is now an independent producer creating content under his label, Nerdy Eagle Entertainment.
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