Check out our exclusive interview with Nicole Cannon, writer of the new feature film, “Transference”!
Nicole Cannon is the writer of “Transference” a gripping horror/psychological drama that tells the story of overcoming the traumas of childhood sexual abuse. Initially starting out as an actress on shows like “CSI” and “The Mentalist”, Nicole switched gears to writing and found power in the creative process. “Transference” originally started out as a short film, but Nicole was inspired to make it a full feature film so that she can reach out to a bigger audience with this cathartic story. We got a chance to speak with Nicole about writing and filming “Transference”.
The Kncoturnal: What was your experience writing the film?
Nicole Cannon: It was great. I had written a couple of other screenplays all big budget so it was nice to set the parameters on this one with time & budget. I started writing in October 2018. We went into preproduction in April 2019 for a July/August shoot in Atlanta. It was amazing to see our amazing cast breathe life into the characters and I really enjoyed the whole process of seeing the project go from page to screen. We were lucky to find such an amazing cast to work nonunion.
The Kncoturnal: What adjustments did you have to make when you decided to change direction from a short film to a feature film?
Nicole Cannon: My 1st draft was 60 pages. Instead of making it shorter, my producers suggested adding another 20 pages to the script and another 20k + to the budget. They were certain they would be able to sell a full-length feature and I believed in the project enough to make that extra investment.
The Kncoturnal: What impact have you seen the film have on the audience and what does that mean to you?
Nicole Cannon: Aside from the positive reviews were getting on Amazon, I was so happy to receive all of the personal messages and emails from people who watched the film sharing how deeply impactful it was for them. It’s an important subject, one that not many people are comfortable talking about. So many people have reached out sharing their stories. Whether they have been directly affected by sexual abuse or know someone who has, they’ve reached out to express gratitude for telling this story and using this genre to metaphorically show the horrors that haunt survivors. I’m honored it’s being received with the intention with which it was written.
The Kncoturnal: What were the biggest hurdles you faced when you transitioned to writing?
Nicole Cannon: Self-doubt. I think that’s always been an obstacle for me in my career and life, in general. I’ve always been a dreamer. I would get in trouble in school for daydreaming. It served me in my acting career because it is really easy for me to empathize with another person/character and imaging their circumstances. I love bringing someone else’s humanity to life. What I love about writing is that I can use my imagination to create a world and the characters that live in it and at the end of the day I have a tangible product of my creativity. I never really got to experience that as an actor. I always felt like I was a clog in someone else’s wheel and I wasn’t getting to say what I wanted to say as an artist. With writing, I get to use my imagination and voice.
Discipline was another huge obstacle. Over time I grew to understand my process and learned sometimes just sitting staring at a blank page and writing through the blocks gets me to where I need to be. I just have to sit down and write which requires a lot of discipline.
The Kncoturnal: What was it like working with the director Aditya J Patwardhan?
Nicole Cannon: Aditya is great. He came on board the project during the outline phases and gave some really great script notes to help ground some of the more esoteric ideas in the film. He was also brilliant at making sure my vision was realized on those long stressful days on a nonunion set where a lot can get compromised to save time and money.
The Kncoturnal: Can you tell us a little bit about your next upcoming film?
Nicole Cannon: I have a comedy called Tripping With Mom. I wrote it about my hippie-dippy Jewish mom that got kicked out of a nursing home. In the film her daughter, Moonflower (aka me), and her uptight granddaughter, Hazel, have to take Bubbie with them on a road trip to find Hazel’s father, who she’s never met, before she leaves for college. I am currently shopping it around and hope to have it set up soon.
“Transference” is available now on Amazon Prime, check it out!