Meet the Director – Lisa Nicol (WIDE OPEN SKY)


DECKCHAIR CINEMA (DC): What inspired you to make WIDE OPEN SKY?

LISA NICOL (LN): The original inspiration for WIDE OPEN SKY was to find a story close to home. With small kids, going away to shoot is tricky. The choir mistress Michelle has kids at the same school as me & I’d heard stuff about this choir she ran way out west and how incredible it was. How the kids had no opportunities to learn music and yet she was able to get them to sound divine. Music is my absolute passion. I was intrigued. Although it was nowhere near home!


DC: What was one of the biggest challenges you faced when filming WIDE OPEN SKY?

LN: Probably my own fears! It’s been a while between films and I’m not professionally trained. You always doubt yourself. Do I know what I’m doing? The only answer is to be very well prepared. People say never work with kids but they were the least of my problems. Adults are far trickier. The kids in this film were all such a joy to work with. Such gorgeous kids. Every one of them. Stole my heart.


DC: Who/what has inspired you as a filmmaker?

LN: When I was younger documentaries blew my mind wide open. I had a fairly conservative upbringing. The world up my way was very straight ahead. So documentaries took me to other places, introduced me to people that I found fascinating. CRUMB by Terry Zwigoff, GRAY GARDENS by David & Albert Maysles, HOOP DREAMS by Steve James, Werner Herzog’s work, THE THIN BLUE LINE, Errol Morris. And the only thing I love more than a documentary is a music documentary. D.A. Pennebaker’s DON’T LOOK BACK is one of my all-time favourite films. I thought AMY was fantastic too. Sam Jones’s I AM TRYING TO BREAK YOUR HEART about Wilco imploding is a cracker.


DC: What new or upcoming film/s are you really excited to see and why?

LN: I’m excited to see what they’ve done with JASPER JONES. I loved that book. And I can’t wait to see Ivan Sen’s new film GOLDSTONE. I think he’s a genius.


DC: With the advent of home theatres and streaming, do you feel cinema is still relevant?

LN: Completely. Perhaps even more so.  We are so distracted these days and cinema is so immersive. We need deep immersion to actually concentrate and pay attention.  There’s no comparison watching a film at home or on your laptop or whatever device and watching it up on the big screen. If you actually want to think or be affected or moved or shaken, go to the cinema! Everything else is skidding across the surface.


WIDE OPEN SKY is rated (G) and screens at the Deckchair on the following dates: Sat 25 June | Fri 8 July | Sun 24 July.

Tickets and more info HERE