Jackson native to show two of his films

Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Nick Murphy

Jackson native Nick Murphy moved out to Hollywood a long, long time ago as an aspiring filmmaker, a move that sounds like the plot to many a Hollywood story.

Murphy's whole existence is about writing movies, he said. He works what he calls "cool day jobs" for a few months at a time, saving up enough to make his next guerrilla film.

Sure, Murphy's in Hollywood, but he isn't stressing about making it big with his films. He just enjoys making them, sort of like the large group of friends he has in Southeast Missouri who do the same thing.

On Jan. 4, Murphy and his friends will get together, with anyone else who wants to come, to show two of Murphy's films, one made in Los Angeles, the other made in Southeast Missouri.

When he was a 15-year-old student at Jackson High School and a member of the drama club, Murphy was already film-obsessed. He took his passion to Los Angeles, where he remains today.

"Back when we were making movies we were considered weird," Murphy said. "... Now it's cool."

The Cape Girardeau and Jackson area is now home to several independent filmmakers, some of whom are close friends with Murphy. Some, like Trace Webster, David Allstun and Charles Parsons, helped him with "Will's Big Day," which was made in Cape Girardeau.

"Will's Big Day" leads off the double feature at 7:30 p.m. The film, Murphy said, is a comedy in the vein of last summer's "Superbad."

He stresses that "Will's Big Day," about a man who finds out his girlfriend's habitual infidelity the day she breaks up with him, is full of "heavy language and adult situations."

"It's like a live action 'Family Guy' brought to life," Murphy said, referring to the Fox animated comedy.

The second film, "What Comes Next?", is a romantic comedy that tells a coming-of-age story about a group of friends who recently graduated college and are now trying to find out what to do with their lives.

One scene is an homage to the Mike Judd cult hit "Office Space," and throughout Murphy said the film evokes the past work of filmmakers like John Hughes and Cameron Crowe.

Murphy showed one of his films in Cape Girardeau in 2006. The avid video game fan made a 40-minute, live action tribute to "Tomb Raider" full of explosions and chases. He showed that film in April 2006 at a comic and gaming convention at Buckner Brewing Co.

This time Murphy's screening is on its own, and it's free. The Jackson native doesn't necessarily worry about making money off his movies, he just makes them for the fun of it, he said.

The Jan. 4 event will also feature the films' actors and crew doing a question-and-answer session.

"I'm hoping for a good 11 people," Murphy joked about the screening.

Murphy's dream is to make a big-budget movie in Cape Girardeau. The idea: A rock concert at the Show Me Center inadvertently opens the gates of hell, and locals led by The Rock and "Evil Dead" star Bruce Campbell must set the world right. Samuel L. Jackson would play Satan.

Until then, Murphy will just keep making his films on shoestring budgets and bringing them back to show the folks back home.

To see trailers of the films, visit www.myspace/filmmakernick.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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