Student creates movie madness, magic

By Kary Feick

Hard work, dedication, and persistence are just a few of the key ingredients when making even the shortest of films, let alone a feature-length movie.

“To me, movies are one of the most magical things that we have left in this world. It’s basically a place for you to escape, a place where anything is possible, you can do anything, you can be anyone, and you get to escape the real world and all your problems,” said Christopher Nickin, the next up-and-coming film producer in Michigan. Nickin is also a Broadcasting and Cinema Arts student at Madonna University.

In the last four years, Nickin has worked on more than 20 films, including six feature-length films. Last year, one of Nickin’s stories was turned into a movie by the Madonna University capstone film class.

“The capstone film class here at Madonna is the final class in the BCA department, and basically throughout the program you are pretty much doing all of your assignments on your own. When you get to the capstone class, you take everything you have learned and put it together and you work as a team to write, produce, film, and edit a movie. In my capstone class, our team chose my idea, and we produced ‘Man in the Mirror’,” said Nickin.

Nickin’s passion for movies began much earlier.

“My whole life I have known I wanted to be involved in movies. My interest in movies began when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. I never knew quite what I wanted to do growing up, but I knew it would be movie-related,” said Nickin.

Sometimes finding the determination and willpower comes from an event in childhood. “In sixth grade, I had a teacher that did things to really push me, making me want to get into my field and make a success of myself. There were days I could not be in school because my mother was running for district judge, and there were a lot of days I missed class because of campaigning and other reasons. If I did not do well on a test due to one of the days I had not been there, she would read my test score to the entire class and embarrass me. Then one day, when I was sitting in class, she looked at me in front of the entire class, and she said ‘Christopher, you are a lazy kid, and you will never amount to anything in this world.’ And at that moment I knew that no matter what obstacle crossed my path, I was going to push myself, and I was going to succeed in the career I wanted to,” said Nickin.

Despite the roadblocks along the way, Nickin still pushed forward.

“As far as my own work, I’ve never written, produced, and shot a feature-length film myself. I’ve done a multitude of shorts; I’d say probably two dozen that I’ve worked on by myself. The longest film I did was an hour long, I am still working up to doing my own feature-length one of these days, but right now I’m just kind of taking any job I can get,” he said.

Nickin has worked as a production assistant, head of craft services, and also landed a role in the movie ‘Fraternity House’ as ‘Freddie, the Gay Guy.’ Some of the other full-length films that Nickin has worked on are ‘Scream King’ and ‘Deadly Karma.”

“I have continued working with the same producers for about four- and-a-half years now,” said Nickin.

“My advice to anyone that is interested in making movies, is ‘Just Do It.’ I’m going to borrow Nike’s slogan because I believe if you just get out there and start getting into your interest, then you’ll succeed.”