Friday 31 May 2019


With High school buddy Chris Retts, up-and-coming filmmaker Mark Wilson has put together a commanding piece of cinema-  which you’ll able to see for yourself June 19 at Dances with Films.

Where does your love of movie-making come from, Mark?

I think just from growing up in Phoenix, AZ during a hot summer day we would always be living in the movie theatre. I was growing up during the time of Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, etc and those movie theatre experiences made me want to create my own movie experience for people. 

I imagine spending all those years on shorts prepared you for feature-filmmaking. But just how different is it directing a short to a full film?

Honestly, I feel no pressure when filming a short film because for the most part it was always just for practice or for our enjoyment. When making a feature film there’s far more expectations for the film and that cause anxiety/pressure on me for sure. I still find the same enjoyment in feature films don’t get me wrong but there definitely is a few more layers of pressure and stress.

When did you and Chris Retts meet? Was it a natural fit?

Chris Retts and I went to the same high school in Phoenix, Arizona. He was a senior and I was a freshman, I never really knew him just knew of him. I was always friends with his sister who was about my age and she would usually score all my films because she was/is a talented musician. So always working with her on my films the last decade I’d come across Chris at random gatherings and talk films with him. That’s when I’d see his character and taste in films meshed with mine. Since then we’ve worked on many projects the past 6 years and it has been an amazing partnership.

Is it fair to say Wade in the Water is a unique mix of genres? How did you pitch it to your cast and investors to get them interested? 

WADE IN THE WATER is definitely a mix of genres. We were having a hard time really pinning down what genre the film fell into. I think we still bounce back and forth on what genre it falls into. We basically just had the cast and crew read the script without any information about the story and see how they reacted to it. From the immediate positive feedback we knew we were making something special and something important worth telling.

Where did you find Tom Nicholson?

We held a casting session in Hollywood and Tom was our first audition of the day. I remember going into the waiting room and seeing Tom knowing he was everything we envisioned for the film. Then when he read for us I could see the depth he could bring to the character.

Why bill him only as ‘Our Man’? What does it add to the story, In your opinion?

We had an ongoing gimmick in the script where we never revealed his name till the end of the film. It didn’t play well in the edit and it felt wrong so we cut out that whole bit. So we decided just to bill him as ‘Our Man,’ because it felt more mysterious and keep it open to more interpretation for our audience. Is his name Wade? Is ‘Our Man’ a symbol of all those that have been abused? We just wanted to keep it open for however the audience interpreted it.