A 1984 Nevada High School graduate is celebrating the release of her first English language film.
Cindy Nelson-Mullen, daughter of Marilyn and Ken Nelson of Nevada, said "APARTMENT 1303," shot in steroscopic 3D, will be released theatrically to select markets today (July 25). Unfortunately, she said, none of those markets are in Iowa, but the film is also available via On-Demand from local cable television operators, and through iTunes, Amazon Video on Demand, CinemaNow, Google Play, Viewster, PlayStation Network and Vudu.
"APARTMENT 1303" is a horror film, which Nelson describes as a psychological thriller, not a bloody one.
The film, in a nutshell, is about a woman who moves to a seemingly perfect highrise apartment building, experiences strange happenings and ends up jumping from the building and killing herself. But is it suicide? Her sister doesn’t think so, and in doing her own investigating, finds a frightening, unexplainable mystery.
Nelson-Mullen, who attended Simpson College and then transferred to Iowa State her junior year and graduated with a degree in communications and journalism, said she never pictured herself as a movie producer. Her initial interest out of college was advertising.
"My first job was at an ad agency in London … which then took me to New York, where I worked at a number of large ad agencies," she said. She worked as a marketing account supervisor for brands like Proctor & Gamble, Kraft/General Foods and Nabisco. Eventually she opened her own firm to represent directors and editors for commercials. "In retrospect, the shift to production from marketing is the turning point which led me to independent films," she said.
Producing some non-English films prior to "APARTMENT 1303," Nelson-Mullen is excited about the present film, for which she and her partner, Michael Taverna, are the primary producers and copyright holders. Taverna, she said, is also the writer and director of the film.
Active in a number of activities while she was at Nevada High School, including softball, basketball, track, chorus and band, Nelson said she enjoys the challenge of producing movies, which is why she has landed in this career.
"There are many challenges … the sheer number of people involved and the budget make this a very stressful and challenging experience," she said, "and one that can take up to 36 months or more to bring to conclusion. I would say it is not for the faint of heart."
Nelson-Mullen said the joy of her career comes "when you deliver the film to a distributor and they put it out in a lot of theaters. It is impressive and satisfying to see ‘APARTMENT 1303 3D’ shown around the world, next to studio biggies like ‘Croods’ and ‘Jack the Giant Slayer.’"
For most of the year, Nelson-Mullen makes her home in Los Angeles, but she said she and Taverna also have a place in Tuscany, Italy, where they spend as much time as possible. "He’s Italian, and I’m trying to learn to speak Italian," she said.
At least once a year, she tries to make it back to Nevada to see family and friends, either at the holidays or for special class reunions. "What is so great is when I return to Nevada and reconnect with classmates, we just pick up where we left off. It’s as if nothing has happened and we’re all seniors again."
Next up for Nelson-Mullen is a film called, "RESILIENT 3D," which she describes as a love story set in the near future. "The world is crumbling due to natural disasters, and we must relocate humanity before it is too late," she describes. "We are shooting this in 3D with our Hong Kong partners and this film has many more special effects – tornadoes, earthquake, tsunami – and as such, a bigger budget."
For now, Nelson-Mullen hopes the people of her hometown will take the time to view her current movie, which stars a great cast, including Mischa Barton, Rebecca De Mornay, Julianne Michelle, Corey Sevier and John Diehl.
"APARTMENT 1303" is being distributed by the company, Gravitas Ventures. The DVD and Blu-Ray versions are being distributed by Phase4 starting Sept. 15.
Nelson-Mullen instructs, "Pop yourself a bowl of popcorn, settle in on the sofa and enjoy ‘APARTMENT 1303’."