WCSU News

Recent WCSU graduates produce feature film, picked up for distribution

Image of the crew from "Wandering Off"

The crew of “Wandering Off”: (top row) – Grant Kettner, Travis Golino, Connor Misset, Chris Plunkett; (middle row) – Christian Gagnier, John Murray, Brittany Nisco, Jeremy Eisener; (bottom row) – Renee Neves, Camryn DeCosta

DANBURY, CONN. — Brittany Nisco, a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, along with a team of other WestConn graduates, produced the feature film “Wandering Off,” which got picked up for distribution by Turn Key Films in late 2017.

Nisco graduated from WestConn in 2013 with the aspiration to one day direct and produce movies. While not her dream, Nisco ended up working for TV networks in New York City after graduation until 2014 when she decided she was ready to pursue her dream in earnest.

“There was a lot I had to teach myself on how to run a production company and all the components that would need to go into it,” Nisco said. “I was freelancing during this time, since it gave me the opportunity to decide when I was able to work.”

Nisco gathered capable producers under her production company, Brittany Nisco Productions. The team consisted of Grant Kettner, Christian Gagnier, Travis Golino, Connor Misset and John Murray.  Nisco and Kettner graduated at the same time in 2013, while Gagnier graduated in 2014. Misset and Murray graduated in 2016. Golino is still an undergraduate. Nisco noted, “We all met very serendipitously.”

“Wandering Off” tells the story of a family dealing with parents suffering from Sundowner’s Syndrome, a particular type of dementia.

The film entered preproduction in July 2015. The team ended up taking a year for this period; it was their first feature. Filming began in August 2016 and lasted 13 days. Postproduction carried the film until November 2017.

“The saying ‘time is money’ is never more apparent than when making a movie,” Nisco said.

The team had to prepare and minimize the movements of cast, crew and gear to ensure that every cent they earned made it to the screen. According to SAG-AFTRA guidelines, “Wandering Off” was considered to have an ultra-low budget. “We were filming six-to-10 pages a day, which was only made possible because our actors were unbelievable and our crew was so quick with set changes.”

The funding for the movie came from a variety of sources. Nisco cited their Kickstarter campaign, fundraisers, private donors and local businesses. She added, “Because no one knew who I was, or any of the other producers for that matter, we had to sell who we are as people, let them know we’re trustworthy and that what we said we were going to do with the money, we really were going to do.”

WCSU Professor of Communication and Media Arts Dr. JC Barone said, “The crew for ‘Wandering Off’ are graduates or current students from our Media Arts Production degree at WCSU. I’ve worked with all of these talented people from their freshman to senior years and they did great work while at Western. I’m very proud of the work they are doing now. I know we’ll be seeing more from Brittany Nisco and her team.”

In November 2017, Misset, Murray and Nisco went to the American Film Market to seek distribution for the completed movie. It was there the team met Turn Key Films, and a few weeks later Nisco signed with them.

Nisco concluded with a strong message: “There were 11 total crew members, including the three interns. Three of us were female on-set, 27 percent, which is higher than on most sets in the industry. I know that when growing up and wanting to be a director, I didn’t see any — ever. I rarely saw a female doing anything behind the camera, and I figured I was going to be the only girl on set. While that was true most of the time, I’m making sure it isn’t for my sets. Representation is important. If young women can be invited to set, can intern on a set, can see that there are other women on set, that will let them know that it’s no longer a possible goal, but a probable achievement.”

For more information, contact Nisco at brittany@brittanyniscoproductions.com.

 

 

 

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