Patrick Rea started making videos in high school, and just didn’t stop. He went to film school at the University of Kansas, and he and his friends were “making films all the time.” After college he lived very cheaply, making films while living on a couch at a friend’s house. Eventually, in 2006 he started getting some interest in his shorts from a studio that he worked for, and they started funding his shorts. They entered them in regional Emmy’s and won two awards. The studio used these shorts to show they could do more than TV commercials. Then in 2009 he got investors for his feature film, Nailbiter.
CrewTide: How do you spend your day?
Rea: I’ve been working full-time on Nailbiter since 2009. It’s now in the distribution phase. I’m dedicated to getting it into film festivals, so contacting critics, applying to festivals, networking, etc. I’m also writing a script for my next project, collaborating with other filmmakers, getting my shorts out there.
CrewTide: And what is your role in the process?
Rea: Hm, I’d say I’m a writer/director/producer…and catering.
CrewTide: Ha! That’s awesome. I have two co-producers, and one is a dedicated editor/sometime DP, but my other co-producer and I trade off directing and doing whatever else needs to happen, which is often some combination of AD, script supervising, and catering.
Rea: Directing is my first love. I produce because I have to — to make it happen. I’ve done a lot of my own writing, but ultimately if someone gave me a script and I got paid to direct, that’s always the goal. I’ve been lucky to have great projects come my way that I’ve gotten paid for, it’s been good.
CrewTide: Would you ever go out to Hollywood?
Rea: That’s tricky, I’d love to do a Hollywood film. There are pros & cons, I’d love to be able to keep my independence and make films outside of studio system. But I’m not going to lie, if someone offered me the opportunity to direct a big budget Hollywood film, I’d take it. Depending on the project.
CrewTide: What kinds of films do you gravitate toward?
Rea: Well, I love narrative. Most of my shorts are very Twilight Zone style, comedy horror. My feature is like that too. I love both features and shorts. Short films are great way to learn new equipment, try new things, so when you do a feature you’re not stumbling. We made Nali Biter with the Red camera, and we’d heard horror stories about that camera so we shot a short with it to understand the work flow. By the time we go to the featrue we were ready to use the camera. Shorts — I’ll do them forever in between features.