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Monday, September 11, 2017

Local Attorney Nathaniel Sizemore Follows his Movie Dreams

Nathaniel Sizemore (provided)
by Colin Moore

At age 30 Nathaniel Sizemore sat down to take stock of his life. He’s Vice President and General Counsel of Sizemore Inc. His professional life is good and the company has been named on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies in the US. He serves as an adjunct professor at NKU and as a visiting professor at UC. He’s happily married with a beautiful daughter. He’s active in the Fort Thomas Lions club and the local community. Still, he felt like something was missing. “I asked myself “What is it that I am not doing, that I’ll regret later in life?”” He realised that he needed a creative outlet, specifically to be involved in film and television in some way.

A year later Nathaniel is acting and producing film and TV projects part time and his first opportunity came through an article he read on Fort Thomas Matters.

“Whether I make it or not, it’s a fun ride and it’s the journey that counts. I want to show my daughter that you can be a working professional and still have that creative outlet.”

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During high school Nathaniel played basketball and also acted in some school plays, “It was a great creative outlet, the school were good about letting us do both. I caught the bug for the arts back then, although it then got put on the back burner while I went to college and started my career.” He moved away for school and years later found him self with the opportunity to move back to Fort Thomas, once he did he found that working locally gave him a bit more time to pursue other interests. As a lifelong cinephile he decided that he wanted to be involved in film and TV.

He then came across an article on Fort Thomas Matters about “Curvature”, a sci-fi thriller from the Hallivis brothers which was filming in Fort Thomas and had set up in the Hiland Building. “I literally just stopped by their office one day and asked the production accountant (the only person in the office that day) how I could be an extra in the film. A few weeks later, I got the call to be an extra and the rest is history.”

Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky has a burgeoning film scene. Large productions starring John Travolta, Bruce Willis and Robert Redford have filmed in the area recently. There’s also an up and coming film scene of local filmmakers who produce projects here, so Nathan says there are more opportunities to get involved than you might expect: “Cincinnati is becoming a movie town and it’s really exciting. It gives someone who wants to follow a similar path to me more opportunities, whether that’s as an extra in a big production or a bigger part in a local movie.”

It was in the local movie scene that Nathaniel got his next break. He got involved with the Cincinnati 48 hour film competition. Teams are given a genre and then have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a short film.  Through the competition Nathaniel connected with people from Brand Old Productions, who would go on to make the feature “75”, in which Nathaniel had his first larger role.

“I’d been in a film with a speaking line but “75” was the first film where I had a substantial role. Others I’d done had been as an extra, or sometimes as a featured extra with a little more time in front of the screen.”

One of Nathaniel’s roles as a featured extra gave him “one of the coolest cinematic experiences I’ve had.”  He had a role in the foreground of the movie “Gotti” and acted five feet away from John Travolta. “It was so cool to be close to a star like that while they’re performing.”

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Nathaniel is also involved in the industry behind the camera. He has a few projects in development. One is collaboration with Bare Knuckle Media that focuses on veteran’s issues after the return from combat. Nathaniel signed on because “I think it’s really important to highlight the struggles that the men and women in uniform go through when they return from combat.” He is also working as a producer on “Turbulent” a faith based film in collaboration with Rossetti Productions, about a husband and wife trapped in the wilderness. That should film this month and is set to be aired on the Parables Network.

Nathaniel in "75"(photo: Brand Old Productions)

He plans to keep being involved in as many different ways as possible: “I’m just passionate about the industry, I’ve always been a cinephile so I find it interesting to be involved in different capacities. It just organically happened that way.”

Nathaniel says he’s still relatively early in his film career and still learning from those who have more experience than him, “I don’t know how far along I am, but it’s a fun ride and I’m excited to see where it goes. I enjoy my day job and this is still a part time activity. It may take off, it may stay right where it is and honestly either one is fine.”

At this point Nathaniel is still very happy to wear his two hats, his professional day job and his creative output. Maybe at some point one will be too busy for the other and he’ll have to choose but he doesn’t see that time coming soon. In fact, he’d like to be an example to others that you can do both, balance a successful career and a creative life, and importantly you can do it right here in Northern Kentucky:

“I’d be remiss not to mention how impressed I’ve been with the level of talent from actors and actresses and crew in this area. I’ve only been involved for a short time but it’s very positive for Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky. It takes a lot to make these films, a lot of time and energy and dedication to make them happen. I’ve been so lucky to be involved with them. There’s so much hard work, creativity, passion, dedication and talent going in to one scene. It’s so fun to see that happen.”

Nathaniel’s advice for anyone who is interested in working in the industry is to check out the local casting groups that cast extras in larger productions. The internet is also crucial: “There are Facebook groups based around the film industry in Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Simple networking can help, one of my producer projects came from reaching out to a guy I went to high school with who works in the industry in LA. Local short film festivals and competitions are great too because they offer a chance to network with those in the film industry.”

While so much of Nathaniel’s success has come from his own hard work and talent, he knows that without one person, none of this would have happened: “I couldn’t have done any of this without the support of my wife Erin. All of this takes time, some of it takes money. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without her support.”

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