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Whistler Film Festival 2015 Interview: NESTOR director Daniel Robinson

NESTOR - At #wff15
by Jason Whyte

"NESTOR is about a guy with little to no recollection of why he is lying in a snowbank wearing only a bathing suit. He finds shelter, he finds warmth, but what he struggles to find is a sense of purpose. It's not a film about one was just made by one person." Director Daniel Robinson on NESTOR which screens at the 2015 edition of the Whistler Film Festival.

I am excited to have you as part of the 15th Anniversary at Whistler! Is this your first Whistler Film Festival experience and are you going to attend your screenings?

This is my first Whistler experience and I'll be attending both screenings.

Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and your previous movies.

I have been carrying video cameras around with me since I was a teenager. I did all the typical film brat stuff like short films, web series and music videos, so making a feature film seemed like the logical next step.

How did this whole one-man show come about?

I'm a fairly private guy and I enjoy my solitude so making a movie in the traditional way seemed daunting to me. I found the idea of working alone to be far more appealing so I came up with an outline that would allow me to do everything on my own.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What kept you going with NESTOR?

I don't want to talk a big game and then not follow through. My whole life I said I was going to make a movie and that's what drove me; following through on a promise I made to myself. That and beer and PCP.

All projects are challenging in many ways, some more than others. What was your biggest challenge with making this movie, and the moment where you knew you had something?

Oddly, the biggest challenge with NESTOR wasn't doing everything by myself. It was finding the motivation to continue after some really rough patches. Dragging myself out of bed to meet another self-centred day became increasingly difficult as the months wore on, but I knew I had to finish what I started. Shortly after I began filming, I started feeling uneasy about the whole project. I was talking on the phone to my girlfriend about some alternate ideas I could incorporate into the film, ideas that would radically alter the very nature of the story, and she loved it. She convinced me to run with these new ideas and it gave me a newfound sense of confidence. That's when I knew I had something.

I am about to get "technical", but I would love to know how this was all put together with doing your own cinematography and camera work!

There's very little camera movement in the film simply because there was no one to move the camera. I framed each shot in a way that allowed me to capture the beauty of Northern Ontario while also giving me the maximum amount of room to tell the story without having to rely on inserts. I used natural light almost exclusively because not only does it looks rad, I also had no lights.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie in Whistler?

NESTOR doesn't have a traditional narrative structure so I am curious to hear people's reactions to the film. Also, I'm looking forward to selling NESTOR to a distributor for tens of millions of dollars.

After the film screens in Whistler, where is the film going to show next? Anywhere you would like it to show?

After NESTOR screens in Whistler it will be rolled out in 4000 theatres across America. Or at least that's what I am assuming will happen.

If you could show this movie in any cinema in the world, which one would you choose and why?

The Cine 5 Theatre in International Falls, Minnesota. That's where I saw every movie growing up. It's always been a dream of mine to have my own movie play there one day.

What would you say or do to someone who was being disruptive at a screening you were attending?

The theatre is a sacred place for me so I have no respect for people who talk, text, or show up late. I recently saw a showing of NEBRASKA with my girlfriend. We were the youngest ones in the theatre by about 40 years. All these old-times were whispering, howling with laughter over the dialogue, stomping, fidgeting, and farting. They were worse than teenagers. It was brutal.

What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business as a piece of advice?

A big part of filmmaking is problem solving. Do not avoid conflict for the fear of hurting someone's feelings. If you face your problems head-on as soon as they arise, things will go way smoother.

And finally, what is your all time favorite movie?

Some days it is FIGHT CLUB. Other days it's ALL THE REAL GIRLS. Yesterday it was THE MASTER and today it's TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY.

NESTOR screens on Thursday, December 3rd at Village 8 Cinema at 7pm, and on Friday, December 4th at Millennium Place at 3pm.

More informatio about NESTOR and its eventual 4000 screen expansion can be read about at and by following on Facebook and on Twitter at @nestormovie.

This is one of the many films playing at the 2015 Whistler Film Festival. For show information, tickets and for other general information on films and events, point your browser to the official website at!

Be sure to follow instant happenings of Whistler Film Festival on my Twitter account @jasonwhyte, including mini-reviews of films, comments on festival action and even a photo or two. You can also follow the festival on my Instagram at jason.whyte!

Jason Whyte,

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 11/29/15 07:42:24
last updated: 11/29/15 16:27:17
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