We had the good fortune of connecting with Shant Nicholas Salkhorian and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Shant Nicholas, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
The love I have for filmmaking started when I was a child. Film was always my thing, and it was a pretty easy choice for me. The hardest part was not knowing the steps to making it into the industry. Growing up, I loved watching Charlie Chaplin films. I had these old VHS tapes of classic Charlie Chaplin films. I would watch them for hours. Chaplin could make me laugh and cry without saying a word in his films and I thought that was magical. This is when I decided that filmmaking was for me. I went on to study Film at Woodbury University. This is where I directed my award-winning short film MISTAKES. The film went on to win at several film festivals, including LA Shorts, Top Indie Film Awards, SoCal CIFF, LA CineFest and LA Indie Film Awards. Making the film was such a great experience for me. I had so much support from my friends and family. As soon as we wrapped… I knew that I was addicted for life. I had to immediately start developing my next project. I am now an alumni with a master’s in producing from the American Film Institute Conservatory. As a Producing Fellow at The American Film Institute Conservatory, I produced several short films and wrote a feature screenplay. Currently I am in the middle of several projects in various stages of development.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a student, I had the opportunity to work on shows such as Ellen and Conan on the Warner Bros. lot. This was the best experience I could have asked for at the time. I went on to direct, write and produce my award winning short film called “Mistakes”. I have written/produced several short films along the way as I graduated the American Film Institute Conservatory. My number one goal would be to continue telling stories through cinema because without movies, I would be lost. I have a band called Midnight City and we’re on Itunes and everything, but movies are my thing. I wouldn’t be doing what I do if I didn’t feel the need to. I would love it if everyone enjoyed the movies I made but I’m not worried about that. It’s more about, I wouldn’t want to make a movie if I didn’t have something to say. It should be about a feeling you have, an experience or something you need to get out of your system. It’s almost therapeutic in its own way. You have to figure out if you have something to offer to the cinema world, and as long as I do, I’m going to continue making movies.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If it’s yours first time in SoCal, you gotta go to the beach. Doesn’t really matter which beach. There are artists, musicians, dancers…etc doing their thing. Party crowds/calm crowds. SoCal is extremely diverse so there is a good chance that you will find exactly what you are looking for wether it’s good food, drinks, entertainment…etc. Walk around, enjoy some street tacos and have a good time! My next suggestion is going to sound very cliché but you must check out the original Disneyland. My girlfriend and I have been annual pass holders for years now and one of our favorite things to do is to go and walk around the park. And if that’s not your thing… SoCal is home to several different theme parks. I would also recommend museums such as the Getty and Lacma.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family. I am extremely grateful and fortunate to have a family that supports me no matter what. We have been through a lot of ups and downs but we have always held each other up. I grew up with a single mom and two older sisters who have always been there for me. I grew up around other families who would pressure their children to study something that would be considered “safe”. My family always believed in my passion for filmmaking and they always supported me. Even now, you can always spot my mom on my movie sets helping set up crafty. You can always see my sisters helping the art department on set. I have close relatives who help out when I call. I don’t think that I have ever made a project without the help of my family. If you have seen any of my films, chances are my mother or sisters are somewhere in the background. My family has always been there for me. I’m very lucky to have them.

Website: ShantNicholas.com

Instagram: @Liesikeep

Twitter: @Liesikeep

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