The Unforgivable, Nora Fingscheidt, Sandra Bullock

IFH 530: How to Direct Your 1st Netflix Feature with Nora Fingscheidt


Today on the show we have writer/director Nora Fingscheidt.

Nora Fingscheidt was born in 1983 in Germany and spent her youth partly in Argentina. From 2003 onward she participated in the development of the self-organized film school filmArche in Berlin. At the same time, she completed her training as an acting coach under Sigrid Andersson. Nora studied fiction directing at the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg.

Her graduation film, the full-length documentary WITHOUT THIS WORLD about a conservative Mennonite colony in Argentina, won the Max Ophüls Prize and First Steps Award in 2017.

Her narrative film debut, SYSTEM CRASHER, premiered at Berlinale 2019, where it won a Silver Bear (Alfred Bauer Award), won eight German Film Awards and many international awards. SYSTEM CRASHER was Germany’s entry for the Oscars in 2020. She continues to work both in documentary and narrative, as well as with full-length films and shorts.

Nora directed her new film THE UNFORGIVABLE starring Sandra Bullock which will premiere on Netflix December 2021.

Released from prison after serving a sentence for a violent crime, Ruth Slater (Academy Award-winner Sandra Bullock) re-enters a society that refuses to forgive her past. Although she feels a pull to the place she once called home, only harsh judgment awaits her there.

Ruth’s only hope for redemption is in finding her estranged younger sister Katie (Aisling Franciosi), who she was forced to leave behind. In her quest to reunite with Katie and adjust to life on the outside, Ruth encounters obstacles she expects and those she never saw coming from those whose lives are disrupted by her release.

Bullock produces along with Academy Award winner Graham King (Bohemian Rhapsody, Traffic) and stars alongside Vincent D’Onofrio, Jon Bernthal, Richard Thomas, Linda Emond, Aisling Franciosi, Rob Morgan, Emma Nelson, Will Pullen, Thomas Guiry and Viola Davis.

Enjoy my conversation with Nora Fingscheidt. 

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:00
I'd like to welcome the show, Nora Fingscheidt. How you doing, Nora?

Nora Fingscheidt 0:15
Hi, doing very well, how are you?

Alex Ferrari 0:17
I'm good. Thank you so much for coming on the show, I had the pleasure of watching your new film, your new Netflix film, The unforgiveable, with Santa with Miss Sandra Bullock and an amazing cast, which we're going to get into all of that in a minute. But before we go down there, let's I want to take it back for a little a few years behind. And how did you get started in the business? What made you want to tell stories and be in this ridiculous business that we call the film industry?

Nora Fingscheidt 0:46
Which it is for sure. It started quite a while ago, I mean, when I was a teenager, or even earlier, you know, when I watched movies, there was a point where I understood that Oh, actually, there are people behind that make choices. You know, like I watched Titanic is dead dying. And I was like, Why the hell did they let him die? It was I don't know. 11. So I thought like, if I could become a filmmaker, I could remake that film and, and he would survive, you know, like that it was when it started. Now, of course, I understand the whole movie wouldn't work if he survived.

Alex Ferrari 1:24
I've been trying to tell that to my daughter, by the way, and she doesn't buy it. She's like, No, no, there was you could put a life you shouldn't I got a lifeboat. There was more than enough room for both of them. I don't understand it. As it she always goes when Mr. Jim Cameron comes on your show, I would like to talk to him. She's She's 10. She's 10.

Nora Fingscheidt 1:42
I was at exactly the same place. And ever since you know, that kind of dream grew of becoming a filmmaker, but I do not come from an artistic background. So nobody, my family does anything related to art. So the idea of becoming filmmaker was something pretty crazy. It's like, yeah, I wouldn't be an astronaut. Sure. So I first studied other things to make my parents happy, like, you know, call it Latin American Studies law. But in the meantime, I was always like, in secret, making short films and being in kind of an underground film school and working my way slowly up to longer forums. And yeah, that's how it started.

Alex Ferrari 2:27
Wow. Yeah, isn't it it's, I call it the sickness, the beautiful sickness, that is to be a filmmaker, you just can't get it out. Once you get bit by the bug. It can't leave you. It can't just it grows. It just grows. Sometimes it goes dormant for years, but then it always pops its head up. Always, always want to set up. Now, how did you get your your film system crasher? off the ground? That was a first year it was that your first feature?

Nora Fingscheidt 2:53
That was my first fiction feature? Okay. It was? Well, it took a while it took six years to make that film, which, you know, it was kind of challenging to write the script, and then of course, to get a finance because who wants to see a movie about a terrible child? No, it's not an easy pitch. So I Oh, yeah, they're like, child psychiatry awards involved. And people are like, nobody's gonna want to watch that. So yeah, took a lot of time, I made a documentary in Argentina, in the meantime, that film 112 important prices in Germany, then all of a sudden, people were interested in the script, you know, and then at the end, things fell into place. And we could make the film, it was still a low budget film, obviously, for feature but at least we raised enough money that we were able to do it in a small team.

Alex Ferrari 3:48
And I have a lot of international listeners, and I love your story. Because, I mean, you weren't raised in downtown Los Angeles. You weren't anywhere near Hollywood. So you are as far away from Hollywood as humanly possible. And, and yet, somehow, you have you know, you're you have a couple of couple Oscar winning actors in your latest film. And you've really kind of hustled your way out to get to where you have, what do you what how do you think that happened? Like from from the idea of like, I want to be an astronaut to, you know, system Crusher, and then system crash obviously won a lot of awards. It didn't it like sweep the German Oscars, as well, the Lola's and I mean, no one didn't when the Berlin went to Berlin as well. What was that? Like? What is that like for you? I mean, I've never been in that situation. So I'd love to hear it from your side of it. How that feel?

Nora Fingscheidt 4:40
Well, pretty surreal. But then, thankfully, it doesn't happen. Everything at the same time. You know, I mean, sometimes I look back the other day, you know, I was walking with my husband through Venice, and we had been here to do a short film 2003 With our son, who by that time would be was he was too. And we were like, Okay, if somebody would have told us that, eight years later you will be living with your son in LA, who by that time speaks fluently English, almost now better than German while directing a film, you know, with Sandra Bullock, Viola Davis, you know, Vincent denorfia, John, Brenda? I wouldn't think like, yeah, I want to take that to the bureau, whatever.

Alex Ferrari 5:31
But that's the thing that's so fascinating, because I've been, I've said that to myself so many times in my life, where like, if I would have like, Oh, if I would have had this meeting with this actor, or this producer, I would have, like, if you would have told me that five years ago, it'd be crazy, you know, are just being on the show, being able to do this show, I talked to my heroes that made movies when I was kid, and I'm like, you know, thank you for making the movies that made my childhood. If you would have told me, If you told the video store kid, the guy who's working at the video store, like one day, you're going to interview and talk for a couple hours with this, this director. It's insane. But that's but you have to start with a dream. You have to start with a dream. And that's where it kind of goes from there. Now, how did you so I have to, I have to find out? How did you get from system crasher obviously had a lot of awards a lot of attention. Did you just start getting noticed from Hollywood at that point, and then they started, you know, hey, why don't you come over here?

Nora Fingscheidt 6:28
So um, yeah, sort of. So I'm Veronica Faris, who is a German actress slash producer. And who co produces a lot of films in Hollywood, she saw some pressure at the Berlin Film Festival. And then she reached out and said, I really loved your film, and I am co producing the film over there, and which really somehow resonates with your thumb. And by the way, Sandra Bullock is playing the lead and branching is producing. Do you mind? Do you want to take a look at the script? And I was like, Oh, yes, sure. But it was more than I was curious to read a Hollywood script, right? And realizing that there would be any chance that I would actually have to do something, right. Oh, did it you know, it was more like, that would be cool to read. And then she was like, Can I forward them your film? And I'm like, of course, sure. You know, and at that point, I was still I thought, like, wow, if Sandra Bullock got to watch my movie, and if the producer from the departed watches my film, how amazing is that? Stop. You know, that was those two, my expectations were and that was, I consider that already a miracle. But when they saw the film, they they reached out he said, we definitely want to meet you. And that is when things for me. It's really

Alex Ferrari 7:53
Surreal. That must have been that must have been remarkable. Like, like you said, like it's insanity for, like, why would they want me like that? They see my movie is just enough, let alone. So when you start getting these, when you when you take that first meeting, because I love I love hearing these stories. When you take that first meeting with with Sandra and Graham, how did that go? Like, did you still like, would you just like, why am I here?

Nora Fingscheidt 8:25
Well, I mean, the Why am I here goes all the way through? No, it's not constantly there. But it hits you every time again. All of a sudden, you're sitting in Hans Zimmer studio, who's composing the movie. And if they're like, how did I get here? You know, who was so crazy to hire me, you know. But um, so first, I met Graham, in London. And there was a wonderful meeting. I mean, I was so nervous also, because I wasn't used to communicating in English. So so the lawyers of insecurity, not only like, why are we meeting actually, but how can I express my thoughts? But then we spoke about the movie two and a half hours, you know, we were exchanging ideas and thinking about cons. And I was asking questions, I basically, I showed up with papers like this here. And I had prepared questions that I get too nervous, I could have something to hold. So I interviewed him. And he was like Yeah, he was like, I love that go on. You know, I think he probably usually does it the other way around. Sure. And then the next thing that was going to LA and meeting Sandy and I mean, there was another you know, the moment you you step out of a car. And you see Sandra Bullock is like Oh, already in another surreal moment. And that was the moment where I got really nervous. Then I realized, but then she came and she gave me a hug and she said in German is so cool that you're here. You want to have a coffee Be kooky. And you know, she's so likable and approachable and grounded. That makes it really easy for you to forget that she sent her pull up.

Alex Ferrari 10:12
Now when you're on set, and you're directing Viola Davis Sandra Bullock, Vincent D'Onofrio, John Brunel up. How do you what is it like collaborating with that level of talent? As far as I mean, I mean, Hans Zimmer and all the other people on the on the behind the scenes as well, but but just as a director working with that caliber of actor, what does that experience like, especially for, for first time, you're not a first time director, but you were definitely a first time. big Hollywood director. There's the first time you were on a Hollywood set and things like that. So what was that experience? Like?

Nora Fingscheidt 10:49
Again, thankfully, it doesn't happen everything at the same time, you know, so when I went when I got the job, I didn't know who the cast would be. We found them all together was a process. You know, we started with Sandy was crazy enough. And then, you know, we were talking about Liz. And we thought about Viola, and you know, it was like a dream. We didn't know if she would take on that part or not. And when she did, it was like, wow. And now next thing is like jump on the phone with Viola. So it happened step by step. And then yes, they bring extremely, a lot of experience and talent, but at the same time, you still make a movie together. So it's a little bit like cooking. But with bigger pots and a bigger kitchen, you know? Oh, yes, I'm kind of amazed. And sometimes I'm just watching not even giving them a lot of directions. But then comes the moment where you go, like, oh, that scene isn't working, or that dialogue is necessary, or they run an idea by me, I, I have something and then all of a sudden, it goes back to Norman is always like almost like riding a bicycle, you know, it comes to something super, super simple. And you forget the big Hollywood machine, because it's like, what's the motivation of the character in that moment? Right? How do we translate it? And which words do we need? And which can we take away? What's the backstory of the character that makes him or her do that in that moment? And is it enough or not? And and then it gets really comforting in a way because that is what all combines us. And each actor is different. One wants to hear a lot of thoughts. And the other one's more like No, no, no, I'll just do it. And one is a lot of questions and the other not at all. And yeah, so it's with each individual actor will have different,

Alex Ferrari 12:49
A little a little bit different approach. Now I know I've had this experience many times when I'm on set the imposter syndrome. The moment where you think, Oh, my God, security is going to come and they're going to figure out that I'm a fraud, and I don't belong here. And at any moment, security is going that someone's going to go wait a minute, what is what is she doing here? Get her off the set. How often did that happen to you? And how did you deal with it? Because it is a thing that a lot of directors, you know, we go through?

Nora Fingscheidt 13:19
Absolutely. All the time. Basically. It's a mixture. It's always there, you know, there. I once read, there was long time ago, a few filmmaker rules by Verna Hertzog you know where it's like, and one of the rules was get used to the bare behind you. And I don't know what the heck he meant by that. I just know what I understood for it, because I can so well imagine that Big Bear behind me, who is there when you write a script? When you you know, talk to an actor for the first time, that bear that always says, like, somebody else could do that much better? That scene that you're writing, it's really not good. Oh, god, look at that dialogue, you know, there is an inner voice, and you have, it will never go away. And it might even grow where you have to, in a way, get used to it and embrace it, and say less, there will come the moment, you know, when you work with a new editor for the first time, and you haven't, you know, he shows you something and you go like, wow, I'm working with Joe Walker, we haven't worked before he just edited Dune, you know, and give some comments about his cut. But see how that goes. You know, of course that's like, frightening but then all of a sudden you start dialogue and you feel that people are I just felt so many amazing, you know, encounters with people on a level that I have to be really grateful.

Alex Ferrari 14:47
Yeah. I mean, it sounds like you got to play with a lot of toys. A lot of amazing people and yeah, I mean hands. I mean, what was hot what is it? How Is it working collaborating with Hans Zimmer, I have to ask you.

Nora Fingscheidt 15:04
Um, it's it's also similar, like with Sandy, I mean, you meet an icon. But but those guys, they make it so easy. So and maybe again, it's the culture connection, you know, I mean, I came in Hans a studio, and then he, you know, I mean, that was already in Corona time. So we did not hug. But again, he said in German, like, welcome, so cool that you're here. What an amazing film. I just saw the cat, you know, let me show I have an idea. And then all of a sudden? I said, Well, Hans, you know, I'm not sure like, you're, you're such a pro. And it's very difficult to talk about music, you know? Because I'm, you feel I'm not a professional magician, musician. How do I?

Alex Ferrari 15:56
Convey, convey convey? All right!

Nora Fingscheidt 15:58
Yeah, in a way, that doesn't sound stupid. And then he said, Nora, there is it's very easy to talk about music, it works, or it doesn't work. And I prefer you tell me it doesn't work. And we figure out together why I don't need you to analyze the music or using musical terms. You know, I just want your quick reaction I want to right away. And well, that's easy, then, you know,

Alex Ferrari 16:21
Right. So so it sounds like you almost had you know, everybody you were collaborating with was almost a little bit of a masterclass. You were learning, you know, what was like the what? So that was a very big lesson you learned from, from Hans, what was a big lesson you learned from working with the caliber of talent that you were working with? In front of the scenes, your actors? Was there a lesson that you'd like? I didn't? I didn't know that before I walked on the set?

Nora Fingscheidt 16:46
Oh, for sure. I mean, you know, what, what really amazed me with in working with Sandy and preparing that role, like nothing that we chose, as a team creatively is random, like everything, every detail, you know, every question of, why are the colors in that house like this? And how do we represent wealth of that one family, but more of the kind of the middle class intellectual household of the other ones? And where is Ruth come from? And how can we express all her anger within a character that is so silent for such a long time? You know, when do we let it bruised and everything so sometimes, you know, she would text me, I don't know, at midnight, when we both had to get up at four in the morning, and I was texting back. And it's so so cool, you're still available. So the passion, you know, that is in there, and the choices that she may like the How daring she is to physically transform into a character that we would not expect from Sandra bola, you know, it was a little thing that she put on her teeth, to make the change the teeth and make it slightly and yellow, and all those subtle changes that really make her look different, you know, like half naked, that that is what I learned, you know that there are basically no limits.

Alex Ferrari 18:15
Yeah, she definitely doesn't look like the glamorous Miss Congeniality in this in this film, and it's so beautiful to see her because she's such a, she's such a toward the force as an actress. I mean, she is truly intuitive for us, watching her and, and then of course, the rest of the cast is remarkable to now I know, no matter who you are in the house, where you are in your career as a director, there's always that one day onset, that you feel that the entire world is coming crashing down on you. Something's not working, you're losing the sun. You know, something breaks down some sort of craziness. What was that day for you? What happened? And how did you overcome it?

Nora Fingscheidt 18:54
Well, many that goes, I have to pick No. One for sure. I was when our DOP Guillermo hurt, hurt his knee really badly. Oh, wow. And had to leave set. And we had to make a decision about you know, how long is it going to be? What are we continuing and we transformed the day into a memory unit. And then a few days later, we had to work with another DOP who came in to support their time until gamma could come back. So that was something where you know, you really think like if I'm losing a super important creative partner here and yet it worked. Or the Day when We said well, it's the pandemic we stopped shooting now

Alex Ferrari 19:52
Did that happen? Did you have to stop shooting because of the pandemic?

Nora Fingscheidt 19:55
Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And after six weeks, so we had saw half a film off. And it was the decision we have stopped. Now it's a global pandemic, the world's closing down borders are getting shot. It's March 15 2020. And and we started, of course, editing what we had so far. But we were in the unknown. So we had no idea. Well, is this a four week hiatus and a two week hiatus? There were different scenarios, you know, we use the time creatively and also with what we edited. We made some changes on the script. So it was a blessing, but there was a silver lining about it, for sure. But it was really well, how are we going to do that now we have to shoot the second half of the film is summer, because we shot in Vancouver. So there are four seasons, you know,

Alex Ferrari 20:47
There is, yeah,

Nora Fingscheidt 20:49
If you know it, and you watch the film, you will see that sometimes the trees have no leaves at all. And then next moment is blooming summer, and it kind of pivots. And we really had to put so much minutia planning into everything to make sure you will not see a tree and opposed COVID When you see the film, it will still work as one. And that means that Sandy has to run around her winter code in summer, yeah, and have the degrees, you know. And that we film with the camera that there is one tree that is already getting a little bit red, and that is right behind her. So we can create at least a subconscious illusion of autumn. And yeah, like that. I could continue now for a long time.

Alex Ferrari 21:38
I mean, so I'll tell you, it did not. So don't worry, it didn't I didn't see it. And if I if I didn't see it, um, you know, you know how filmmakers I when we watch movies will start picking and poking at things. But I was so enthralled with the story that I didn't see any of that. And also the color grading and the lighting. It's just such a beautifully shot. Film, I didn't see that sometimes you do see that in movies, like something happens, like, oh, there's snow now there's no snow? What's you know it? I've gone through the exact same problem, I think,

Nora Fingscheidt 22:09
I'm glad. And also like, all of a sudden, you know, you can bring people together anymore. Like we couldn't, we couldn't have any big group of extra. So how do you direct a scene when every extra has to be six feet apart. So then you start putting extras to pause and start casting families, you know that you create an illusion that it doesn't feel to spread out. And then of course, if the actor is in a scene without masks, they could only come 15 minutes per day closer than six feet. So it's whole challenge that you have to encounter in order for everybody to be saved, like, Okay, we have 15 minutes. How do we stage the scenes, that there is a physical distance all the time, or we transfer scenes to the outside? So that you know, and it feels still natural?

Alex Ferrari 23:00
So yeah, because I know the seeds you're talking about? Yeah, especially the stuff in the fish market, at least they could have masks on in the fish market. So that was

Nora Fingscheidt 23:08
And that was pretty cool.

Alex Ferrari 23:09
Oh, of course, it was, why wouldn't it be pretty cool?

Nora Fingscheidt 23:15
When you see those masks, and you're like, put them up your nose guy, as you know, that's how we that's how I was wired. Are they wearing them out of here? Oh, yeah. Right, because it was pre COVID.

Alex Ferrari 23:26
So so I have to ask, you know, you, you've got your Big Shot. You're working with Sandy, and you're working on a big Hollywood movie. And then all of a sudden, the world has a once in a generation pandemic that stops you psychologically, as a director as a creative as an artist in the middle of that situation. How? I mean, you're not the only director that went through this, by the way, but how did you? How did you handle it? Like for those weeks, and I know you were working on other stuff, but like, at a moment, you're like, Oh, my God, my shot is like the whole thing is coming crashing down. When are we going to get back? I mean, all these thoughts had to have gone through your head. How did you handle those thoughts?

Nora Fingscheidt 24:06
On a day by day basis, I don't have a recipe for it. And the good thing is, I wasn't alone in it. You know, I mean, it was a whole it was us as a whole team. It was, you know, sending Graham, it was Netflix. It was Stefan, the editor in me at that time, like we were like, Okay, how can we make this work? It was a line producer always like planning different scenarios. So we were together in this in a way and that helped me a lot. You know, not just on me that we make it back up, but um, yeah,

Alex Ferrari 24:43
It sounded. It sounded like you had a lot of support. And everybody was in this together, so that's great. Yeah, cuz yeah, I couldn't imagine. I can't even imagine getting that shot and all of a sudden, yeah, how long were you out by the way? How long Well, how long was that hiatus before you got shooting again?

Nora Fingscheidt 24:59
It was five months.

Alex Ferrari 25:02
Five months?

Nora Fingscheidt 25:03
Yeah. So we stopped in mid March, we came back in September

Alex Ferrari 25:08
Oh my god. But I mean, like you said it was a blessing, you got to re edit stuff you got to rework the script. I mean, that's all you could do,

Nora Fingscheidt 25:15

Alex Ferrari 25:15
And you do what you could

Nora Fingscheidt 25:17
That's what we have to do. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 25:20
Now, there were some scenes in the film that are extremely emotionally intense emotional scenes. Do you have any tips or suggestions for filmmakers who have to direct highly emotional scenes? How did you approach those scenes? Takes? You know, how did you talk to the actors, things like that?

Nora Fingscheidt 25:43
Well, in terms of talking to the actors, again, each actor is different. And some need their space. And others need a lot of attention. So I think first of all, you have to figure out through the process of getting to know them. What do they need from me, so I'm not blocking them, but help them to do their best of what they have inside. And sometimes it's hard to find the right balance of what's the one take that will be too much. You know, because certain emotional scenes you shouldn't do too many takes because you will wear somebody else. But then sometimes you need that one more take to bring it over the limit, you know, and there is no recipe for is just like being super, super alert, and, and conscious about the other person's well being and asking, making sure what does he or she need from me right now? I like to easily rehearse a scene a day before. I'm not in full intensity of emotions, but I like to go on the locations with the actors. That's what we did with the mediation scene, for example. Oh, yeah. As well, we did with the scene. And the big crash scene from Sandy and viola. So we even if it's just like a read through, you know, like exploring the space, exploring the lines just a little bit, you know, and, and it gives time for everybody to process what's going to happen. And there is enough time to ask all the questions, because sometimes on said, there isn't enough time and then extra still have a question, but the whole crew is already you know, running late. And it can put a lot of pressure unnecessary pressure in situations. So if you do have time to rehearse a day before, then great, because then you can also start shooting this scene freshly, you don't need to rehearse it on set anymore. You just do one staging for the crew, but you and your actors, you guys have already worked it out. worked it out.

Alex Ferrari 28:04
Yeah, cuz there yeah, there are some pretty intense scenes that Viola and Sandy seen was, I mean, you could just feel Sandy, you could feel you could feel the emotion coming from her is remarkable. So now that you've done a big Hollywood movie, what was the biggest lesson you took away from that big Hollywood movie? What's the one lesson you're like? I'm putting this in the I'm putting this in the toolbox and taking this with me for the rest of my travels.

Nora Fingscheidt 28:30
Oh, for sure. And so many things. And I think this is also an experience that we'll probably looking back. Every year, I will look back and differently now because it was so different from the world that I come from. And it's, it's, it's almost too much at the same time to process in order to say that's the one thing I definitely learned to let go and just concentrate on my world on my work. Because coming from the low budget area, everybody does 10 jobs at the same time, and you kind of you know, mix in everything, and you want to kind of control everything. So the benefit of working with so great people and such a big team and everybody knows exactly what they're doing is like, okay, I can actually relax and lay back and just focus on my work, which is directing that film, which is character work, character, road and character work, and of course, you know, camera and visuals and all that, but it really comes down to the human story that and I think I even you know, you can take that into other words of saying, I trust that people know what they're doing. And I don't need to micromanage you I better off focusing on the directing part.

Alex Ferrari 29:51
Now on your journey as a director, you know, when you were when you were doing those underground short films, and not telling your family about it, and all these guys things was, I have to believe that there were moments of failure along the way. Yeah. How did you in those early those early days when you were coming up? How did you overcome those, those initial failures, which are, when you're starting out so much harder to take those punches than when you are a little bit more seasoned? And you're used to those punches? How did you overcome those?

Nora Fingscheidt 30:23
Good question. I guess with time, and then, I mean, so many times, I, I was at a point where I'm like, maybe I should go do something else, you know, like, it's just too crazy. Or maybe it's not working out. Then there is something that keeps you going. And I don't know how to define that. Or, again, there is no conscious recipe. But with system pressure. I mean, there were many times where I thought like, this movie is never gonna get made. We're never getting it financed. You know, it's like, cool. But, but somehow the story really moved me and then I continued working on it. And sometimes I had to take a break, but I was really sure that I would miss that film in the world if it wasn't there. And I really thought like somebody has to do it, and nobody else does it. Well, I guess I have to do it then. Right. That kept me going and I think definitely it's healthy to have a certain balance you know, my kids helped me a lot to understand that yes, you know, when you do a movie you think this is the most important thing of the world but it's not it's just a movie you know, you still have to go and get your kids make make some dinner for them. And that is as important and that is also a healthy balance to overcome failures because then you're like, Well, you know, my kids love me no matter what, even if I make the worst movie on the on the planet. They will still like me and that is that is a pretty cool feeling.

Alex Ferrari 32:00
And kids do definitely give you perspective on life geek because if you get a little too high a high on the hog as they say you they will bring you down very quickly. Duck back down to earth. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions ask all of my guests What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Nora Fingscheidt 32:20
Have a long breath takes time

Alex Ferrari 32:24
breaks your mind brace yourself is what you're saying. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life?

Nora Fingscheidt 32:36
Letting go and relax

Alex Ferrari 32:40
Let just roll with the flow go with the flow

Nora Fingscheidt 32:42
Yeah, enjoy the ride

Alex Ferrari 32:44
Enjoy the ride because it's going whether you want to or not it's it's gonna go as much as we try to go the other way it's something keeps pushing us in the way that we need to go. And three of your favorite films of all time.

Nora Fingscheidt 32:59
Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Um, so there is a there's a Korean film been Jip called Three Iran by kinky dog. Okay, love, love, love that film. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest classic it's a film I I end up watching yet because I just love unlikable characters that are carry writers. You know, they're definitely Ruth Slater and Benny from system Crusher have something in common with him. And then, this is England film by Shane Meadows. Is really loved. It's yeah, I probably have to add Wings of Desire also.

Alex Ferrari 33:47
Oh, so one citizen.

Nora Fingscheidt 33:52
Yeah, it moved me so much. Just the atmosphere. You know, I have still until say, I don't know what the plot is. But I just like those, those two angels wandering through that partly destroyed Berlin. You know that something? Yeah. And

Alex Ferrari 34:08
It was it's a stunning, stunning, stunning movie. Everyone should would definitely Well, I kind of haven't seen Wings of Desire in forever. I have to go watch it again. And when is when does the unforgiveable coming out?

Nora Fingscheidt 34:20
It's coming out on December 10. on Netflix and in certain theaters and November 24.

Alex Ferrari 34:29
Nora, it's been a pleasure having you on the show. And I wish you nothing but continued success in the business and in your career. And I thank you for making such a just a very heart wrenching but wonderful, wonderful film. So thank you.

Nora Fingscheidt 34:47
Thank you for having me. Hope to speak again.


  • Watch The Unforgivable – Netflix


  1. Bulletproof Script Coverage – Get Your Screenplay Read by Hollywood Professionals
  2. AudibleGet a Free Filmmaking or Screenwriting Audiobook
  3. Rev.com – $1.25 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)

Free Training of The Week


How to Produce a Profitable Low Budget Feature Film

By Suzanne Lyons

Join veteran producer Suzanne Lyons as she shows you the three key secrets to produce a successful and profitable independent film.