"It was a short film but the budget was pretty decent and I got to direct fight scenes, gunshots, and car chases, which was definitely a good learning experience," recalls Nir.
In fact Reality 01 was more than a "good learning experience," it was an integral piece of Onn Nir's puzzle as filmmaker as it helped to lay the foundation for the majority of the successful films he is known for today.
Some of Nir's most recognized films to date include Bamidbar, which received the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, as well as two nominations at the Shanghai International Film Festival and another nomination at the Champs-Élysées Film Festival last year, Pressure Point, which was nominated for awards at the prestigious Hamptons International Film Festival and St. Louis International Film Festival, and Born Guilty, which was the recipient of an award from the National Board of Review.
Nir's intricate knowledge of the technical aspects of filmmaking and how to effectively apply them in order to provide his audience with a multisensory experience allows his viewers to get lost in each of his stories as if it were there own.
"The work of the director entails seeing the project from conception to execution and beyond - enhancing the storytelling on the page, working with actors, and digging deeper into the psychology of the characters," explains Nir. "By creating a unified vision of a visual story –from camera movements, to editing, and into music - the director creates a coherent experience of sound and vision."
While the films Pressure Point, Born Guilty and Bamidbar are all related to the realities and side effects of war in one way or another, a subject matter Nir has proven through the sheer number of awards won that he is capable of portraying effectively, his other films demonstrate that he is far from a one trick pony.
In the 2013 dramedy film The Inside Story in Africa starring Scott Forrester (Two Birds and a Boy, Angels in Stardust, Trent & Tilly, Cellmates, Meet Dave) and Kelly Lohman (Days of Our Lives, The Hillside Strangler, Gilmore Girls, Bones) Nir brings to life a tale of husband and wife who travel across Africa in a mechanical elephant in hopes of capturing shots of a rare monkey in its natural habitat.
Nir brilliantly captures the comedic quarrels of a husband and wife as they impatiently wait for this coveted African monkey to appear; and in fact, that is one of the most extraordinary testaments to his talent-- that he manages to keep his viewers engaged during the "waiting" period, which any wildlife photographer knows is a natural aspect of capturing the shot.
Any viewer who has had the opportunity to see some of Onn Nir's earliest work, for example the 2004 film The Green Door, which he both wrote and directed, then the astonishing success this filmmaker has had since comes as no surprise. Based on O. Henry's short story "The Green Door," Nir's film follows Rudolph Steiner, a lonesome piano salesman who is given an opportunity to discover true love by chance.
After a stranger on the street gives Steiner a business card that leads him to "The Green Door," a series of unpredictable occurrences ensue; and although it is not the same door as the one assigned by the card, what lays behind it is more pertinent to his heart's desire than he could have planned.
Like many of Nir's films, The Green Door parallels the coincidences that are apparent in each and every one of our lives, and how the decisions we make on an individual level lead up to the total portrait we paint through our experiences.
Onn Nir is definitely one of the most thoughtful writer/directors working in the international film community today, and frankly, we cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!