Ted Nicolaou on the Austin diaspora, Romanian vampires and TV terror visions

Ted Nicolaou was an essential contributor to Charles Band’s Empire Pictures and Full Moon Entertainment studios, editing and directing many of their most iconic and popular films throughout the 1980s and 90s. His film TERRORVISION (which he can be seen directing the monster in the above photo) is a personal favorite. I was honored to chat with him recently about his prolific career.

Where did you grow up, and how did you become interested in filmmaking?

I was born in Poughkeepsie, New York and I grew up in Dallas, Texas. My dad used to take me to see science-fiction monster movies and stuff every Saturday afternoon. And I gained a real love of movies, especially fantasy films from that. Then I went to University of Texas, thinking I was going to be a doctor, and saw a couple of films that kind of changed my whole direction in life. A friend took me to see Fellini’s film, Juliet of the Spirits, and another film that I saw was Bergman’s Seventh Seal. Those two movies just kind of showed me what artistry could be in film. Because before that I had been kind of a writer and rock-and-roller. I loved writing music and writing stories, and from those two movies I saw that you could kind of combine all of those arts into one incredible storytelling medium.

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