Nick+Mary have worked together creatively since 2002. Our award-winning film work is praised by Gus Van Sant, James Benning and film scholar Ray Carney. We are known for our fine-focused attention to detail; narratives that are communicated visually rather than through expository dialogue; and our distinctive visual style which is greatly influenced by socially conscious filmmakers such as Straub-Huillet, Chantal Akerman, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Yasujiro Ozu.
Their second feature film, “Field Guide to November Days”, is an almost wordless study of sexual identity and social isolation which premiered in 2010. The production was done entirely by bicycle, and in the summer of 2010 the two biked over 1500 miles screening the film between Vancouver, B.C. and Los Angeles, CA. Their first feature film, the musical “yellow” (2006) was scored with original songs played by a live ensemble during filming—no audio dubbing was used in post-production. The film was lauded for its soundtrack, elegantly arranged color palette and it’s subtle and intricate shot sequences. Currently they are in pre-production on their next 2 features: Shelly And Louise Make a Family, a screwball musical comedy about a single mother set in 1930s Portland and So Long Eric, a contemplative narrative about the tragic death of famed 1960s jazz reedman and composer Eric Dolphy.
[Nick Peterson] is one of the best young filmmakers I have come across in a long time. His unity of vision is rare and gives me hope for the next generation of American filmmakers.
Gus Van Sant, filmmaker
Nick Peterson’s Yellow is a breath of fresh air. Amid the grainy, the gritty, and the grim–in short, in contrast to virtually every other American “first film” out there–Peterson brings the brightness, the brilliance, the wonder, and the mystery of poetry (and song!) to his work. He has the best, the most exciting”eye” of any young filmmaker in my experience. Yellow is visually delicious, acoustically dazzling, and completely original, fresh, and new in its sensibility. And it doesn’t hurt that it is deeply perceptive and penetrating as well. It is an eye- and ear-opener of a film–one of my favorite “unknown masterworks” of the past five years.
Ray Carney, professor\author
My favorite narrative film of the festival… [Nick is] Perhaps the best image-maker in the [2003 NW Film Festival].
James Benning, filmmaker on Three
[Field Guide to November Days] is a true breakthrough in a new aesthetics that has its roots in the architectural language of Michelangelo Antonioni. …Like an American “Satyricon,” Peterson captures life in the process of being lived, refusing to bookend it with beginnings or endings, preludes or epilogues. …[Field Guide is] evidence of a New American Underground that is giving voice to a generation that has, for too long, been judged dispensable and inarticulate.
Bill White, Seattle PostGlobe
Peterson has gifts that defy pigeonholing, especially his judicious use of music, a terrific feel for shot-framing and, crucially, awareness that showing is better than telling.
Stan Hall, The Oregonian
[Field Guide’s] execution is demonstrably sensitive and artful.
Marjorie Skinner, Portland Mercury
…one of the most original features to come out of Portland in recent years.
Northwest Film Forum on yellow
…Peterson has created a winning, offbeat breakthrough.
Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly on yellow
…an arresting new talent… Two and Three are a truly brilliant pair of nearly silent, gorgeously filmed, edited and scored works.
Shawn Levy, The Oregonian
Peterson has quickly become one of the city’s most promising writer-directors.
Brian Libby, Willamette Week
Nick Peterson’s short film Contingent is brilliant and firmly places the filmmaker at the top of the local talent pool.
David Walker, Willamette Week