“If you do what you love, success is practically assured.” Those are the words of film producer Nick Reed ahead of arguably the biggest night of his life.
For on Sunday, Nick will take his seat alongside Hollywood a-listers at the most prestigious award ceremony in the world, waiting in eager anticipation to see if he’ll take home one of the coveted golden gongs.
The former Eastbourne sixth-former has been nominated for an Oscar for his short subject documentary The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. The 39-minute long factual film focuses on the life of Alice Herz Sommer – the world’s oldest survivor of the Holocaust.
Alice, who sadly died last weekend at the age of 110, was an established London-based pianist and used music to overcome the terrors she experienced under Hitler’s regime.
The documentary, described as ‘one of the most inspirational and uplifting stories of the year’, was directed by previous Oscar winner Malcolm Clarke, produced by Nick and co-produced by his sister, Pip Reed, who lives in Pevensey Bay.
Nick said, “Three years ago at the Academy Awards I was so moved by the documentary section that I vowed I would try to make a documentary every year to bring something thought-provoking and helpful into the world. He (Clarke) told me a little about Alice Herz-Sommer, a then-107-year-old pianist and Holocaust survivor living in London. I was sold, and we quickly hired a researcher and crew.
“Just the experience of spending time with Alice, who smiles and laughs as she tells you how to be a better human being, is one of the highlights of my life. Alice explained how we can all live happier and longer if we just stop worrying about the wrong things. My goal when I started to make this film was to bring to the world this powerful lesson of Alice Sommer.”
Nick admitted the speed at which his Oscar nomination began to affect his life surprised him but remains grateful for the boost it’s given his career.
He added, “While I was in shock at my nomination, the well-oiled academy machine kicked into high gear, and I was contacted by multiple people to gather copies of the film for screening, for DVDs, posters and clips.
“After my nomination I started to realize how truly important the academy is to the balance of the film community. The academy gives all of us a beautiful goal. A nomination breaks through the clutter, its vote of quality gives you a platform to get the media to at least look at your film.
“The nomination has made it 100 times easier for me to raise financing for my next documentary, another powerful story.
“The experience has changed my life with its simple lesson: If you do what you love, success is practically assured.”