Nicholas Santos THINGS I DON'T REMEMBERA task: discover short indie films that capture the essence of childhood.

Discovering the movies of Nicholas Santos: mission accomplished!

Nicolas Santos is a film maker based in New York City. His movies first came to my attention when I discovered his short film Things I Don`t Remember on the open film website, which has proven to be an invaluable resource for amazing independent movies. Impressed with his film making style, I soon discovered yet another film he wrote and directed titled Kiddo. On both films he was assisted by Kyle Kelley- a cinematographer who left his unique mark on them.

Things I Don’t Remember is seven minutes long and does not feature any dialogue; however, the expressiveness of the two main actors (the brothers) more than compensates. The young  Jackson Quinn Gray also appeared in the 2010 short Kiddo and, although his acting in Kiddo did not disappoint, his performance in Things I Don’t Remember felt somewhat more sincere.

The story line in Things I Don’t Remember is simple – big brother/little brother and the experiences they share during a hot summer day. The film focuses on all those small things that  happen in our lives, things that we have waved off as unimportant and forgotten.  Then occasionally a day comes along during which something happens that makes us feel good inside – perhaps it’s just a moment or a smile. Things I Don’t Remember feels like a reminiscence of our own special little moments. The director’s idea for the film is to make it appear as if one is watching an old VHS tape (which is the equivalent of a DVD for our younger readers) and Kyle Kelley’s choice of brightly overcast scenes and the clever usage of the “flick effect” recreated the aesthetic we commonly associate with the nostalgic recordings of out childhood.

Things I Don’t Remember is a feel good movie that I really liked. Having seen it and Kiddo, I can’t wait for a full feature film directed by Nicholas Santos.

Before you go, I invite you to view the Director’s Reel of Nicholas Santos, featuring sample excerpts from his works:

Nicholas Santos – Director Reel – 2011


  1. Ahhh ok. I thought it might have been 16mm. It’ll be the adapter that is giving it that nice soft look.
    Jess + Moss was actually originally meant to be a short film. Jeter decided to continue writing and turn it into a feature. I think it definitely works as a feature, but I think it would’ve worked very well as a short as well.

    I watched Kiddo. You are right, it is not as strong as Things I Don’t Remember. I found myself quite lost in what seemed like a jumbled turn of events. PLus I thought the kids looked a lot younger than 12, and found it hard to believe they would talk about girls they way they did as well. Also the drinking scene seemed quite out of place in my opinion, almost unnessacary. I think overall it was about the relationship between the brothers and the fact that the younger one has had to live in his older brother’s shadow. It was almost as if his brother clouded his want to be himself. But I felt that this was not explored enough, and the emphasis on the kid’s feelings towards the older girl were never really clear, even when the older brother slept with her, there was no real indication that the younger brother was pissed off or shattered at this point.
    Not too sure what he was going for here, but I think between all the muddled motivations, the core of the film was lost.

  2. Wow. That was very good. It actually reminded me of Jess + Moss quite a bit, using similar techniques with playing on certain memories in our lives that make up moments in which we remember forever. Like you said, it is a very simple story, but I think it’s simplicity is it’s heart. It says everything that it needs to say, no more, no less.

    It appears as if it may have been shot on Super 16 as well. I can’t say for sure as it may have been a post grade add, but the soft complexion and drained colours make it very possibly that it was shot with 16mm.
    Either way, I love how it was told like we were watching an old VHS.

    I will most definitely keep an eye out for Nicholas Santos.

    Thanks for the article SkyKid.

    • The camera work seems similar to the one in Kiddo – which woyld mean that the same camera ( JVC HM700 with a P+S Technik mini35 lens adapter ) was used. Since you mentioned Jess+Moss – I must admit that if Jess+Moss was a short film I would have raving about it as much as you did ( :

      I have also seen Kiddo – but the story there lost me. If you see it – let me know what you think of it. Here is a link to it : . For one I really loved its soundtrack


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