We’re crying today, at the passing of our longtime friend and collaborator, Ryan Nicholson. Ryan was such a generous and creative person, and we are grateful to have been able to have him in our lives.
We began with him in November of 2002, back when his Special FX company had a shop out in North Burnaby. We loved going to that shop. We all became fast friends with common interests and a knack for inspiring each other creatively. We even filmed scenes of each others’ films in that old shop, and in the relocated Flesh & Fantasy shop when Ryan moved it all just off of Main Street in Vancouver. After three years, and three projects, of Ryan helping us out with our independent horror films (he was WAY bigger than we were — he’d won a Genie award for his Special FX make-up work on Stargate SG the year we’d started working with him, and had just been hired to create all of the elf-ears for Jon Favreau’s ELF), we were very exited to return the favour to help him out on his first feature film, LIVE FEED.
That (Live Feed) was back in 2005, shooting all nights in a low-rent porno theatre in Chinatown, Vancouver. Crazy. After Live Feed, Ryan and us began to take separate paths, with Ryan focusing on his own movie productions. I got a call from him when he’d wrapped Gutterballs in 2010, and we all went to check it out when he screened it at the Vancouver Planetarium.
In the last three and a half years, we’d only seen Ryan twice, at the 2015 Calgary Horror Con, where we met his wife Megan Nicholson and enjoyed an impromptu reunion where we went out for drinks together between working at our respective tables, and then again after he’d survived his first bout with brain cancer, at a Phantasm screening at the Rio, which was over a year ago. The last message I got from Ryan was via Messenger, he thought it was amazing to be working on Arrow with the Key Make-up artist Tanya, all of whom we’d started these crazy careers together with Carmilla (Vampires vs Zombies) back in 2002.. That last message was just a couple of months ago. I responded, very casually, never thinking that it would be the last time I’d be speaking to Ryan. The things that Ryan and us at Creepy Six Films (Vince D’Amato, Nicki Hancock, and Josh Pasnak) collaborated on all those years ago left a strong, lasting, emotional presence in our lives, and Nicki and I are just brokenhearted that he’s gone, nevermind that we didn’t see each other that often over the last few years. It was those first few years that really cemented these experiences in our minds and our hearts. We will forever miss you, Ryan.