Hello Antoni, First of all, thank you for your time and welcome to UKHS.
AM – Hi Dean, thank you for having me.
UKHS – You are welcome. Ok, let’s get started with the questions.
Can you please tell UKHS a little about yourself and your production company Mitsuko Studios and how you came up with the name?
AM – My name is Antoni McVay. My hobbies include murdering my friends in horror films and watching too many funny cat videos on YouTube. I have been involved with independent film making for over 10 years, making many different projects from music videos to feature length horror films.
I chose the name ‘Mitsuko Studios’ as ‘Mitsuko’ is the name of my favourite supporting character from my favourite film. The film is ‘Battle Royale’ and I recommend for everyone to see it.
UKHS – Ok, let’s talk about ‘Blaze Of Gory’. First of all, thank you for my role as a Sleazy Co-worker in your segment ‘Young and Naive’. I really enjoyed working for you and your great team and it was fantastic seeing your segment at the Cutting Edge film festive in Newcastle. How did you and your company Mitsuko Studios get involved with the project?
AM – It was fun having you involved Dean. It was good to meet you and I hope the audience enjoys what we do with your character. I was brought into the ‘Blaze of Gory’ project by the project manager, David V. G. Davies. I’d known him for about 2 years prior to the project beginning. He’d seen some of my previous short films and liked them and off the back of that offered me the opportunity to be one of the ‘Blaze of Gory’ directors.
AM – The character John was actually supposed to be played by a different actor. But that actor dropped out on the day of the film shoot. As I had a full crew, locations and the rest of the cast I decided I’d step up and take on the role, so the shoot could still go ahead. It was fun to step in front of the camera. I had my most regular collaborator and trusted friend, Lee Bibby, as the assistant director and co-director of photography so I had confidence that he’d keep things in check when I couldn’t see what was going on. I also had the other co-director of photography, Dave Mordey on ‘twat-face’ watch so he told me whenever my face was doing things it shouldn’t.
UKHS – I also enjoyed the premiere of ‘Summer’s Night’ which was directed by Ian Lawlor and written and produced by you. It was great to see ‘Blaze of Gory’ actors Juliette Strange and Simon Craig both in the cast. How much fun did you all have making this one?
AM – ‘Summer’s Night’ was a short horror film idea which got turned into a feature film, which became very difficult to make, so it got turned back into a short again. Funnily enough it has already been picked up to be part of a feature film anthology titled ‘Self Induced Nightmares’ so it’s going to be a feature after all. The basis for that project was that I wanted to make a film set in a secluded cabin. I could write a book about what happened with that project from start to finish, it had many challenges and frustrations, but long story short the final cabin shoot had a few fun moments.
One fun memory which stands out was myself, Simon Craig and Lee Bibby getting in the hot tub around 1:00 AM after the 1st night of shooting. It started to rain and as it became heavier we got lower and lower into the water to keep warm. We also enjoyed having Graeme Donaldson on set as he was a good laugh all throughout (which can be heard in a behind the scenes feature) this included him making frenemies with a gaggle of swans.
AM – My film ‘Drugs, Sex and Bloody Violence’ was originally intended to be turned into a feature length film. The idea being that the main characters would each have side stories, one involving drugs, one sex , one violence and the final character involving all 3. We made the wrap around story and had it shown in the 2010 2 Days Later Short Film Festival. I’m proud of that film because it has been viewed by so many people (at the last count it had over 140,000 views on YouTube.) The rest of the film was written, but we decided not to make it because we thought the technical quality of what we’d made so far wasn’t high enough to justify the effort to make it into a feature.
‘She’ was made in 2010 and was shown on the cover DVD for Gorezone magazine.
I’d say that was the first film I made where I was starting to get the hang of the technical sides of film making. I’ve improved a lot since, but I think my work before
‘She’ was amateurish. The film I made which I like the most is actually an action comedy called ‘The Best Men’. This was made to accompany my best man speech at my friend Garwai’s wedding. That was so much fun to make and it was very satisfying having a big room of people laughing throughout it when it was first played.
The horror film which I am most proud of is the film ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ . It was written by P. M. Buchan and he’s since turned it into a really good comic book series. I won an award for best director at the 2011 Cutting Edge Film Festival for the film and as it was an audience vote I was really happy they’d enjoyed it so much to vote for me.
UKHS – Congratulations on winning Best Director at the 2011 Cutting Edge Film Festival. OK, since it’s almost Christmas if you could have Christmas dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
AM – I’m going for fun answers with living celebrities for this answer. The 3 people I’d like to have around for Christmas dinner are Bruce Campbell, Nathan Fillion and Quentin Tarantino. Joss Whedon would dress up as Santa to deliver us all presents too. I say these people because I think they’d all be really interesting to talk with and I’m a big fan of them all.
UKHS – Finally, congratulations on organizing the Cutting Edge film festive in Newcastle. It was great catching up with you again. Will we see the event return next year and will you be working on any future film projects?
AM – Thank you Dean. I can’t confirm at this time if the event will return in 2014. But I do expect that at least a similar event will take place. I’m currently in the early stages of a number of new film productions. It’s just a matter of what I’m going to decide to do next. I’m playing with a few ideas including a hitman anthology, a horror anthology and I’m also considering a puppet theater style animation. Check out my Facebook page for more details as these projects develop.
UKHS – Good luck with your new film productions for 2014. I would love
to work for you and your team again if you need any actors. I know UK
Horror Scene fans will love your work. Thanks for talking to us
Antoni and keep up the great work.
Images Courtesy: Antoni McVay