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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Interview with Writer/Director Lucky McKee on 'Misfortune' (2017) at AFM


Interview with Writer/Director Lucky McKee at AFM 2016

Writer/Director Lucky McKee's latest film, 'Misfortune', was announced at the 2016 American Film Market. McKee is known for his successes in the horror/thriller genre with such titles as 'The Woman' (2011), 'Red' (2008) and 'May' (2002) under his belt. 'Misfortune' is a noir thriller about three friends in the wilderness caught up in a greedy battle over a fortune; the film is currently in pre-production stages and Radiant Films International is handling worldwide sales.


I interviewed Lucky during this year's AFM. Here is what he had to say:

Would you say that horror and thriller films inspired you most in your path to want to direct and has your favorite genre of films always been horror/thrillers?

LUCKY: I've always loved horror films. Early in my career, I found it was a good genre to cut my teeth in. You can work on a low budget, get fantastic with ideas, and it's not a star-based genre. As I've matured, my love for all of cinema has grown immensely. I watch as much of everything as I can. From every era. MISFORTUNE is a great opportunity to make my first full-on noir-thriller and I couldn't be more excited about this new direction I'm headed in. FARGO, A SIMPLE PLAN, and ONE FALSE MOVE are among my favorite films and the opportunity to work in that sort of dramatic space is something I do not take lightly.

Do you believe horror/thrillers have improved today or was there more substance to the classics?

LUCKY: Films reflect the times in which they are made. It's not about better or worse to me. There are classics in the genre every single year since the dawn of cinema. If you take the time to look for them.

I met a producer recently who told me he doesn't believe in books. I can see some of your work has been inspired by some great classics. Do you believe that some of the best horrors and thrillers have been inspired by books?

LUCKY: Of course. I believe in books. I believe in movies. I believe in good stories in all the various forms. Again, it's not about better or worse. It's all good if you love this stuff as much as I do.

You're an actor, writer and director. What do you like doing the most?

LUCKY: I've only every acted in films because all of my friends are directors! It's a fun challenge to put myself in that position so I understand the perspective of that job. Same reason I've worked as an electrician, grip, PA, camera operator, editing, and art department. All of those jobs gave me insight into what it takes to make a movie. All of that makes me a better writer/director - which is my ultimate passion.

Would you consider 'Misfortune' a remake of the film 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' or mainly inspired by it?

LUCKY: My inspiration never comes from a single source. It comes from literature, painting, music, theater...all of the arts. I love TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE, but it has no more weight than dozens of other films and works of art. That being said, there aren't many films better than that gem!

Would you say the message of the film about greed and the devastation it causes among friends?

LUCKY: Sure. That's a theme that is pretty unavoidable with this subject. But it's also about escape, subjectivity, corruption, loyalty, friendship, objectification. It goes on and on. We're trying to make a human story here with many layers and bumps and bruises.

Where will the film be shot?

LUCKY: Georgia!

Sometimes it can take years to get a film off the ground, especially these days. Has it taken you a long time to get the film packaged and ready to go?

LUCKY: This one has come together really fast. It's taken about a year to get up and running. A big part of that is working with excellent producers like Lee Nelson, David Buelow, and David Tish. It's a great team and the development has been a dream. We all just want to make a fun, exciting, memorable film. Something that takes the audience's breath away and stays with them for a long time after.

You announced the film at AFM. Do you think it's important for filmmakers to have a sales agent from the early stages of production or to wait until festivals?

LUCKY: It depends on the film. Our sales people Mimi Steinbauer and John Short (Radiant Films) have been instrumental in getting this film made. Everyone involved in this movie is working hard to make something that will really stand out in the market. This is the best team of people I've ever worked with on a film which makes me feel extremely fortunate. I will not take it for granted. We are making something special here and audiences are going to have a great time. I couldn't ask for a better situation.


Interview by Vanessa McMahon

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