Foresight: Killer Instinct: An Interview with Duncan Cunningham – Monster Fest 2013
Foresight: Killer Instinct is Duncan Cunningham’s captivating, low budget ode to the ultra-violent and crass. This is Bad Lieutenant meets The Crow in an all-out Aussie action fest. Don’t miss it this Saturday at Monster Fest at the Cinema Nova. To get you in the mood, here’s an interview with Duncan. He wrote the film and also plays a central character. Enjoy.
Jason Driver (JD): So Duncan, tell me about what influenced you to get into film making in the first place?
Duncan Cunningham (DC): Well I was 10. I picked up my dad’s video camera and thought I could make my own films. My first films were fan films of Highlander… Chopping heads off and pretending to get hit by lighting. I acted in most of them with my brother; the bald guy from Foresight: Killer Instinct. I am in love with the process of creating a world full of characters that didn’t exist. And to see what you have created in a moving picture is phenomenal.
JD: Had you made any shorter length films before you decided to embark on a full feature, as I can imagine what a daunting task it could be?
DC: Yeah I made a lot of films. Well, muckabout ones. Then I started taking it more serious in my 20s when I won the local short film contest with a film called Homicide in the swich. Then I went on to making more films about crazies and cops, till I thought I can make a full length film. So I bit off more than I could chew and chewed it lol.
JD: What advice could you give a first time director who is wanting to shoot their first feature, now you have this one under your belt?
DC: I would tell them it’s lots and lots of hours of work, problem solving, team work and if you don’t love it, then don’t even think about getting into it. As it will take all you got and then some. That’s if you’re doing most of the work yourself, as you have to do on no budget films. But if you love the end result then go for it. It’s like your little wicked demon baby.
JD: Are you a fan of any other Low budget Aussie Directors? I thought I noticed nods to RedBall?
DC: RedBall? Not really, but I did like the work that was coming out of some of the new Aussie directors. Low budget films, like Aaron Cassidy with his film Corn Hole Cove, Lucas Scheffel’s The Counterpart and Stuart Simpson’s The Demonsamongus. We were all making movies around the same time.
JD: Corn Hole Cave? Ha-ha. I’m familiar with Stuart’s work though. Is there much sense of community amongst the low budget film making scene here in Australia do you think?
DC: Well there are some groovy filmmakers out there, but there are also more, that are stuck up types, that think their shit don’t stink and think they’re competing with you. When we are in a league together, making entertainment for the people who love movies, can’t we all just get along? Ahahaha.
JD: I even hear this from well-established directors. Maybe it’s just a dog eat dog business. What was the most expensive aspect when it came to making your film? What was it shot on?
DC: Yeah maybe it is and who can BS the most. That side of it I don’t like too much, guess it’s a greed thing.
Most expensive was the shooting of the film. It was shot over 13 weekends, cost $6,000 and then post cost $4,000. It was shot on jvc gy-hd250 and we shot 720p.
JD: I thought a couple of your actors, for amateurs, did a particularly good. Yourself and Priest Trent among a few others. Did you try to compensate in some ways with a couple characters by getting them to act over the top? I really loved your 70’s Grindhouse looking poster btw. Who did the work for that?
DC: Thanks. Ahahah, yeah got a couple of them to act over the top. I also wanted the characters to have (clear) mental disorders.
Matt O’Neill did the 70’s Grindhouse poster and Armand Rusinov did the modern one.
JD: Matt O’Neill? Oh yeah, great artist. He designed the Hanger cover, but the film was banned. What’s on the Armand Rusinov one? I don’t believe I’ve seen it?
DC: See poster HERE.
JD: Can you tell us about your film’s premiere at Monster Fest?
JD: So you would you like to tell us what Killer Instinct is about and what viewers are to expect?
DC: Brought up in a criminally corrupt town local psychic Glen Parsons is no stranger to crime, but when his beautiful wife is brutally murdered and he is left seriously wounded; something snaps.
Detective Lance Steel is a corrupt cop whom uses the badge to exploit the innocent and corrupt. He soon crosses paths with Glen and finds himself battling the xenophobic young man’s furore. As more and more bodies show up bearing Glen’s mark, a relentless criminal investigation is unleashed, entangling Steel and everyone around him.
The gift of foresight was once a tool Glen used to help the desperate but now with a haywire brain the line between good and evil, sanity and insanity blur in a crescendo of blood-splattered violence.
Revenge, action, gore, guns, metal riffs, this occasionally hilarious, gleefully bloody and largely nonsensical vision is a fun, foul-mouthed ode to truly independent no budget cinema.
JD: Do you have any more films or projects in the works?
DC: Always! There’s no rest for the wicked! I am always working on something stories, screenplays and other creative ventures.
JD: Have you got any final words for your fans and our readers?
DC: You want to make a film then go out there and make one as it’s not going to make itself. Thanks for all the support and people that made FKI possible and mostly Aaron Cassidy for writing a wicked screenplay.