Monday, November 4, 2013

WITCHING & BITCHING World Premiere Interview with Alex de la Iglesia

WITCHING & BITCHING was a great end to an excellent 2013 Midnight Madness programme at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was great to talk with the film's director Alex de la Iglesia (The Day of the Beast, The Last Circus) prior to the film's world premiere.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

R100 World Premiere Inteview with Hitoshi Matsumoto 松本 人志

It is always a great thing when a superstar actor/director from around the world arrives in Toronto for a world premiere of their film. Such was the case when Hitoshi Matsumoto was here for his latest film as a writer/director R100. His previous films, Big Man Japan and Symbol are great films that one can not easily categorize. Our time was short as these red carpet interviews are and made difficult as our conversation went through a translator and the crowd of adoring fans waiting for a glimpse or an interaction with their idol was a deafening roar, however I'm told by a Japanese friend that Matsumoto is rarely seen in this context as most if not all of his media dealings in Japan are done via a press conference. I believe we got to see an up close side of Mr. Matsumoto even if it was all to brief.

Friday, November 1, 2013

RIGOR MORTIS World Premiere Interview with Director Juno Mak 麦浚龙

It was an extremely humid and rainy night in Toronto -- much like a Hong Kong night -- the night of Juno Mak's feature film debut RIGOR MORTIS. Here is my interview with Juno Mak, talking about the glourious age of Hong Kong cinema, directing film and of course those Hong Kong hopping vampires.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

ALMOST HUMAN World Premiere Interviews

One of the best things of any film festival is the seeing the emergence of new talent. There was a great anticipation for Joe Begos' feature film debut ALMOST HUMAN. I had a lot of fun talking to the cast and crew the night of their world premiere at the Midnight Madness programme at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

AFFLICTED (2013) World Premiere Interviews

AFFLICTED was one of the rare Canadian entries of the Midnight Madness programme. A film the film makers wanted to shroud in mystery but I spoke with with for a couple of minutes prior to the film's world premiere.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

OCULUS World Premiere Interviews ft Director Mike Flanagan

OCULUS was one of those films that you go into knowing nothing about and leave the theater blown away by an amazing film. It is my estimation that Mike Flanagan's latest film is one of the best horror films of the year, a technically amazing, keep you on the edge of your seat, hands hovering your eyes scary movie. Here are my interviews with Mike and the cast at the Midnight Madness at the Toronto International World Premiere.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Women In Horror Month - An Interview With Heather Langenkamp

Here is another interview from the archives featuring Heather Langenkamp who played Nancy in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street.

                                    Writer Robert Mitchell with Heather Langenkamp 2010

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Women In Horror Month - A Few Words With Barbara Steele

A few years ago I had the opportunity to talk with the lovely Barbara Steele. It was one of those those times that afterwards the questions I didn't ask plagued me. However it was a nice couple minutes with a woman who has paved her own way into cinematic history.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Women In Horror Month - An Interview With Karen Black

February marks women in horror month so I figured I would take a look back of some of my memorable moments talking to women who have made a mark in horror cinema. Karen Black is an actress that needs no introduction -- but I am going to write one anyway. Karen has just under two hundred acting credits to her name. She has acted along side Jack Nicholson, Charlton Heston, Dennis Hopper and worked with such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Altman and Rob Zombie.

I first met Karen Black in June 2009 when she was in Toronto for her one woman show My Life For A Song and I was hired as her videographer. The play is Karen doing spoken word, relating amazing stories from her acting career interspersed with song. I was fortunate to be in the room with Karen during the rehearsals leading up to the show, what I saw was a dedicated, demanding -- from herself as well as others -- brave, extremely talented and an exceptional singer. On those rainy afternoons in the Gladstone hotel I learned a lot about acting and working with an actress. Even though she has acted in all sorts of genres Karen has also made a considerable mark in the horror genre in films like Trilogy of Terror and Rob Zombie's A House of a 1000 Corpses. I believe that it is while acting in horror cinema that have allowed Karen to fully showcase the wide range of her immense acting range and command of craft. The interview that follows took place at the historic Gladstone hotel and as a point of note the man singing Red River Valley with Karen at the staring of the video was the longtime elevator operator of the Gladstone Hank Young aka the Gladstone Cowboy. He passed away not long after this interview was conducted.

Robert A. Mitchell with Karen Black

Saturday, January 26, 2013

James Nguyen Director Of Birdemic Interview

A couple of years ago a film called Birdemic: Shock and Terror defied all the odds of a self financed independent film. The film garnered a theatrical run, sold out movie theaters and secured a home video release. Anyone who has seen Birdemic cannot easily forget the movie. Mr. Nguyen is also very passionate about environmental issues. I recently spoke with James on his upcoming follow up to Birdemic -- Birdemic 2: The Resurrection, the current state of the environment and other film projects he is working on.

When were struck with the notion that you wanted to make films?

I became a filmmaker by accident in 2001 after launching a startup called, an online movie theater in 1999.  In 2001, I made my first movie call Julie and Jack which is a romantic thriller about love and spirituality;  it is a modern day, Romeo and Juliet. 

Early in my life, I liked to watch romantic movies. My two favorite romantic movies are Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour and the 1963 Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.  But romance is not enough for me. I am not just interested in a chick flick.  There has to be also some mystery, suspense, and a thriller. 

A romantic thriller.  BIRDEMIC – Shock and Terror is a romantic thriller.  The genre romantic thriller was invented by the great director Sir Alfred Hitchcock – The Master of Suspense. Examples of great Hitchcockian romantic thrillers are Vertigo, The Birds, Rear Window, North by Northwest, To Catch a Thief, Notorious & Rebecca.  In my opinion, Vertigo is Hitchcock’s greatest romantic thriller and his greatest movie! Vertigo is my favorite Hitchcock movie. 

A romantic thriller is a feature movie that has the elements of romance, mystery, twists & turns and suspense; there is romance between the two protagonists, but there are forces that might affect the romance and that not all is well and not all are what they seemed to be.  Mr. Hitchcock invented the genre of romantic thriller, but he never referred or calls it as romantic thriller.  I formalized this genre and call it romantic thriller.  In the first half of BIRDEMIC – Shock and Terror, there is romance between the two protagonists, Rod and Nathalie; there is foreshadowing that perhaps all is not normal (such as melting Arctic sea ice are killing Polar bears to extinction and the many forest fires). 

Half way through Birdemic, the eagles and vultures attack and the movie reveals why the eagles and vultures attacked through characters like Dr. Jones and the Tree Hugger.  There are more information about romantic thrillers in my memoir,  "Birdemic - Shock & Terror - The Romantic Thriller That became a Cult Sensation Hit!" at

What films and directors would you consider influences?

My favorite movie is Hitchcock's Vertigo which has a very strong influence in all my movies which are romantic thrillers.Everything I learned on how to make a movie is from Hitchcock's Cinema.

What did you learn as a filmmaker from making Birdemic?

Worked with what I have with very little money. Be sincere

If you were to do anything differently would you change anything in Birdemic?

I wish the bird animation would look more real.

There was an environmental message in the first Birdemic, what are your thoughts on the current state of the environment since the premiere of Birdemic?

Even with all the green actions, There still too much CO2 being released from cars and factories into the atmosphere. We are heading toward catastrophe.

Do you think people are aware of the problems that face our environment and are we taking enough steps to try and stop global warming?

I think that a lot of people are aware of the global warming, but only a few are living a green life style because to go green is expensive: electric car, solar panels and so on.There are people, organizations and companies that are taking steps to help slow down global warming, but their actions are not enough. To slow down global warming, every polluting things that are man made have to stop releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

What do you think we as individuals can do to help the environment?

As I wrote in my memoir, "Birdemic - Shock & Terror - The Romantic Thriller That became a Cult Sensation Hit!", people should try to live a green lifestyle as much as they can such as driving hybrid or electric car and installing solar panels at their house.

How is Birdemic 2 coming along?

The production of Birdemic 2 - The Resurrection was successful.There is a Birdemic 2 trailer at

What awaits the audience of Birdemic 2?

Birdemic 2 has a better storyline and plot than Birdemic 1. I have a small office in Hollywood, California.  And my office is located at the street corner of Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue.  Hollywood honored the great Director, Mr. Billy Wilder by calling this street corner, The Billy Wilder Square for his greatest movie, Sunset Blvd. and Oscar winning movie career and films.   Mr. Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite director. Mr. Billy Wilder is my second favorite movie director. The Spanish word, “La Brea” means the tar in English.  Tar is that thick black sticky oil that is the hint to BIRDEMIC II – The Resurrection on why the eagles and vultures attack Hollywood?  Who will survive?

Do you have other stories you are wanting to film?

Yes. Currently, I am directing my 5th film call "Sea is Rising" which takes place in Vietnam.  The synopsis is three friends went to Vietnam

for a partying vacation where they found romance and more.  There is more information about it at

What advice would you give to people who want to be creative and tell their own stories?

Be sincere. Try to raise the money for their films from investors. But if they fail to raise the money for their films, then they should work with what they have like I did with Birdemic - Shock and Terror.

James Nguyen with writer Robert A. Mitchell