Interview with Filmmaker Kevin Newbury
Written by NewEnglandFilm.com | Posted by: NewEnglandFilm.com
Kevin Newbury’s directorial debut Monsura is Waiting has a Wes Anderson feel to it — strong colors, lovable but odd characters and a heightened sense of reality. Here he talks with NewEnglandFilm.com about the unique team that went into creating this truly original short film. The film Monsura is Waiting can be seen as part of the 2014 Online New England Film Festival.
I have seen a lot of films, but this felt truly unique. Tell us a bit about your film.
My film directorial debut draws on my experience as an opera and theatre director. The film combines the visual style and color palate of 1950’s and 1960’s Japanese horror films with the handmade veneer of amateur vaudeville performance. Those interested in this film genre will immediately understand our inspirations, but it’s not required to enjoy this film. While often funny, Monsura is Waiting is ultimately about redemption. Everybody needs a savior, whether it’s a God, the stage, or a giant mutated moth.
When did you know you wanted to become a filmmaker?
I have always wanted to be a filmmaker but I have spent the last ten years directing opera and theatre. I never went to film school and, in the summer of 2012, I just decided to go for it!
What inspired you to make your film?
The screenwriter, David Johnston, and I have collaborated on several theatre projects. I have always been drawn to the heightened theatricality of his writing. I love the way he take very real, deeply human characters and places them in an absurd, often fantastical situation. When I saw David’s original play (from which this is an adaptation), I knew this would make a great story for my first film. As a theatre and opera director, I love working on material with larger-than-life characters and rich, theatrical settings and locations. Monsura is Waiting is a wonderful story and I think everyone can relate to these two characters.
How did you find your cast and crew for this film?
I brought several of my theatre and opera collaborators on board, many of whom have done a lot of work in film in the past. I wanted to learn from the best and I wanted us to bring a shared sense of heightened theatricality to our film work.
The entire New York City and Berlin-based creative team also has a great deal of experience in opera and theatre and, while making this film, I encouraged everyone to embrace our shared theatrical and musical background. For me, the film feels like it was made by musicians and theatre artists — the ideal group of collaborators to chronicle a story about redemption through music, myth and sequins.