Saturday, 17 November 2012

Interview with Michele Mulkey- Special Effects Legend

As long time supporter of AD Lanes twitter funded project "Invasion of the Not Quite Dead" I was absolutely delighted that Michele Mulkey had agreed to head up the SFX Department. Anyone that is a fan of horror or sci fi will be familiar with her work. As well as working on Firefly she has provided effects and makeup for some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Here she talks about her new project "Something Like a Phenomenon" and her excitement about working in the UK for the first time. 

Hello Michele and thanks for taking the time from your really busyschedule to talk to me! Your experience and CV, spanning over 12years, is impressive. You have worked with so many great actors and FXCompanies. What are some of your highlights?

There are so many!  I really liked working on Charmed since they were all such amazing makeup's.  And I loved Firefly.  Hands down one of the coolest sets I've ever had the pleasure of working on.  Chronicles of Riddick was amazing, but I think one of my favourite movies was Petunia.  It just had such a great cast and everyone had such a great sense of humour, especially Thora Birch and Eddie Kay Thomas.  It made the long days of filming go by so much faster.

Can you tell me a little about your background and how you decided towork within the FX Industry?

I actually started while I was in college earning a degree in the Performing Arts/Theatre.   I realised I wanted to become a makeup artist after doing make up for several productions my first year.  Once I graduated, I moved out to Los Angeles and attended a professional makeup school where I learned all the basics I needed.  And soon after , I started working in some of the Special Effects shops in the Los Angeles area.

Are you looking forward to spending time in the UK next year?

Absolutely!  I've never been to England so just going there next year will be exciting.  And it's going to be even better since I will be there working on such an amazing film like AD Lane's Invasion of the Not Quite Dead.  I've really come to admire AD so much.  He truly is an inspiration to every Indie Film Maker out there and he has stayed so true to his vision of the film.  Just such a respect for him.  And I've had the chance to travel all over the United States and Canada for work, but never overseas, so I'm really looking forward to it. 

Moving on to "Something Like A Phenomenon", It's a fascinating project. How did you come to be involved with it?

 It really is!  Jonathan Chance ( of Chance Encounters Films) and I have been friends for awhile now, and when he sent me the breakdown for the script and movie, I was just fascinated by it.  It's based on actual events that took place in  what is known as "the most haunted house in England" and is a huge part of British local legend.  I've never had a chance to work on a true ghost film before, so I jumped at the chance to head up the SFX for the film.  As well as having a chance to finally work with John on a film.  There is actually a very detailed storyline on the history of the film on the "Something Like A Phenomenon" Facebook page

Can you give me any hints as to what we can expect from you for the project?

Well, without giving too much away about the film, I can say that there will be several truly terrifying ghosts as well as some very, very gruesome possessions.  So a lot in the way of SFX in this movie! 

Aside from this and Ad's film "Invasion of the Not Quite Dead" what else have you got planned for 2013?

Once I'm done with Invasion, I will be filming a movie called Cryptids.  I've already started on some pre-production on the film even though it's not scheduled to shoot until fall of 2013.  There are several creatures in the film and the suits will take quite awhile to make, so production green-lighted me to start now.  

When you aren't creating awesome special effects what do you like to do if you find some spare time?

Spare time...What's that?  Ha...I'm kidding.  Actually one thing I really enjoy doing is fishing.  I love fishing, especially salt water fishing.  It's something my Father taught me when I was growing up and to this day it's something he and I do as often as we can together.  And of course there is always a game going on between us...Who can catch the biggest fish! 

One final question, have you any tips for aspiring fx artistes that want to start working in the industry (apart from ordering their supplies from Michele Mulkey FX Studio)

 I would say that the best advice I can give is to just get out there and do it.  Have confidence in yourself and try to work on as many films as you can.  99.99% of what I know today I learned from working with other amazing SFXMUA's while on set or working in house at an FX Studio. 

Thanks for the fantastic answers Michele, I look forward to meeting you next year.For more information on Michele's work and effects please check out her company website here. check out the official facebook page for all information about "Something Like A Phenomenon"

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