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netribution > features > interview with lab ky mo > page one
Lab Ky Mo's is a director that was editing the fine cut of his first feature when I met him. 9 Dead Gay Guys is a very silly film about you know what and containing you know what but the risk he's taken on it appealed to me greatly. Despite managing a crew of 50 professionals and an odd but profile cast including Fish from Marillion, Stephen Berkoff, Michael Praed and Carol Decker he managed to shoot the whole shebang for £160,000. When Lab called me over to Goldcrest he said, in a thick Belfast accent, "Don't be shocked when you meet me, I'm actually Chinese." I was shocked but it was mainly due to the scenes I witnessed on the Avid - it was the morning after my 25th birthday after all. A man, in the throws of retching, was attempting to suck off a delirious Pakistani with personal hygiene issues. Of course you don't see anything but I wasn't expecting it that's all.
PS - Goldcrest is weird. Downstairs is your common or garden chrome splashed reception - one enters a minute lift and steps out into an apartment block. I quickly understood my directions to, ''flat 5, second on the right.''
Pretty cool I thought.

| by tom fogg |
| photos by tom fogg|
| in london |
  Lab, pitch 9 Dead Gay Guys to me.
Well I'm not very good at pitching but it's basically about 2 straight guys trying to make money out of the gay London underworld and a caper ensues whereby 9 gay guys cop it - it's South Park humour. Very politically incorrect and very silly.

Why did you decide on that sort of theme for your first feature?
Well I think that there's a market for it. The Americans are making a lot of politically incorrect cartoon stuff for a very intelligent audience and that hasn't seeped into film, other than films like Austin Powers, and it definitely hasn't been experienced in the UK. It's like a feature film version of Viz.

Where did all this come from?
Well it's not personal in any way. I'll probably go off and make some more personal, heavier and less entertaining films later.

How did you manage on £150,000
Well to be honest the shooting budget was £80,000 and we over shot by about the same amount, we got our money's worth really. It was a very professional shoot with a large crew and a lot of them came from television work so the manner of the production was quite influenced by their methods. It was a good set up, 50 people every day but I got them from all sorts of places. One of the assistant producers works on Family Affairs and we got a lot of our HoD's from soaps who'd had a lot of experience running large teams. This film was inspired by my mate who went out and shot a film for £25,000 on DigiBeta and I was heading down that route - a 10 man guerrilla shoot on a similar budget. I ended up shooting a million pound film on Super16 and on a lot less money.

How are you intending to distribute it?
We'd like to sell it as big as possible but you've got to create a product that's professional and we didn't even have enough money to get it to first cut but we have. It's a very basic stage in post where there's no sound work, no re-shoot's, no grading, there's no print - that's all we've got so the next stage is to raise some money to clear our debts so we don't go bankrupt and secondly to further the project. We can then get sound work and a fine cut, at which point we'll have a product that we can actually screen and sell.

You made four shorts before this but what did you do before that?
I studied fine art at St Martins and then I suddenly decided that I wanted to do film but I didn't transfer, I finished my fine art degree and then I had a script that I had to write. That was called, Oranges are Blue, I sold it to the BBC and it won a Bafta scholarship to America. My first course after art college was at the Halfway production house in Balham and that was really good for about three years and I was in one of those years. Basically they got 12 people off the dole and taught them how to make a 16mm short - it was a really good course and I managed to make a high production value film. The Bafta scholarship came through at the same time, that gave me about seven grand or so to make another short and that was brilliant. The Americans are fantastic technically, it's just that their ideas are lacking somewhat.
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