Interview: Brian Yuzna

Growing up on Society, Re-Animator and Return of the Living Dead 3, it was a huge honour to speak recently to cult filmmaker Brian Yuzna about his plans for a new horror graduate film training academy in the UK.

220px-Return_of_the_living_dead_3_dvd_coverYuzna intends to set this up at Birmingham City University (BCU), in collaboration with Associate Professor in Film Dr Xavier Mendik who is also Director of the Cine-Excess International Film Festival running 12 – 14 November in Brighton

“It’s a project I’ve been developing with Xavier over the last few years, looking at training students at an undergraduate level on how to make a commercial horror film,” says Yuzna.

“It’s important for this training to be on the curriculum, and that students have the experiences and training that prepares them for the jobs they want to do.

“Any product made by the academy at Birmingham City University will certainly have a unique character to it. There will be enthusiastic students burning to get their ideas out there, and I’m confident we can work with the students to make product in a format that will have a market.”

Whilst concrete details on the academy are still to be announced, Yuzna is impressed by the interest so far from the university.

SocietyPoster“The intent seems very serious, and BCU are open and fast moving,” he says. “I’ve been very surprised by the interest at every level, there’s a lot of energy and openness.

“We’ve got a fairly good idea on what may work as a pilot course. If it did happen, I’d probably have to be here fairly intensively, especially at pre-production and production stages.”

“We’re honoured to be working with such an iconic filmmaker like Brian Yuzna on the Horror Academy, which will be a unique opportunity to train the next generation of horror talent under the mentorship of such a legendary genre figure,” Dr Mendik adds. “After the upcoming festival, Cine-Excess 2016 takes place at BCU for its 10th anniversary event and a selection of Horror Academy training activities will be on offer then.”

And with so many cult horror films being remade and rebooted, is there anything in store for a new Re-Animator or Society from the horror supremo?

“I’m trying with a Re-Animator cable TV series, and I’m in talks with a couple of different places to do a new Society movie. We’ll see!” says Yuzna, tantalisingly.

Brian Yuzna image, photo credit: Xavier Mendik

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