Mario Covone is best known for his comic series Video Nasty set in 1983 England, a time when the media was hyping video nasties as the next outrage against society. It explores censorship and the politics behind the movement, and it’s definitely worth a read.
But in an unexpected move he is set to make his directorial debut with Overtime, a horror film he also wrote. So what compelled him to move from comics to film? We sat down and asked him about his latest project:
FILM DADDY: Mario, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. So how did this opportunity come about for you?
MARIO COVONE: I took the opportunity myself. Video Nasty was a huge success and I definitely wanted to capitalise on the momentum, but I didn’t want to force out a Video Nasty v. 2, just because I could. I still want to in the future, but that’s another story. I am as passionate about cinema as I am about comic books, and I wondered to myself whether or not I would also be able to make a movie. So I went to film school, studied hard, followed the advice of my lecturers & industry professionals and networked with young hungry talent like myself, who are also passionate about filmmaking. At that point, there was nothing left to do but make a film. It’s all about putting in the work and mastering your own destiny.
FD: What experience from writing comics do you think will help you in directing?
MC: Comics and film, whilst two very distinct mediums, share a commonality in that they are both visual mediums. Transferring my writing skills from one form to another isn’t a black and white endeavour, and it took a while to shake off the bad habits I had and learn to write in a completely new fashion. If you can visualise a story in your mind, what the characters are doing, where they are, what those locations look like, what action is occurring and how you want your audience to view these sequences, then half the battle is fought. With comics, you have an artist who takes your vision and puts it on paper. In film, the cinematographer does the same thing. They’re both collaborative mediums and as long as you have the right crew with you, you can carry that vision to completion.
FD: How excited are you about this project and what are you looking forward to the most?
MC: I am incredibly excited, and a little nervous too. The entire process excites me. You start with a blank page and finish with a feature film on a big screen. There is a massive amount of work in between with the efforts of many people, and that whole process jazzes me from the get-go. It also scares the crap out of me. I feel responsible for the entire cast and crew, as well as the finished product and I don’t want to let anybody down. I have an incredibly loyal fanbase, yet I’m moving over to a brand new medium, so I am nervous about letting those people down too. I know my work ethic though, and I know we have a great story to tell. All will be well!
FD: If this goes well do you have any plans to bring Video Nasty to the screen?
MC: Yes. I purposefully wrote Video Nasty to be paced like a movie, not because I had adaptation in mind, but because it felt like the best way to tell the story that I was telling. With that being said, I think it would make an amazing feature film, and it is a goal of mine in the future. I didn’t want it to be my first film project, and probably not my second either, as I don’t want people to view me as a one trick pony. I’ll tell a few other stories first, and then I’ll go back to the world of Detective Gorely.
FD: We will certainly be keeping an eye out for that one! Thanks for talking to us and good luck with the film.
Jan Siery is a husband, dad of two kids, two cats, and a dog, and is an all-around nerd. He likes gaming, horror movies, dark and disturbing stuff, Twinkies, and people telling him things.
Follow Jan on Twitter: @jansiery