My Week: Gillies MacKinnon, Director of `Hideous Kinky'

Sunday

Arrived back in England late this evening, jet-lagged and flu-ridden.

I have just been to the Sundance Film Festival in Utah - a festival co- founded by Robert Redford which celebrates independent films. I am delighted with the positive response Hideous Kinky received there. I was a bit worried about how it would go down with an American audience because the rhythm of the film is deliberately meandering - not fulfilling the fast-paced, action-packed conditions of so many Hollywood blockbusters. Another anxiety was that the hippie aspirations of Kate Winslet's character might not be received with much sympathy by the more puritanical elements of American culture, particularly as Utah is very much Mormon territory.

I'm happy to say that all my fears were dispelled - they loved it.

Monday

I got a pleasant surprise today. The editor of my last film, Regeneration, called; she said she was on her way to the Canadian Geni awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) as the film has been nominated for 11 awards - nice to be told! Everyone presumes you already know because you're the director... but not necessarily.

I've been looking at story-boards and illustrations for a new project all afternoon. It's going to be called The Water Horse and will be set in my home country - Scotland. Like HK, it's going to be low budget and independent. I have tried working on mainstream big-budget films; I once directed a film starring Steve Martin called A Simple Twist of Fate and I really felt restricted by the Hollywood studio that was funding it. I think the advantages of artistic and directorial freedom offered by independent films far outweigh the financial disadvantages of having less commercial backing.

Tuesday

My brother Billy rang from Australia this morning. He wrote the screenplay for HK so he was over the moon when I told him about the Sundance Festival and said that Australian critics seemed to like it too. He's cutting one of the films in Tube Tales at the moment, which is a collection of short films set on the London Underground - God knows why he's doing it in Sydney.

A writer has come over here from New York to work on another project which is currently in the pipeline. It is an historical film based on the story of Alfred the Great. We spent hours discussing ideas and putting a plot together. I love this stage of development, because there are just no limits - you can be as creative as you like.

Wednesday

I had the difficult task of being on the jury for the Bafta short-film awards. We watched 20 films and selected a short-list. It was a real privilege to do, but excruciatingly difficult.

Later on, I wrote a letter to Kate. I think she feels quite exposed at the moment - after her massive success in Titanic, everyone is waiting with bated breath to see whether she'll sink or swim in her next film. I wanted her to know how much people had appreciated her in the States - strangers were stopping me in the streets to give me messages of congratulation to pass on to her.

Went to Soho House with friends tonight to have a drink and wind down. Slightly apprehensive about how the British reviews are going to be tomorrow, but so far so good...

Thursday

Did an interview for GLR today. Most of the publicity and promotions for HK have already been done, but there is a last-minute push as the film is on general release from tomorrow.

I am so pleased with the brilliant press reviews today. In general, I think they pick up and appreciate the mood and subtleties of Hideous Kinky. There was only one poor review - it suggested that the film came to nothing more substantial than a collection of holiday snaps. I thought it was the most mean-spirited little review, totally missing the point of the film. Ironically, it was The Independent's.

Friday

7.30am start. Spoke to the producer Ann Scott about yesterday's reviews; she was in a good mood. I'm thinking of slipping in to a showing of HK tonight. I like observing reactions incognito from the general public. It's often more brutal, but always more honest than the glitz and glamour of celebrity premieres.

Interview by Jane Bowers

Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'