Tuesday, December 15, 2009


KERBEROS: The Kely McClung Interview. Part 1

This is the first in a series of installments of an interview I conducted with Kely McClung, director of the film KERBEROS.

A few months ago I was invited to a test screening of KERBEROS, an independent film written, directed by, and starring Kely McClung. My timing was perfect. KERBEROS was getting ready to rear all three of its mean heads, and I happened to be in a position to see it first hand. It was just a matter of a few emails and a phone call, and I found myself scrambling to get the hell out of Santa Cruz and down to Anaheim for the test screening at Indie Fest USA in Downtown Disney. I hustled and headed south. Upshot was that I was able to meet, hang out with, and interview Kely in Century City the afternoon prior to the screening.

Before meeting Kely I had only spoken to him on the phone. Now, my stereotype of a filmmaker is someone who has the scruffy physical presence of Peter Jackson or Guillermo del Toro. So when this clean-shaven bruiser stepped into my vehicle, I was taken aback. McClung is a squared off individual that looks like he could spring into action at any moment and beat your ass. Furthermore, there is no pretention about him. Kely is a personable guy who absolutely loves what he is doing and happens to have big ideas and an incredible amount of skill and drive to pull the best from his actors and his camerawork. As we walked around looking for a restaurant called THE SUGAR ROCK at some mall on the Avenue of the Stars, Kely started to tell the tale of his own hustle to get his movie off the ground.

Kely likes making movies, and he has also as the martial arts skills to flip you into a coma. As he spoke of his time in Hollywood and how he’d built a previous career using his martial arts skills, he mentioned the fact that he “taught and worked with dozens of police and military personal, studied and holds black belt rank in a half dozen karate systems with most [of his] training in Chinese systems [that] don't acknowledge rank, . . . was the International Full Contact Stick Fighting Champion of the World, and [ran martial arts] schools for many years throughout the Southeast as well as in Thailand and Malaysia.” He told me of his determination when he was training and the discipline that is now evident in his push to create and publicize KERBEROS.

He is relaxed, but his physical form shows these years of training. Kely also talked about his previous martial arts-heavy film, BLOOD TIES, and the short films that he’s made. But the interview was primarily focused on KERBEROS, a gritty crime thriller with dense layers of character development packed onto a thick plotline. KERBEROS is the Greek spelling of Cerberus, the three-headed guard-dog of Hades. The movie follows three different individuals, all of whom are vicious in their own ways, have criminal characteristics, and a day of reckoning coming.

The movie KERBEROS is almost completely ready for a film festival run. This interview series will cover more of the elements of the film and a lot more from the director himself.

-Mediasaurus Rex