Fantastic Fest 2019 Interview – CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER director Mickey Reece

Jason Whyte | Get Reel Movies

“Two sisters vie for the affections of a man from their past who may or may not be a vampire.” Director Mickey Reece on CLIMATE OF THE HUNTER which screens at the 2019 edition of Fantastic Fest. 

I hear you are back at Fantastic Fest this year! Tell me about what you have had here in the past, and your favourite aspects of the city. 

Last year at Fantastic Fest was the premiere of my film Strike, Dear Mistress, and Cure His Heart. Austin is one of my favorite cities in the US. From the food, music, bar scene to film scene it has become like a second home.

So how did you get into this movie-making business? Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and what you have worked on in the past.

I started making movies with my friends in high school and just worked my way up from making bad homemade movies to less bad homemade movies.

How did this project come together for you? Give me a rundown from the preparation, to shooting, to post-production to now!

After meeting the folks from Divide/Conquer and Vision Chaos at last year’s Fantastic Fest the project came together very smoothly. I’m happy to have this solid team behind me. The prep, the shoot and post was all a breeze. This is my 27th feature but my first to work with such an elaborate team and man, it was easy.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you?

The creative flow. As long as everyone is constantly working to make the best thing we possibly can it pushes the whole thing forward.

What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you?

The fundraising is usually always the hardest part with these little baby indie movies. I think we’re all trying to work toward getting to a place where that part gets easier.

I’m about to get technical, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie; what camera did you film with, your relationship to the director of photography and how the movie was photographed.

Ooooh! My favorite question. We shot on an Alexa Mini and rented a lens from the 1970’s. Through an assortment of soft filters and trick filters we managed a look that was very retro. Shooting in 4:3 made us rethink a lot of our compositions as well. A simple OTS wouldn’t suffice a lot of times.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie to audiences here in Austin?

I love how receptive the Fantastic Fest crowd is to this kind of niche work. Austin audiences give me hope for the future of cinema.

After the film screens at SxSW, where is the film going to show next? Theatrical, online, more festivals?

Other festivals for now. Not sure what the future holds for it.

If you could show your movie in any theatre outside of Austin, where would you screen it and why?

Berlin because I want their cool laurel on my poster.

All of Fantastic Fest is taking place at the Alamo Drafthouse, which is famous for enforcing its no talking or texting policies. What would you say to someone who was being disruptive through a movie?

I would fidget in my seat and be annoyed and then never say anything about it to anyone.

We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies or get into the industry somehow. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business?

If you don’t have it in you to make movies for free with your friends then you don’t deserve the luxuries that come with working with money and resources. You don’t need anything more to make a movie than your phone.

And final question: what is the greatest movie you have ever seen at a film festival?

Discovering Cowboy Who at WTF Festival in Toronto was a highlight but since it’s not really a movie I’d have to say Patrick Wang’s A BREAD FACTORY.

Fantastic Fest takes place from September 19th to 28th. For more information on this film and the many others playing in Austin, TX, point your browser to

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