Ric McKinnon - 6th Fefruary 2007
Ric McKinnon and Garry Young; creators and producers
of Australian Ghost Stories. (AGS)
McKinnon's background is in acting and writing mainly
for the stage and for print media outlets- as Garry
Young's background is in writing and directing short
films, music videos and editing for the film and television
market. It is their debut as producers of an independent
are your current projects?
Ghost Stories has been the major project over the
last year -The team is already developing concepts
for AGS spin-off programs, including a Radio Programme
consisting of all things supernatural. There is also
a drama series that is in the final stages of script
development. Another goal is to also break down Australia's
barrier and failed attempts with sitcoms. There's
a comedy series pipelined with a very unique and twisted
was the sequence of events that led you to this point?
media work involved in a seminar for a popular Australian
psychic, Scott Russell Hill from Sensing Murder fame,
there was a realisation that we had a really great
concept with this "ghost project"
People were interested in the supernatural and it
really, as far as mainstream television goes, has
not been approached for more than a decade in Australia.
It's of course been a long process, as a team of film
makers chasing ghosts, more so than a team of ghost
chasers with a camera- It has made it an exciting
adventure to learn what to look for, and where to
go to find our spooks.
your main interest in the supernatural?
think everyone questions the way things are, and maybe
more importantly the way things appear and are interpreted
by individual people. Everyone at some point has questioned
their own mortality, by understanding ghosts; perhaps
we can understand the dying process a little better.
happens after death?
are your mentors? Garry Young's work is inspired by
: Peter Jackson, Adam Elliot, Rolf de Heer, Peter
Weir, Stuart McDonald, Clayton Jacobsen and Nadia
Tass. I'm a little more simple, The Dalai Lama, Nelson
Mandela and even Bono from U2
Creative or not,
my mentors are those that stand up for change in a
are the most authoritative and talked about experts
on the supernatural, and what got them there?
depends who you ask, but there are a lot of self-made
"experts" currently dealing in supernatural
matters. Unfortunately, this also means there are
some charlatans that are out there to make a few quick
bucks. Which I guess, proves that people are interested
in finding out answers to life and are often prepared
to pay. We are highly intrigued by the research of
Dr. A.R.G. Owen - although his research isn't ghost
research in the traditional sense, his work does open
up many doors for spin-off TV programs that we are
looking into. Peter Underwood is one of the more famous,
"old school" ghost researchers. Both Peter
Underwood and Dr Owen speak of ghost as self created
by the human mind? But if seeing is believing, and
people like John Edward, claim to be able to see dead
Then it's a matter of trust and faith
unless you unlock the powers of insight and the ability
to communicate to the other-side by yourself?
have been your biggest supporters to date?
from ourselves (we regularly "spot" each
other for motivation), as you can often question your
sanity and ask why are we doing a project like this?
The interest in Australian ghost Stories has been
diverse. From famous mediums, to football commentators-
Often those you least expect are the ones that offer
the most support. Of course, our families and friends
must get a mention here.
media coverage have you received thus far?
have had very limited media coverage thus far. The
main reason for this is because we have been apprehensive
about releasing our idea to the general public; also
knowing that if we don't tell people about the show
it will never get made. Realising it's a double-edged
sword, we know that the more publicity that our show
gets, the more chance there will be for another outfit
to come along and get their version on air before
are the biggest challenges you have overcome?
have actually had a lot or roadblocks to get this
point with Australian Ghost Stories. With personal
illness to Garry after filming the pilot (some mediums
say Garry got possessed) *laughs* - And the standard
challengers that come with being new-comers whist
trying to get a show on air
especially one involving
ghosts. You get used to door slams though!
technologies and format do you do most of your work
and filming in?
experiences have mainly been working with mini DV
(Standard Definition), High Definition video and is
currently working on some super8 projects with other
companies. AGS is to be shot with HD, with a strong
infrared scope and night vision modes
how ghosts seem to only ever appear at night?
it so important to support Australian filmmakers?
Australian film/television industry is probably the
most accessible art format available to the general
public. Currently with the influx of mainly American
content, we feel the very fabric of our nation's culture
is being bombarded with American mass culture. In
recent years with cable television coming on board,
and also the recent changes in cross-media ownership
laws, it is just too easy to "fill the void"
with cheap, pre-produced content and motion pictures.
A vibrant Australian television and film industry
reflects the confidence and general mood of the Australian
"I'm not here for a long time; I'm here for a
"Everyone dies, but nobody is dead".
do you do to relax?
We are trying to make television!
note: This show has legs. I forsee it being on Australian
television sooner rather than later.