LUMINA director Gino McKoy discusses UFO abductions and his new film with Tony Tellado. Click here to listen to the full interview on Scifitalk.com.
 
TONY TELLADO
Gino
 McKoy is a writer, musician and filmmaker. A bit of an auteur, you might say. He’s working on his new sci-fi film LUMINA, shot in Morocco.
 
GINO MCKOY
Well, you know, I’ve always been into sci fi. Because I grew up – actually, my first – I was three years old when I first started reading the Star Wars books.
 
 
TONY TELLADO

Wow! 

GINO MCKOY
And my mom has me on cassette reading all the Star Wars books at that time, you know, three and a half you know, stuff. So like, you know, people are amazed at that, that I was actually reading Star Wars books at that time.
 
I think my inspiration started there, but for the movie LUMINA, I wanted to do a movie where you could see how someone is affected psychologically by a member of their family or someone that they love being abducted by aliens.
 
TONY TELLADO
Ah, wow. Wow. That’s interesting. So you went for the psychological aspect of it.
 
GINO MCKOY
Yeah, yeah. So you see that their friends, what the person they’re in love with, is affected by it. And its seeing how the – they own – the entire ensemble of cast – would react to something like that, and what they would do, and how it would affect their journey, and stuff like that. Just seeing the whole entire character arc.
 
I think I wanted to something like that because X-Files explored like, you know, abduction and stuff like that as well, but it was only really like one person really being affected by it in their entire journey, so I wanted to see how like, a whole group of people, like an ensemble, like how they would be affected psychologically by an abduction and how they would deal with it and their journey.
 
TONY TELLADO
As I understand, this was shot in Morocco?
 
GINO MCKOY
Yes, the entire film was shot in Morocco.
 
TONY TELLADO

You get to Morocco and I mean, we’re both Caribbean guys, we like the warm weather. That’s the way it is. And, what was it about Morocco that said, hey, this is where I wanna make my movie?

 
GINO MCKOY
You know, it’s interesting. Um, at first I was going to shoot in um, Malta, actually.
 
TONY TELLADO

Oh, wow.

 
GINO MCKOY
Yeah, because our good friend, who is a producer on the movie with us, he’s Maltese. And um, he’s very close to us. He works with Lynda McKoy, my mother, who’s a producer on the film, with the financing and all that stuff. And we wanted to shoot in Malta, but as you know, Malta doesn’t have any desert. And Tunisia came up in the picture, because you know, George Lucas shot there, you know, and Tatooine is there and everything else, and like I’m a huge Star Wars fan. For me, I thought it was that was great, but they didn’t have the studio space.
 
 
TONY TELLADO

Ah.

 
GINO MCKOY
We had to build all the interior sets and everything else, you know, the sound stages, so Morocco came into the picture. And Morocco has such a rich history of filmmaking, you know, they’ve done so many great films with Ridley Scott and everything else, you know, and all the sword and sandal stuff. So I said, okay, they have the stages, they have the breadth of locations, a wide range of locations, and they’ve got great crews that are equivalent to the crews I work with in Los Angeles. We went, and that’s ultimately why I decided to shoot in Morocco.
 
The interesting fact about that is, it’s actually the first science fiction movie to be shot in its entirety in Moroccan cinematic history.
 
 
TONY TELLADO

Wow. It’s about time then! (Laughs)

 
GINO MCKOY
Because they’ve got all the exteriors, and sword and sand and stuff, from Gladiator and everything else and Kingdom of Heaven. Because the studio we were at was Cloud Studios in Ouarzazate. And, um, behind the studio is the big Kingdom of Heaven set. They’re known for doing those type of big historical movies. But it was their first science fiction movie, and the biggest, ever done in Moroccan cinema history. You know, the biggest stages ever built – and sci-fi stages – and the only sci-fi stages ever built – sci fi sets, actually, ever built on the sound stages in Moroccan cinema history.
 
So we created history with this. I didn’t even know that until about three weeks into pre-production and the art director comes to me, because he’s worked on some very big movies. You know, he worked on Old Guard, with Charlize Theron, and a number of other films there, and he was like, yeah. These are the biggest sets I’ve ever built in my life, and the only ones for science fiction. So we created history in Morocco and I didn’t even know I was doing that. (Laughs) So I guess it was divine, that we got led there basically to do that, you know?
 
I thank God for that opportunity and stuff, and I thought it was really great to see see um, us bringing something new to the country that is known for doing sword and sandal and historical pieces, and not sci-fi.
 
 
TONY TELLADO

Yeah, yeah….

 
GINO MCKOY
Because everyone really goes to Australia, New Zeland, you know they shoot…Europe, Canada, the US like you know, I come originally from Toronto. That’s where most of the sci-fi sets are built. You never hear of people building sci-fi sets in like, Morocco and stuff, so you know, I thought that was really, really unique. But yeah, that’s why we chose Morocco, and I realized that, you know, we created history while we were there.
 
TONY TELLADO

Watch or listen to this space for more about LUMINA. For Byte, this is Tony Tellado.

MARCH 26, 2021
Written by ANAIS ROBIN,  Editor

This article originally appeared in Made in Marrakech

MARRAKCH – Morocco continues to seduce crowds and attract foreign film shoots. The shooting of Lumina, the very first science fiction film in Morocco, has just ended. The team of this feature film chose to put their bags down at the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa during their stay in Marrakech.

Who is behind this film? Gino Justin Hudson McKoy, a multi-hat man: Canadian singer-songwriter, director, film producer, screenwriter and music producer.
He has set his sights on the regions of Marrakech and Ouarzazate, between mountain and desert, for the shooting of his first feature film for which he is writing and directing.

Lumina is the very first sci-fi film to be shot in Morocco, slated for release this summer. The cast includes renowned actors: Eric Roberts (Julia Roberts’ brother), Ken Lawson and Eleanor Williams. During their stay in Marrakech, the film crew stayed at the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa .

And to be patient while waiting for its release, here is a brief taste of it  : at the center of the story,  

the exploits of an amateur videographer, a conspiracy theorist and a manipulative vixen who set out in search of the lover of their friend who disappeared in a flash. A journey that will change some lives and take others!

Article originally published in L’Observateur on March 14th, 2021.
English translation provided by Google Translate

MARRAKECH – Morocco continues to attract foreign directors. Canadian filmmaker, screenwriter and producer Gino Justin McKoy has chosen to shoot his semi-fiction film “Lumina” between Los Angeles, the sumptuous desert of Agafay, the Atlas mountains and the majestic backdrops of Ouarzazate.

A first in Morocco. Marrakech will host its first science fiction film and it is signed Gino Justin Hudson McKoy. Supported by a prestigious cast including Eric Roberts, Julia Roberts’s brother, Ken Lawson and Eleanor Williams, the film “Lumina” features a young college graduate whose girlfriend disappears in a blinding flash. Set off on his quest, he plunges into a dangerous network of otherworldly distortions … Note that most of the scenes alternate between the Atlas Mountains and the Agafay Desert.

Falling under the spell of the ocher city and the diverse landscapes of southern Morocco, the Canadian director, screenwriter, musical producer and singer confides that the choice of Morocco was “symbolic” for him, because being from the Caribbean, his country shares according to him. several similarities with Africa. “Morocco has a diversity of landscapes and a strong cultural heritage which are specific to it and which make it a blessed land for directors, without forgetting the human potential,” confides Hudson McKoy who admits to having “found in this country the landscapes and places I dreamed of for my film, between Ouarzazate and Marrakech (Agafay desert, Agdz road…). I find that the landscapes of this country have a gargantuan potential worthy of the greatest productions of the genre, like Alien and Predator “.

Deeply touched by Moroccan hospitality, the Canadian director plans to shoot another film in the ocher city “I have a film in preparation that I wrote with the American-Canadian screenwriter Michael Sloan who is also the producer of the film Equalizer with Denzel Washington. I would like to shoot it in Morocco, in Marrakech more precisely! », He concludes.

Article originally published in Grazia Maroc on March 5th, 2021

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO – Despite the still raging health crisis and more or less closed borders, resilience is more relevant than ever. We learned in particular that Morocco was recently the scene of a new American film shoot. But not just any: it is the very first foreign science fiction film made in the country, more particularly in Marrakech and Ouarzazate.

Gino McKoy's LUMINA in Grazia magazine

Signed Gino Justin Hudson McKoy, the film “Lumina” unveils a nice cast, including renowned actors like Eric Roberts, the brother of Julia Roberts herself, Ken Lawson or Eleanor Williams. Crisscrossing the districts of the ocher city for weeks on end, the entire film crew benefited from the local hospitality and in particular from the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa where she stayed. Scheduled for next summer, this “made in Morocco” film is the new gem of the talented Canadian director & screenwriter. Note that the sparkling and dynamic Gino McKoy is a complete artist. Because, he is not only a filmmaker, he is also a singer and musical producer of talent. A true enthusiast who says he is very excited to present his first feature film to the world.

At just 40 years old, it was as a family that he decided to put down his suitcases in Morocco to embark on this exciting adventure. Brilliantly mixing drama, science fiction and action, McKoy was largely inspired by the sumptuous landscapes of the Kingdom, especially in the desert for the frame of his film. To give you a taste: the story features a young college graduate whose girlfriend disappears in blinding lightning. Set off on his quest, he rushes into a dangerous network of distortions from another world… Note that most of the scenes alternate between the Atlas mountains and the Agafay desert. As a bonus, the director has surrounded himself with an essentially Moroccan team for the realization of his project. Apart from the cultural heritage, he was also very touched by the Moroccan hospitality, even forging beautiful friendships with some locals. Following his big heart for Marrakech, which he discovered for the very first time, he even plans to return there for his next shoots. In the meantime, we can’t wait to discover our red city in science fiction mode with the first images of this famous “Lumina”…

Article originally published in La Tribune De Marrakech on Feb. 27, 2020
Written by Fadili Majda
Translation provided by Google Translate

MARRAKECH MOROCCO – Morocco has not finished making a name for itself in the world cinematographic sphere! The kingdom is put back on the front of the stage by the Canadian director and screenwriter Gino McKoy who has chosen Morocco, the regions of Marrakech and Ouarzazate more precisely, for the shooting of Lumina, a science fiction film of a new genre with American actor Eric Roberts headlining. While waiting for the release of this new “made in Morocco” production scheduled for this summer, La Tribune de Marrakech spoke with the young director over a cup of coffee at the Kech Boutique Hotel, where the film crew was staying.

While waiting for the release of the trailer, can you give us a taste of the film Lumina?
Lumina is a mixture of drama, action and science fiction. I wanted to write something unique that stood out from other forms of science fiction that we know. Usually in sci-fi movies you don’t learn much about the characters and you know they’re going to die before you really know them. So I wanted to make a film that allows audiences to relate to the characters and their stories.

Why did you choose Morocco for the shoot?
I had a number of locations to choose from to shoot the film, but decided on Morocco. It was really a symbolic choice for me to make it here. I am from the Caribbean which shares so many similarities with Africa. I also opted for Morocco for its history with cinema and the various films that have been shot there. I found the landscapes and places I dreamed of for my film there, between Ouarzazate and Marrakech, because I absolutely wanted to shoot in the desert. Some scenes were thus taken in a villa in the Palmeraie, the Agafay desert, the road to Agdz and the mountains of the region.

LUMINA

What was your challenge?
I did not realize that it was going to be the first sci-fi film set built in Morocco, because I find that the landscapes of this country have a gargantuan potential worthy of the greatest productions of the genre, like Alien and Predator. We then edited everything on site, working mainly with Moroccans who greatly contributed to the making of this film, the shooting of which ended after 2 years of preparation.

What are Morocco’s strengths as a film destination?
Morocco has a diversity of landscapes and a strong cultural heritage which are unique to it and which make it a blessed land for directors, without forgetting the human potential. I fell in love with this country where I made strong friendships during filming; I feel at home as this is my first visit to Morocco and Africa and it will certainly not be my last. I already know that I will take pleasure in coming back to it for my second feature film. I have a movie in the works that I wrote with American-Canadian screenwriter Michael Sloan who is also the producer of Equalizer with Denzel Washington. I would like to shoot it in Morocco, in Marrakech more precisely!

Why do you absolutely have to see the film “Lumina” when it comes out?
Because it’s unique and it’s unlike any movie you’ve seen. Unlike classic sci-fi movies, which start with action from the get-go, Lumina offers a different take. The first twenty minutes allow you to discover the different characters and to become attached to them, as one might do while watching a drama. What is on offer in the image is to follow the story of the protagonists, from Los Angeles to Morocco, knowing that the entire film was shot here! We have therefore planned two previews, one in Los Angeles and one of course in Marrakech. Patience!

LUMINA Director Gino McKoy

Day 1 in the can, blessings to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords for a successful and great first day.. Dune Films and our amazing cast and crew… Some thought we wouldn’t get here but we are.

Keep up to date on all the latest news, trailers, and release dates for the upcoming feature film LUMINA, written and directed by Gino McKoy, at the movie’s official website: https://luminamovie.com.

This article originally appeared on MobAngeles.com
Written by Michael Rand

“Pop aficionados have a lot to be excited about with Gino McKoy’s Lumina EP and its first single, the superb “Sensy Girl”…deliciously amped-up slow jam…this is the track that I would recommend above all others.”

 

LOS ANGELES: The sun peeks out from behind a dark planet, and in its rays we’re transported to a surreal, dreamlike environment that will serve as the visual backdrop in the music video for Gino McKoy’s new single “Sensy Girl.” Beautiful women, thick clouds of smoke, postmodern imagery that occasionally veers towards the disturbing; they’re all essential ingredients in this melting pot of hip-hop beats, R&B textures and sophisticated pop grooves. “Sensy Girl” isn’t an experimental endeavor per-say, but it is definitely one of the edgier hybrid singles that I’ve heard lately. McKoy’s debut EP Lumina (a companion disc for his upcoming sci-fi film) is chock-full of this caliber of content, but if you want to get a good idea of who he is as an artist, this is the track that I would recommend above all others.

The sun peeks out from behind a dark planet, and in its rays we’re transported to a surreal, dreamlike environment that will serve as the visual backdrop in the music video for Gino McKoy’s new single “Sensy Girl.” Beautiful women, thick clouds of smoke, postmodern imagery that occasionally veers towards the disturbing; they’re all essential ingredients in this melting pot of hip-hop beats, R&B textures and sophisticated pop grooves. “Sensy Girl” isn’t an experimental endeavor per-say, but it is definitely one of the edgier hybrid singles that I’ve heard lately. McKoy’s debut EP Lumina (a companion disc for his upcoming sci-fi film) is chock-full of this caliber of content, but if you want to get a good idea of who he is as an artist, this is the track that I would recommend above all others.

This music video is very stylish, and I think that it lives up to the erudite production quality of the music wonderfully. That said, as intriguing as the on-screen visual sequence is, its intricate construction still pales in comparison to that of the master mix. There’s so much detail to behold within each of the instrumental elements in this song, from the percussion to the synths and beyond, that it could be considered a little overwhelming to some (and legitimately marvelous to the rest of us). A lot of work went into making the levels just right in this single, and it’s no doubt the reason for its magnificent chill-factor, which has thus far gone unrivaled in the summer of 2019.

McKoy’s lead vocal is so sensuous from the jump, and it introduces an external R&B flavor to the somewhat rough n’ tumble hip-hop rhythm. This helps “Sensy Girl” to sound really balanced, which has been an issue for some of the more surreal output that I’ve been seeing out of the American underground this month. Diamond lays out some ambitious verses of his own in this track, but there’s never any question as to whose show this really is. I hope this isn’t the last time that they work together, because between the two of them, they bring a wealth of talent into the studio that could be further exploited in even more experimental ways than it is in this deliciously amped-up slow jam.

Pop aficionados have a lot to be excited about with Gino McKoy’s Lumina EP and its first single, the superb “Sensy Girl,” and while the mainstream has been producing mixed results across the board this summer, indie artists like McKoy and Diamond have been turning out the gems like no one else can. The late 2010’s have been a very eclectic and transitional period for pop music, and though the era hasn’t been devoid of hit-makers (quite the opposite, really), I have a feeling that we’re about to see something wholeheartedly evolved as the 2020’s come into focus just a matter of months from now. Gino McKoy is demonstrating a knack for busting out sensational beats on command in his virgin studio recordings, and that’s going to go a long way towards establishing his brand as among the more elite in R&B heading into the next decade.

This article originally appeared on NeuFutur
Written by: James McQuiston

MAGNOLIA, AR: Sensy Girl is an effort that refreshes the R&B effort of performers like Sean Kingston and Jason Derulo. The blending of reggae and synth-pop ensures that fans will be lured out to the dance floor. A strong production ensures that the song will interest on a variety of levels. A robust tempo is precisely what will keep interest in Sensy Girl high throughout the single. We’d love to hear more from McKoy in the future, as there has been a decided lack in the sunny, Island-infused pop singles over the course of the last few years.