Horror-on-Sea interview director Jason Impey – VIPCO the Untold Story

VIPCO the Untold Story (2018)

Director: Jason Impey

Stars: Michael Lee

A documentary looking at the story of the much loved UK film on distributor VIPCO told by the rarely seen founder Michael Lee.

Date & Venue: Sunday 13th January 15:00pm

Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-, Church Rd, Southend-on-Sea SS1 2AL, UK

VIPCO the Untold Story is a short documentary film featuring Michael Lee, which has been selected to play at the Horror-on-Sea Film Festival. I got a chance to ask director Jason Impey a few questions about what we can expect from the film.


Q. Your short film VIPCO the Untold Story has been selected to play at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival. Can you tell us what we can expect from the film?

This is a special sneak peek at a personal pet project I have been on a journey with over the last year. It features Mike Lee founder of the old beloved UK home Video label speaking for the first time on film all about this mysterious fascinating film distribution company at the time of the world of home video coming under fire.

Horror-on-Sea interview director Jason Impey - VIPCO the Untold Story

Q. What attracted you to make a documentary film about the distribution company VIPCO?

I have always loved and use to collect the label religiously and back in 2006 I met Micheal Lee and was in discussion of making a zombie film to be released on his Screamtime Collection. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, VIPCO closed its doors and I only ended up making a Super 8 short version of the film called Revenge of the Dead. Over the years it came to my attention that quite a few people out there were fans but there was limited information regarding VIPCO. I knew some of these answers due to lunch meetings with Mike but thought it would be a good idea to try and track him down and see if I could get his story told on camera.

Q. VIPCO founder Michael Lee makes a rare appearance in front of the camera as he talks about the company, how did he become involved in the film?

I managed to track him down and reach out to him, to my amazement he agreed to meet and talk very honestly about everything and don’t hold back on the truth and is brutally honesty.

Horror-on-Sea interview director Jason Impey - VIPCO the Untold Story

Q. Film distribution during the early days of VIPCO were very different to the way they are now. Were you surprised by some of the stories regarding the history of the company?

I did find a few shockers out, and it has made me have a much different outlook on film distribution over the process of making this documentary.


Q. . A lot of the original DVD titles released by VIPCO were of a poor quality; having been sourced from an original VHS, with some of the more graphic titles cut. With most titles now available remastered and uncut by various distributors, why do you think the original VIPCO releases are still popular amongst horror fans?

I think VIPCO was one of the first true DVD boutique collectors labels. With matching cases etc. It made for a neat collection to display on the shelf with a lot of the titles being rescued from obscurity in the UK and being made available – well at least in a certain cut!

I also believe there is a lot of nostalgia associated with VIPCO that appeals to the collectors and completists.


Q. What was one of your favourite moments whilst making the documentary?

That’s a tough one. Overall on the bigger piece I’m in post-production with I would have to say meeting a lot of legends and hearing some great behind the scene stories.


Q. If you had the opportunity to do a similar documentary about another film distribution company from the past, who would you choose?

Tartan Video as they released some fantastic stuff and I have very fond memories of the label – especially back when I was doing film studies.


Q. Do you have any other projects which you are currently working on?

I am currently in post-production with another documentary I have shot called A Life of Fetish which looks at the world of Dominatrix and webcam girls.

Horror-on-Sea interview director Jason Impey - VIPCO the Untold Story

Q. If someone was looking to make their own documentary film, what advice would you give them?

Be patient and don’t give up. It can be tough finding the content and takes a long time to gather the information and find everything to shoot, but if you keep at it you will get there, and it is very rewarding when you cross the finishing line.


For more details regarding the films playing at Horror-on-Sea Film Festival and details of tickets on the website.

Philip Rogers

Philip Rogers

Published in various websites, Philip is a reviewer who is best known for his interviews and media coverage of independent projects including; films, books, theatre and live events. Always on the lookout for something different to cover!