Monday, August 22, 2011

FrightFest short

Okay, the info is starting to leak out, so I may as well come clean. People following me on Twitter will have probably guessed this, but... I've written and directed a short film. It's part of a series of 5 that will be shown at this year's FrightFest in London, as a tribute to the movies of John Carpenter.

UPDATE! It'll be shown before Fright Night 3D on Saturday 27th! Come see it! It'll be shown before one of the main evening movies, not sure which one yet, I'll update this as soon as I know. You can see the relevant info here, on pages 13 and 15 of the FrightFest brochure. My one is based on Halloween, it's a fake trailer and stars the amazing Sarah Douglas, who has been in many things (Superman 2, Conan the Destroyer, V The Final Battle, Stargate SG-1, etc etc), including my Doctor Who computer game "TARDIS" - she had hardly any lines in that, so I've made up for it by giving her lots in this one. Although it's *terrible* dialogue (deliberately), so hopefully one day I can give her lots of decent lines instead... That's all I'll say for now, the fun of it is in the surprises.

At the moment, we're all trying to get it finished in time - we shot it on the 14th and 15th of August, giving us a terrifyingly short 10 day post production schedule. It's edited, the sound is almost done, and I'm checking the grading tonight, so we're nearly there. Would have shot it earlier, but various things delayed us (long, boring story so I'll pretend we were all attacked by aliens), the main one being a sudden attack by aliens, which totally happened and isn't made up at all.

Once it has screened at FrightFest, it'll be going online fairly soon after - I'll let you know where and when. I have a whole load of blog posts lined up to talk about the planning and making of it, so once you've all seen it, I can start talking about how it was all done. I think I'll be able to put the script online too, as we're not selling this due to it technically being a parody. I have the script, rough storyboards, photos, and all sorts. I learned a lot from directing again, it's been a while since Girl Number 9, and I hope I've improved since then.

The main thing I've learned from directing is being ruthless with my own stuff. When you're the writer, and a director is trimming bits out, you think "oh no, they're taking stuff out of my script". When you're the director, and you're the one trimming it out, you think "oh good, I can lose these bits that are ruining my film". It's a great mindset to have, and helps you decide what's best for the finished product. You're also responsible for every tiny detail, and if you don't tell people what you want, you won't get it, as they're not psychic.

Here's a sneak peek from the storyboard, of a lady screaming in terror:

I drew it myself. And I've never had *any* art training! I've just always been able to draw like that! Those are her arms, by the way, as she puts her hands to her face in shock, not boobs.

But that's all to come later. In the meantime, I've got a short film to finish...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cockneys Vs Zombies article and photo

Cockneys Vs Zombies is International Project of the Week at Screen Daily! The article is quite spoilery, you have been warned, so be aware before you click. However, there's a nice photo at the top that you can look at, if you want to avoid the text.

I have no more news on it right now, the edit is almost finished, but no idea of an actual release date or anything like that. All depends how it takes to finish the rest of it. But if you look at the photo again, squint, and jiggle your computer screen around, it *might* feel like you're watching a bit of the actual movie.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tower Block article and photo

The Evening Standard have done a really nice writeup about Tower Block, with an actual photo from the filming - the text is *slightly* spoilery, so read with caution. Or just read the first 3 paragraphs, and stop before the one beginning with "Smith", that's where the mild spoilers are. But they're only spoilers from the first 25 minutes or so. The photo is of Sheridan Smith and Russell Tovey, in character - click underneath the main photo to see it. Now you've been fully warned, click here to see the article.

And yes, I was there that first day, and saw it happen. And in fairness to Sheridan, who says in the article she's not sure how brave she'd be - she got patched up, and came straight back to carry on filming! I'd have probably run off home and needed a week off. She's been fantastic.

Filming finishes soon, and then it's off to the edit. Can't wait for you all to see this one.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Brief updates

Well look at you, sitting there, reading this! Please, put some pants on, it's not right, this is a family blog.

So, yeah. Blogging is slow(er than usual) at the moment, it's an insanely busy month as several things have sprung into action at the same time. Good things, thankfully, just means I have less time to compose blog posts that start as small snippets then balloon into huge epic rambles.

Tower Block is in its final week of shooting, it's looking fantastic, the gang have pulled off some amazing stuff. CvsZ is almost out of the edit stage, and will then most on to sound, effects, music, etc etc. I should have more movie news next month, hopefully.

I'm also working on some potential TV things - well, to be clear, I'm always working on potential TV things, and usually have several TV and movie things on the go at any one time. But development is slow, and it can take a long time before anything happens. Right now, some of those TV things have moved to the next stage, which is partly why I've got a lot of work to do. Long way to go yet, but very promising.

And I'm very excited to be part of a new zombie comic anthology, Dead Roots. Contributors are listed here, including Lord Arnopp, Andrew Ellard, and the mighty Gordon Rennie. Can't wait to see how it looks.

Finally, Richard Salter, the editor of Short Trips: Transmissions, who was the first to publish one of my short stories, has a new anthology in the works. Go here and find out about it - because submissions are open to all! Yes, you heard me. Go and check it out.

That's all for now, just wanted to do a quick update. You may remove your pants again if you wish.