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...