Thursday, August 30, 2012

Cockneys Vs Zombies release

On Friday 31st August, Cockneys Vs Zombies is released in UK & Ireland cinemas. It's not a remake, or a sequel, or a spinoff, or a reboot, or based on a TV show! Go see it!

If it's not on at your local cinema, please ask them why, and tell them you want it. We'd love to have it in more screens, but can only take what the cinemas offer. Obviously, we can't compete with the likes of the Dark Knight Rises on screen numbers, but we are out there, so please do find us! Hopefully there'll be more cinemas soon, I'm not sure how it all works, but please go along and support us in our first weekend. And every other weekend...

As a low budget UK film, we'll live or die on word of mouth, so if you like the movie, please pass it on, and bring your friends. It's a very crowded marketplace out there, and increasingly difficult to get seen. Cinemas like to keep blockbusters on for yet another week, knowing they can still make money, rather than take a chance on a small UK film. Quality doesn't seem to matter, we've had great reviews, but it's a difficult climate at the moment. I'm hoping we can make our mark, I'm really proud of the movie, it's getting some lovely reviews, and hopefully you'll like it.

Also released is the Chas and Dave song from the movie, called "Head to Head (With the Undead)". It's bloody brilliant, and you can hear a preview here. It's available on the iTunes and the UK Amazon and the US Amazon and the Internets and the Other Places People Buy Songs From.

On 21st September, Tower Block will be released, and I hope you'll go and see that too. I'm similarly excited and happy about the reviews, and I think it's going to shock and scare people. But it's funny too, amongst the mayhem.

If you like UK genre movies, please support them, otherwise nobody will want to make more of them. Did you know that, like unpopular waxworks in Madame Tussaud's, they melt down writers and directors if nobody sees their movies?? Yeah. They do. Friend of mine had a flop last year, they melted him down. Part of him is now a chef in Dagenham, the rest is holding up a table in a Birmingham pub. Don't let them melt me down. Please. Go and see my movies. And bring everyone! Thank you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FrightFest Eve

Tomorrow, Cockneys Vs Zombies has its world premiere at FrightFest, the annual 5 day celebration of gore and mayhem in London. On Monday, Tower Block has its world premiere... in the same place, as the closing movie. You probably already know that I'm very, very excited about all this. I can't wait to see the movies with that audience, I've been thinking about it ever since I first started writing them. Also tomorrow is the Cockneys press junket, an interview for the Horror Channel, and several more interviews later. So it's quite a busy day.

It's a very strange, magical feeling, screening your new movies to people. I've been thinking back to my last movie premiere, 6 years ago this week, for Severance, also at FrightFest. You can read my blog post about the whole evening here, it still makes me feel warm and fuzzy to re-read it. I'm starting to feel the same nervous excitement, which I get before anything like this, that weird anxiety and worry, even though there's not really anything to worry about.

Well, maybe one thing to worry about. At the Severance premiere, the cinema had 832 seats. I thought that was a lot of people to stand up in front of. This time, at the Empire cinema, thanks to the screening selling out completely, there'll be 1330 people looking back at me. That's... a number. Yes. Certainly a number that exists. A large one. Eep. But I'm fairly sure the audience will like both movies. And if not, I'm sitting on the aisle so I can run away quickly.

I'll be part of the intro with the cast and crew before the movie, and will be wearing a suit, because I promised Alan Ford that I'd wear one to the first public screening. He's always immaculately dressed, and has expressed displeasure with how us young folk dress these days. So I'm going to dress up posh. Partly for him, partly because if the photos appear anywhere, then my mum won't have to worry about me being scruffy.

If you're going to FrightFest, I hope to see you there. I'll probably be rushing around like a lunatic tomorrow up until the start of the movie, but will be around for the whole festival, looking increasingly pale and confused as the weekend continues.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Zombie Outbreak Survival Plan

People often ask me what I'd do in the event of a zombie outbreak, or something similar. They're expecting a jokey response, but I do actually have a plan all worked out. Hey, I'm a writer, I'm horribly insecure, desperate to be loved, and constantly thinking up worst case scenarios. I've had this plan in my head for *years*.

Some of the steps may seem harsh at first, but put it all into the context of a world descending into apocalyptic ruin, and it makes more sense. You need to abandon all thoughts of how things used to be, and knuckle down. Do you want to get bitten and turned into a shambling zombie, killed by people desperate for supplies, or have your eye sockets fucked into mush by deranged sex cannibals on drugs?? No, of course not. So be prepared! Here is my plan, in 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Kill your neighbours

You know at the start of every zombie movie, there's about half an hour of subtle signs that an outbreak is about to happen? Strange news reports, people "rioting", being bitten, attacking others, unexplained deaths, contamination, strange lights in the sky, blah blah blah? Everyone just ignores the signs, and goes about their business, blissfully ignorant of the tough choices to come.

Don't be those people. Be prepared. As soon as you see the signs - ANY of the signs - kill your neighbours.

This is where many people will falter. "But the outbreak has barely started," you'll say. "My neighbours aren't even infected! We're good friends, and we can help each other!" Spoken like a walking pile of zombie food. Sure, your neighbours are fine NOW, but sooner or later they'll get infected and try to eat you.

Even if they avoid getting bitten, it's only a matter of time before they go nuts and try to take your stuff. Kill them now while they're still civilised and not expecting it. When things get out of hand, they'll do the same to you! Kill them all, take their food and supplies, and use the houses either side of you as potential escape routes.

Step 2: Stock up and fortify

Fill your house/flat/bedsit with the neighbours' stuff, and anything else you can find nearby. There's still time to clear the shops out and get what you need, before things get too Road Warrioresque. And you've already killed the neighbours, so it'll be a lot easier to pick the area clean.

Stock up on weapons, food, tins of beans, booze, water. If anyone asks why, just say you're having a party, or something. Then kill them. Barricade yourself in, and start getting drunk.

Step 3: Trust no-one

By this time, the outbreak will be in full swing. But because you've prepared for it, you can relax while everyone goes berserk trying to survive the carnage. Don't let your guard down. Live quietly, stay drunk, and don't be tempted to make contact with other survivors. If anyone comes to the door, shoot them. Don't talk to them, don't help them, don't even listen to what they say. Just shoot them.

People are panicking, and you can't trust ANYONE right now. If you even let them know you're alive, they'll turn into a zombie, or betray you, or do something fucking stupid and get you killed. Other people are idiotic, crazy, and just plain mean. They're liabilities. Think of the dead-eyed, jaded, hollow survivor you'll eventually turn into - and become that person RIGHT NOW. That person will survive!

Step 4: Wait it out

Now all you have to do is sit tight, and wait. Stay drunk. Eat your food. Do press-ups. Keep your guns oiled. Sooner or later, the army will turn up to evacuate the country, or scientists will find a cure. You'll be safe in your home, healthy, and ready to be rescued. If the apocalypse doesn't stop, and no help arrives, you can wait it out long enough for most of the zombies to rot away. After that, you can start making expeditions further afield for more food and supplies. Be cautious, kill anyone you see, and you can get through this.

And that's pretty much it. It requires you to be incredibly selfish, violent and callous, but in a few months everyone (including you) will be like that anyway, so you may as well just skip ahead and save yourself some hassle. Obviously the plan isn't foolproof - if you're my neighbour, for example. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, can I come over to borrow a cup of sugar??

Note for stupid people, crazy people, police people, and all people: this guide is for entertainment purposes only. Please do not kill or hurt anyone, no matter what seems to be happening in the world. Zombies are not real. Everything is going to be fine. And I totally would never do any of this, so it's safe to let me in.

250k views for CvsZ trailer

As of right this second, the Cockneys Vs Zombies trailer has had over *quarter of a million* views. That's... huge. I'm really, really excited and proud, and a bit teary-eyed. I've even taken a screenshot, to preserve the moment:

It's also completely sold out at FrightFest (and Tower Block isn't far off), and the trailer is getting a great reaction, people really want to see it. Obviously I have no idea how that will translate into box office figures etc, it's still all up in the air - you never know if a film will do well, these days. But I'm very hopeful.

It's released on the 31st August in UK & Ireland cinemas. I'll post more details on screens etc when we have them, and will be begging you all to go and check it out. Low budget UK movies have to fight really hard in the crowded marketplace, so if you want to see it (and want to see more UK movies) please go and support it in the first weekend. And the next weekend, preferably...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Girl Number 9 back in the UK

Yes, to cut a long story short (full story at the website), Girl Number 9 is now back in the UK, free to watch online, and soon on DVD/Blu-ray.

It was an unusual project, in that it was the first UK web thriller series, back when there really wasn't a lot happening on that front in the UK. That was 2009. Somehow, we got nominated for 5 Streamy Awards in 2010, racking up 5 nominations, the third highest that year, and the first UK webseries to ever get nominated. We didn't win any, but it was enough of an achievement to get in there.

The official website is back up and running here, with new information, the official Facebook page is open again, and the Twitter account is cheerily chattering away here.

Sadly, the UK is still really far behind the US in sponsoring/funding web content, and in 2009 people didn't know what to make of it. The show was a success, made a profit, got a lot of views, and was distributed all over the world, even making it onto Australian TV. But nobody was willing to fund a second season, or anything else at the time. In the US, even back in 2009, lots of people were funding web shows, and it's exploded since then.

Thankfully, the UK web scene is thriving today, although everyone still has to fund the stuff themselves like we did - it will still take a while before any companies or financiers take the plunge and start putting money into these things. But things seem to be happening anyway, without the middleman - lots of UK folk on YouTube have got huge audiences, earn enough for it to be their main source of income, and all on their own initiative.

Anyway. Dan and I are both really happy to see Girl Number 9 back home again, after a long journey of distribution in other countries, and I hope people continue to discover it (and maybe have a stiff drink afterwards). Go and have a look! You silly sausage.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New clip for Cockneys Vs Zombies

There's a new clip from CvsZ doing the rounds, with a topical sporting theme - the 10 metre Lurch! You can see the clip over at the SFX website, along with the new poster in case you haven't seen it.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

New poster for Cockneys Vs Zombies

The previous poster was a teaser, and now the full poster has been released, which you can see exclusively at Den of Geek here. I think it's a bloody brilliant poster, I love them both and now I want them on my wall, along with Tower Block.

Since last Friday, the Cockneys Vs Zombies trailer has had (at the time I post this) 211,703 views. In less than a week! To put that in context, the Severance trailer on YouTube with the most views has had 141,503 in *five years*... And Severance was a popular movie that did very well, so hopefully that bodes well for CvsZ.

I'm still quite gobsmacked at how quickly the trailer has blown up everywhere, people seem to be really responding to it and passing it on. It'd be great if it kept increasing that figure, so please do keep spreading the word - low budget UK movies have to fight a lot harder to compete in the crowded marketplace, so word of mouth will really help, along with as many people seeing it in the first weekend as possible. Thank you to everyone who has linked to it or commented so far!

That will also go for Tower Block, when the trailer is released. If you like these sort of movies, and want to see more of them, please help us to make them a success. We'll try and make them as good as we can, if you go and see them. Deal? Deal. That's legally binding now, FOREVER.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Cockneys Vs Zombies trailer

The redband (i.e. uncut) trailer for Cockneys Vs Zombies is now online! Some spoilers! Swearing! Guns! Gore! And Richard Briers!

Go here to see it, and feast on the mayhem!

Or just watch the embedded version here!

Update: I had to Shazam the brilliant song playing in the background to see if it was available anywhere - and it is! It's "Mother of Girl", by the marvellously named Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux. You can pick it up here at their Bandcamp, on its own or with the rest of the EP, or just find it on iTunes. I don't have any stake in the song, by the way, I just really like it!

Tower Block rated 15 in the UK

Following my obsession with the consumer advice on the BBFC site, here comes Tower Block, which has been given a 15 certificate, with the advice: "Contains strong bloody violence and very strong language".

Compare that with "strong comic bloody violence, gore and strong language" for Cockneys Vs Zombies, and "strong bloody horror and violence" for Severance, and it looks like some kind of theme is emerging...

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Cockneys Vs Zombies poster

Yes, that's what I said, and I meant it, by gum! The good folks at Empire Magazine have got the first look at our CvsZ poster, and you can see it here. I *think* there'll be another poster at some point, and the trailer is arriving very soon. I love the artwork on this poster, it's quite epic. It's getting closer!