Thursday, September 29, 2005

The feelgood movie of the year

Someone has done a new trailer for The Shining, very carefully selecting certain scenes and clips, giving it a new voiceover and music, to make it seem like a wanky, feelgood comedy-drama. It's absolutely fucking hilarious. Check it out here (right click and save).

I'd love to see more of these. I want to see Driving Miss Daisy trailerfied as a horror, and The Exorcist trailerfied as a gross-out comedy.

Update! Here are two more:

West Side Story as a zombie movie

Titanic as a horror

Update 2! Another one:

Psycho: A Love Story

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

"It's an *opera*..."

Okay, so Jo applies for the University of London's opera course. Her voice lessons have been going really well, and it's time to take it to the next level. So they send her a letter saying "hey, come for the audition". Which is cool and all, but then we realise that the audition is THE NEXT DAY. She has less than 24 hours to decide what songs to sing, prepare them, and practice. Holy fucking shit, right? And I'm no fucking help - I can *spell* "opera", and that's about the limit of my knowledge of it, apart from saying stuff like "yeah, I like that song where she's going 'ah-oh-ah-ah ah ah ah-oh ah ah ohhh ahhh', it's cool". I like the stuff she plays and sings, but that's the extent of my input, a basic "like" or "dislike", she'd be better off getting a monkey that claps when it hears something interesting, at least she'd be able to glean something from its oh-so-frighteningly-human face. So she goes to bed panicking, sleeps in late, gets up, has some brekkie, watches a bit of telly, then gets her shit together, prepares the songs, practices, and goes to the audition.

And fucking nails it.

Without even looking at the music (because she didn't have time to make copies, and had to give her music to the pianist). From fucking memory, dude.

They really liked her voice, and offered her a place on the course straight away. I'm so proud, I really am. Jo, you fucking rock. Or whatever the operatic equivalent is. You fucking OPERA, man. You opera the house down.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

All is not lost

I was fucking gutted yesterday afternoon, it was such a let down. Especially after I'd told *everyone* it was going to be on...

Anyway, it turns out that it was on BBC2 Scotland several hours later, as they have different schedules - and my sister Sara Sky-Plussed it. It is now safe, and locked, on their digiboxmagicthing. She played it over the phone for me, and I closed my eyes and it was almost as if I was there... She's going to try and transfer it onto a videotape or a computer, so hopefully I'll have a copy soon. Sara rocks the house down. And so does her husband Andrew, for spotting the TV schedule for BBC2 Scotland. And so do their kids, who will be doing the complex magicbox transferring for them.

Don't think this lets you off the hook, Rusedski. You're still on my list.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Greg Rusedski

Good. He lost.

I'm watching you, Rusedski. You are officially on my list. Years from now, as you contemplate the twisted, smoking ruin your life has become, you will look back on this moment, and rue the day you crossed me.

You and me, Rusedski. You and me.

Tennis sucks

Well, the Film 2005 repeat has been cancelled, because the tennis is overrunning. The *tennis*. The Davis Cup tennis. Doubles. That's hardly tennis at all.

Don't think they're going to be showing it - the announcer just said it won't be on, but the film after it will be on whenever the tennis finishes. I'll keep the telly on, just in case they change their minds. But they probably won't. So I won't get to see it, and neither will everyone I told about it. Thanks very fucking much, Greg Rusedski.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Film 2005

Last Monday's Film 2005 with Jonathan Ross had some clips of Severance during the "In the works" section. I missed it, because nobody knew it would be on... The show is repeated tomorrow, Saturday, at 2.25pm, on BBC2, so if you want to see some snippets, sit your arse down in front of the telly for half an hour. It's not a very long set of clips, apparently, probably only about 10 seconds, so don't get disappointed when they move past it quickly - it'll get a proper review when it's released. So go. Set your video. Cancel your plans for tomorrow. Don't do it for me. Do it for Jesus.

I'll be taping it, while watching it, while screaming like a little girl. This is officially a Big Deal for me. I never even thought about the movie being on Film 2005, obviously it was always going to be, but it never even crossed my mind. And now it's on. On the telly. Holy shit.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The magic key

On Monday, I went down to the British Library to get a reader's pass. They have a copy of everything published in this country, going back a couple of hundred years, which will help me a lot for research. Most of my stuff up till recently has only needed about 5 minutes' worth of half-arsed "research" on the internet, but for a couple of upcoming ideas, I'm going to need to know my shit. Getting a reader's pass helps with this, and also helps me to feel like a proper writer. The passes are temporary, and range from 3 months to 3 years - they gave me a 3 year one, without me even asking. I just showed them my ID, and a printout of my CV from my agent's website, and it magically unlocked the secret door for me. Rock. I have the magic key.

The short horror film shoots next month, and two out of the three parts have been cast. Proper, well-known actors, too. Everything's moving very quickly, they just need to find a location. Most locations were okay, but when the people in charge saw how graphic the script is, they had second thoughts... So instead of toning it down, we removed one tiny background detail that they all balked at, and now they're fine with it. I'm going to be an extra, along with Jo - we'll be dead bodies. It's so cool.

Other things on the go are a pitch outline for a TV horror thing I'm trying to get involved with, and a pitch proposal outline for an adaptation I'm dying to do. The TV horror thing is an existing project looking for writers with cool ideas, so I'm fine tuning one right now. The adaptation thing is me trying to convince a company that (a) this book is worth adapting, (b) it'd make a great movie, and (c) I'm the best guy for the job.

There is one other piece of interesting news coming soon, but I can't say what it is yet, I'm not allowed...

Monday, September 05, 2005

I am an extra

Today I did my on-camera interview for the Severance DVD. I was shitting myself all day, knowing that I'd fuck it up, and that they'd either leave me off the DVD completely, or worse, put me on there anyway, despite my crap performance. I really didn't want to be the DVD extra that you stick on for about 30 seconds, before going "meh" and skipping. Luckily, the backdrop of the Severance poster collapsed just before I started, so I was distracted for about 10 minutes while we both tried to fix it. By the time we got going, I had calmed down and did a reasonably coherent interview. If I'm not on the DVD, then you'll know that my memory has lied to me yet again.

Friday, September 02, 2005

FrightFest and movies

FrightFest was great fun, as expected. Best bits were: an Irish short called The Ten Steps, which was the best film, full stop, of the entire weekend; Land of the Dead; P (a Thai horror directed by Paul Spurrier, a Brit); Antibodies (German serial killer thriller); Dead Meat (Irish zombie comedy); Wild Country (Scottish drama featuring troubled teens and werewolves); Dominion (Paul Schraeder's original take on the prequel to The Exorcist, before they fired him for not making a shitty CGI teenfest, and hired Renny Harlin); Born to Fight (or "Let's Maim Every Thai Stuntman Over 90 Minutes" - no CGI or wirework, just lots of fucking incredible fights and stunts); and Wolf Creek (very cool and nasty Aussie horror, let down slightly by some silly horror movie logic). Dead Meat, Wolf Creek and Wild Country were extremely low budget, but highly entertaining. Some other low budget movies were absolute rubbish, though. I won't name names, but here's a quick shout out to any low budget writers or directors about to make their first feature: "everyone gets killed" is not a proper ending in itself. Please, please, please work out your story first, have an ending that makes some sort of sense (even if you don't reveal it on screen), and if your movie is primarily dialogue, it better be some seriously fucking good dialogue. Oh, and writers? Don't direct your first film. And directors? Don't write your first film. There are exceptions to all these rules, obviously, but you are probably not one of them. If you're going to spend all your savings, get everyone you know together for a week, and alienate your family by covering their house in fake blood - make sure the script is as good as it can be. The script is the one part you don't have to spend anything on but time. So get it right.

The night we got home, we watched the Renny Harlin version of The Exorcist prequel. As expected, it was muck. Absolute muck. But fascinating to see both movies, to compare which bits were used in both, what parts were different, and so on. Last night we saw Unleashed, which was surprisingly good - brutal, grim, but also sweet and touching. Kickass fight scenes, too.