Saturday, December 22, 2018

Return from the Moon

So, after a lot of frantic activity and end of year shenanigans, Return from the Moon was finally completed. The movie is an experimental piece with a narrative hidden in some trippy (and certainly glitchy) imagery.

The synopsis of the movie is shown below.

I don't expect it to have a wide release as it won't be pushed too far, although it's being considered by several smaller scale film festivals around the world.

From a personal point of view, the aim of the movie was to chalk something up after the abandoned projects and period of inactivity. It gave me a real chance to try some new things and experiment a little with processes, workflows and techniques.

Here are a few teaser images from the movie.

Here are some 'making of' images too...

I built the space capsule by spraying a hamster ball and using recycled plastic (bottle tops, lids etc.) and 'sci-fi' Lego parts bought from eBay.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Music a go-go! The stuff of nightmares

As work continues on the The Cold Caller and pre-production gets into full-swing, it's time for a mini-update including a fully updated teaser poster, complete with confirmed cast and crew.

Horrid and wretched supplies continue to arrive at 'Korky Films' towers and the psychopath's lair is due to take shape shortly. Photos will appear here, showing 'before' and 'after' once things get properly moving.

So far this week, Stuart Walker, has provided some wonderful voice-work for the eponymous 'The Cold Caller' and Jay Langdell is busy finishing off the movie's musical score. So far, it's sounding great!

Filming will begin in January.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Cold Caller

Work on The Cold Caller and Return from the Moon continues.

The Cold Caller is now fully cast and Stuart Walker has recorded some excellent voice-work for The Cold Caller himself. Shooting is set to begin in January but pre-production work, including lots of production design, is happening now. Conversations have taken place with key crew members and we are very excited about the movie.

For the Return of the Moon, I a now entering into a phase of classic model making. As this is more of a personal 'side' project, there are no real pressures to get this done, although I am still hopeful, even with other commitments, of having this completed before Christmas.

Finally, I have been playing around with a new idea for a sci-fi movie in a grindhouse style and have produced some test shots and approached a few people about acting roles. More news on this soon...

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Things are picking up

So, a few meetings have happened, a few more to come but things are shaping up and decisions are being made.

Although I'm cautious after recent occurrences, I think The Cold Caller will be happening soon and will hopefully be shot and edited before Christmas.

Decisions are also being made about a Kickstarter campaign, fresh from my discussions with Shooting People and Kickstarter representatives in New York. A nice little, edgy comedy called Happenstance will probably be put forward and, with a modest budget required, I'm hopeful for more success with this one.

Finally, another small project will likely get the green light soon and will be produced early next year. A Sort of Burial is a small comedy with a nice little twist and some good characters.

A recent casting campaign has yielded some great results and so I'm pretty sure we'll have some good talent involved.

Slowly, but surely, it's all picking up again...

Oh, and I've even gone back to a forgotten animation project - Return from the Moon. Things are shaping up nicely and it has some appealing visuals. More information on this soon.

Watch this (outer) space!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Slow Progress

A week on from my last update and progress is frustratingly slow. I can write quickly, but actually getting things in motion to begin meaningful pre-production is like snorkelling through glue. All very frustrating.

I'm really excited by my ideas and early script drafts, but finding decent, local actors is proving to be difficult. Early feedback on scripts has been positive with some clear favourites emerging.

One such script, The Cold Caller, is looking positive for production but it will need two strong actors - a female 18-30 and a male 30-50 to play a psychopath. Location secured. Production design sorted. Make-up artist on board. Poster designed (as it would be - I love all that stuff!)

The search continues...

Above all, as Korky Films is very active and now has a large movie slate; I'm really looking to make contact with local actors who are interested in being part of some exciting productions.

Two posts in a week. I knew I could do it :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Dumped is Dumped and A New Slate

Well, where to start? Over the last few days and after some feverish filmmaking activity; thinking of ideas, writing scripts and generally getting myself re-focussed, I felt the need to update this blog. I’m a little surprised that the last update was after pre-production had finished on Scarecrow, back in May. It seems like a lifetime ago now, however, it’s been a little over four months. As I’m ostensibly a writer by trade, it's a little slack and something I hope to address.

So, how did it do? Well, it’s still got a while to go yet on its festival journey and so far its been an official selection at ten festivals. It has been up for Best Short Film in five of them… And that’s it 😊 See here

However, the thing that’s led me back to this blog is a small period of filmmaking disappointments and a feeling of ‘what now?’ And, a little bit of ‘what if?’ To be honest, creative clouds have been hanging over me for a while and, although enthusiasm never diminishes, anxieties over the plan and execution often curtail any real impetus.

I began my filmmaking journey in 2001, when my dad gave me a Sony DV camcorder. I’m not quite sure how he got it, but I imagine its own story might well make for a film. Anyway, I made some stuff. It was fun. They were shit. I learnt a lot. I loved films and filmmaking even more and I even won a few things. The most notable prize being a national competition, sponsored by the Orange mobile phone company, arising from an audience vote. That was in 2004. All was good. However, I never capitalised on any momentum I had, as life invariably took over and securing funds and finding reliable people to work with was difficult. 

So, I became a bit disillusioned and packed it all away in 2005. Those early films still exist on DVD back-up discs (yep, that’s how it was!), but they’re securely locked away now, for everyone’s benefit!

Nine years pass and I’ve got the itch… Well, it never really went away and I began to animate, thinking it would be a great way to convey the inner-workings of my mind, without reliance and indeed incumbrance from anyone else. I’m not especially pleased with the result of my endeavours, but I don’t discard them; screw them up and start again, like I’ve done before. I let them have a life and keep them documented and displayed on this very site. Again, they’ve even done rather well and have been shown around the world. Have a butcher’s at them, starting with Snow from 2014. I’m not a purist by any means and I’ve had no formal animation training, and this is probably evident. I just like art, imagery, writing and movies, so I just worked with what I had. One thing I’ve always been confident with is my writing and this is the thing that drives me on. 

About 7 or 8 years ago, who knows? A long time ago, anyway… I was told a story about an unfortunate incident involving a date, a girl and an errant turd which wouldn’t flush. There’s more to it, of course; but anyway, it stuck with me and, like so many other ideas, I jotted it down and tucked it away.

So, desperate to make another movie and give myself a chance to take more control and address some issues from the previous production, I set to work on it. Get straight back on that horse, right? Anyway, a lot of energy and effort is expended over a period of several months and we are two weeks away from shooting when disaster strikes. To coin a few apt phrases, it hits the skids… Shit hits the fan… I see, quite by chance, a tweet which contains a poster which catches my eye. The poster intrigues me, as does the accompanying tagline. A few searches lead to me to read all about its release in September (i.e. just a month ago) and just how well it’s doing on the festival circuit. I realise this is my movie. Well, the movie I’m about to make… The director, in several interviews, talks about an ‘urban myth’. I realise that this ‘story’ which ‘happened to a friend of mine’, as it was recounted to me, is clearly a work of existing fiction; appropriated to whomever and whenever, with each new telling. Bugger! So, I make the decision to knock it on the head. What else can I do?

I’ve never experienced anything like that before. I suppose I should be grateful I saw what I did, when I did.

Dumped, is dumped – and I’ve lost time and a bit of my own money too.
My poster for Dumped.
Their 'Love Lex' poster.

So, as I mentioned earlier. What next? And also that ‘what if?’

Well, cue disappointment number two (pun intended!). My fabulous Indiegogo campaign for another film, ‘Wake Up Call’ was a spectacular flop . It showed me that I really do need to do a lot more, in terms of exposure and making quality films, before I attempt something similar again. What can I say? A massive disappointment.

Wake-Up Call certainly can’t get made and realise its ambitions without a decent budget and I can’t self-fund something of that magnitude. One thing I hope I can be sure of, is that I’m unlikely to see the film already produced by somebody else! Well, if I did, I’d have serious concerns about how. The film does have a rather strange conceit; a unique storyline and premise. It is certainly more aligned to my usual ‘style’.

What next?

Well, on the back of my Encounters acceptance for Spider, Shooting People have now hooked me up with Kickstarter New York to provide a mentor, backing and promotion for a new campaign. It’s early days and I’m unsure as to whether I’ll run with Wake-Up Call for this opportunity. It’ll more than likely be Happenstance, another comedy which, although not dark or macabre, has an alternative perspective to the traditional ‘love story’. It’s a film which does realistically need funding, nonetheless.

What if?

Well, becoming kind of impatient and unhappy about recent events, I’ve pretty much made the decision to go back to the beginning. I need to make the movies I want to make and can, with no-budget, and pretty much do the lion’s share of the work myself. So, with that in mind, I locked myself away and knocked out nine ideas (with treatments and first draft scripts) in three weeks. My self-imposed brief was:

·      I must be able to make them without funding

·      They must have minimal locations, all of which I can control (i.e. access) easily

·      They must contain as few characters and complexities as possible

·      They must be great (on paper at least!)

Now, ordinarily, I’d be reticent to make such an announcement, as most people may well wonder - just how good can nine ideas and scripts be, if they’ve been knocked out in just three weeks? However, writing is my ‘bread and butter’ and I get paid to provide solutions, answers, copy, stories and even jokes (topical or otherwise), in very short deadlines. So, I’m entirely used to the pressure. Obviously, by saying that, I’m not saying that everybody will think they’re fantastic and, of course, being great on the page doesn’t necessarily mean the movie will be amazing! But, I’m happy and as excited as I’ve been for a long time and that is very much the intention. I’m smiling again.

Now, I’ll just have to see how the mop flops and do my best.

Mostly micro-shorts, the low-budget slate consists of:

A Sort of Burial (Comedy)

Cat Flap (Sci-Fi / Horror)

Hokum (Dark / Thriller)

Swing (Drama)

Switch (Comedy / Drama)

The Cold Caller (Horror)

The Seat (Horror)

Up Above (Horror)

Wrong Choice (Horror)

I’ve even made a poster for one.

Happy filmmaking!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Scarecrow - Festivals

Scarecrow is now on its festival journey after being completed on 27th May 2018. Weighing in at a healthy 9 minutes, Jay (Jason Langdell's) edit is tight with some pleasing sound design which sells the story and vision sufficiently. I'm happy with the film, so hopefully it'll do well and get screened in lots of exiting venues.

However, as is normal for all productions (mine anyway), there are always lots of things which I wish I could have achieved, done better etc. but with what I was up against on the day; during pre-production and on the restricted budget and timescale, all of us involved should be justly proud! Nothing should diminish what has been achieved and the quality of the final movie. Everything is a learning curve and I go into my next venture with lots to bear in mind. Although frustration exists in any production, it was an enjoyable experience and I met some new and talented people.

Below is a synopsis teaser promo item...  This explains the idea and plot. The whole film is deliberately set in an ambiguous time period, with nods to classic, quintessentially British films, such as Hammer House of Horror, Tales of Unexpected and the Rocky Horror Show (without the music!)

An excellent cast, and an enthusiastic and professional crew; with a tidy and tight edit. Enjoy Scarecrow if you can.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Scarecrow - It's a wrap!

Well, filming has wrapped.

It was a long day, in blistering hot sun and we had lots to contend with; however, we got through it, had fun and we wrapped in the early evening.

Now, the next phase is, of course, the edit which is in the capable hands of Jay Langdell.

Updates will occur on Instagram, Twitter and the official Facebook movie page, here...

Here are some images from the day.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Scarecrow - Pre-Production, Teaser Poster and Web Presence on Social Media

All systems go on Scarecrow. Pre-production is in full-swing and we are close to filming in May, with an anticipated summer release. The production is with Jam-AV in Leamington.

We have secured some great talent and an experienced crew, so we're all excited to get filming and launch the film, hopefully at a private screening in Coventry and to festivals, worldwide.

Please see the official page at - please follow and / or like, if you like... :)

We also have a teaser poster, which may change as we get more production shots.

Right now, we are looking to promote the film to generate interest!

More details soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Scarecrow will mark a  return to 'live action' filming for me and I am really excited about it all.

The film will be produced by Korky Films based in Coventry and Jam-AV based in Leamington Spa.

Discussions have been taking place since January and pre-production is now at an advanced stage, with the script (which I have written) now locked and various, key crew members in place. I will direct the film and Jason (Jay) Langdell will be the Director of Photography. Jay will also edit the film.

We are both very happy with the script and have been busy recruiting a producer, sourcing items for the shoot (including a Triumph Herald) and suitable locations. We think we are close with the latter. More information once everything is confirmed.

Stay tuned!