Thursday, April 17, 2014

Total Film 50 Most Badass Female Horror Leads

Maggie from Severance is at number 19 in Total Film's list of the 50 Most Badass Female Horror Leads - you can see her position here, but BEWARE, there are major spoilers for Severance if you haven't seen it yet!

The rest of the list also has spoilers, plot details, and mentions if the lead makes it to the end of the movie, so obviously tread carefully.

I'm really glad she made it in, I work hard to have a good mix of characters, male and female, and as my first ever badass female lead in my first ever movie, I think she's a damn cool one. Much kudos to Laura Harris for her fantastic performance.

If you haven't seen it yet - how the hell have you avoided it? It's been on TV about a million times! If you somehow missed every broadcast, well, it's on Netflix, and Amazon Prime, and probably most of the other streaming/subscription based services.

Or you can grab the DVD in the UK for a few quid, and on DVD in the US, or on iTunes. Buy it used/second hand if you like, it's all good - I'd much rather you did that than downloaded it illegally, and it means an unwanted copy gets to go to a loving home. Slasher movies are for life, not just for Christmas.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Borderlands

Movie news! The Borderlands, a movie I did some work on, is available on iTunes in the UK right now, and also on DVD.

It's a new UK found-footage horror movie about a group of Vatican investigators checking out strange events from a newly reopened church. The trailer is here, but it doesn't give much away, the big scares are held back for the movie.

I did a script rewrite on it - uncredited as agreed, though they've told everyone so I'm allowed to mention it, which makes me happy, because I'm really proud to be a small part of it. It's pretty damn scary and came out really well. It'll arrive in the the US, Germany and other places later in the year, hang in there!

If you've seen it, please try to leave a review on the iTunes and/or Amazon page, everything helps - the smaller UK movies have to fight harder to be visible in today's crowded market, and word of mouth is crucial when we don't have bazillions to spend on adverts.

Please check it out if you like this sort of thing. Even the Guardian liked it - normally, anything I'm involved with gets a snooty review from the Guardian, so I'm not quite sure how to take it. Hopefully the Daily Mail will hate it, and restore balance to the universe.

Watch it at night. Turn the lights off, and the volume up. Enjoy!

Update: It's currently 1 in the iTunes Horror chart, and 14 in the overall movie chart!

Further update: We already knew Mark Kermode got a good scare from it (review here), but he's done an updated video going into more detail about how much it got to him here. He even kindly mentions me, as partly responsible. Plus it was his DVD of the week:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dead Roots available now

Hey, you! Yes, you! Do you like zombies? Do you like violence? Do you like blood, mayhem, dark humour, compelling characters, great art, and cake? Well, you're in luck, friend! Because this is a book that has all of those things!

Yes, this of course means that Dead Roots, the zombie comic anthology in which I have a story, is available now in glorious print form! You can get a fancy hardback, or a trade paperback, containing all the stories in one.

My story is in there, and there are stories by people like Gordon Rennie, James Henry, Jason Arnopp, Kimberley Newey, and many more. Mike Garley, my VS Comics partner-in-crime, not only wrote for it but edited the book too, and has done a superb job pulling such a massive project together.

It's a shared-world anthology, which covers the first few hours of a zombie outbreak, from a variety of viewpoints. I've got my copy, and it's a really cool book, with tons of great zombie action and beautiful art. Here's a preview of my story, with amazing art by Rebecca Morse:

Told you there was cake... If you want to read the full story, it's online for free at this link here. Yes, free! Because I am luring you into a trap love you!

The book itself is available to buy here, in both formats, so go and grab a copy right now!

If you'd rather have it electronically, the app is still available here.

I'd be recommending this even if I didn't have a small story in there, it's a lovely piece of work filled with work from incredibly talented people. I'm proud to be part of it, and hope you enjoy it.

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Borderlands screening on March 28th

The Borderlands is a new UK found-footage horror movie, about a group of Vatican investigators sent to a newly reopened church after strange, seemingly supernatural events are caught on video. Without giving too much away: things get weird. Proper weird.

Here's a trailer (mildly spoilery if you want to stay totally fresh, but it saves the big scares for the film).

There's a proper reason for it being found-footage, based in the storyline, and it manages to feel handheld without shaking the bloody camera all over the place, so you can - shockingly - actually see what's going on. I know! A found-footage movie where they actually point the camera at things!

Why am I going on about it? Partly because I think it's really cool, partly because I did a not-so-secret script rewrite on it (uncredited as agreed, but then they announced it anyway, I'm not giving anything away and I'm proud to be involved as it came out really well). It's a creepy, scary slice of ghost-cake, but then I would say that, as I helped to slice that cake.

I don't know why I got onto the cake thing.

Now I want some cake.

Anyway, it's getting a lot of great buzz from people who've seen it and had their pants *literally* scared right off them. Jamie Graham from Total Film called it "genuinely terrifying", and he's seen me drunk so he knows true terror (that last part may not have been true). If you want to see it and support British horror flicks, please do go and check it out. But how can you see it?! That's a great question, Person Who I Invented Just For The Purposes Of The Following Paragraph!

In today's crowded market, many smaller, indie movies don't get a cinema release - but this will be having a limited screening on March 28th in London, Brighton, Liverpool, Edinburgh, and Norwich. So if you want to catch it on the big screen - and trust me, big screen and big sound add to the experience with this one - you need to reserve a ticket at one of the screenings - it's a special thingy to ensure screenings for happen where there's a demand, so go and grab a ticket now at this website here.

If you can't make it to a cinema screening, it'll be landing on UK DVD on April 7th, or iTunes if you want it electronically, and will haunt the US, Germany and other countries later in the year. Booga-booga-booga!

Note: there will be no cake. Unless you bring your own.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Doctor Who Adventure Games now on Steam

Back in 2010, I wrote one of the Doctor Who Adventure Games, the third one, called TARDIS. It was released in the UK, and then later outside the UK through Direct2Drive. But! It's now available (Pc-only, sorry) - well, all of them are - through Steam, anywhere in the world.

The games are considered part of season 5, Matt Smith's first season, and count as episodes of the show. My one stars Matt, Karen Gillan, and Sarah Douglas as the Entity. I had a great time working on it, and writing in fun action stuff and silly moments ("don't trip over the sun lounger"). Possibly my favourite part was coming up with names for the TARDIS controls, and deciding how they work.

We had to work on the games (the amazing Phil Ford wrote the other episodes, I came in towards the end to do episode 3, which was going to be episode 4, but timey wimey happened) before season 5 started, before we'd seen Matt and Karen do their thing, so I had to guess at the vocal delivery from Phil's game scripts, which he had based on TV scripts he'd seen. Because most of season 5 was still under wraps while I was trying to figure out a storyline, my first attempt had too much similarity to the "crack in time" season arc, and had to be dropped when it went to the Beeb for approval. Damn! But at least it meant I was on the right track.

Just before the voice recording for my game, the first two episodes of season 5 aired, so I re-watched them about 10 times each to get the dialogue delivery into my head, and rewrote the lines. I even read my script aloud, doing terrible impressions of Matt and Karen's voices. There are things I'd like to change, but I'm happy with how close I got at the time.

NAME DROP MEDIA PONCE ALERT: Matt was lovely enough to pass on a message after the voice recording to tell me how much he enjoyed my script, which I got to thank him for a couple of years later at a Channel 4 party. MEDIA PONCE NAME DROP STORY ENDS.

Anyway, it's a fun game, and you get to fly the TARDIS. The other games have Daleks, Cybermen, and Vashta Nerada. Why are you still reading this?? Here's a trailer:

Go get it now! The worldwide Steam link for the game pack is here.

And the UK free download is still available here, for both PC and Mac, along with an intro video by Karen Gillan, trailers, and an interview with uber-villain Sarah Douglas. There's also a bit of blurb from me and some history at this page here. The other games are still available on the BBC site too.

Don't ask me why the Mac version is UK-only, I have no idea. I also can't help with technical support, there are help pages on Steam and on the BBC site. And I'm *useless* at the mini-games, especially the electric/maze thingy, so you're on your own with those too.

Enjoy! And remember to lock those doors...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Free writing talk with me in Kent

People of Kent! I'm doing a free writing talk/workshop/thingy for Viola Films on April 12th, at the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham. If you want to come along, info and the application form are on this website here. Not many places left, so hurry hurry hurry!

Friday, February 07, 2014

My first music video

Last year, I shot a new short film, which you can watch here for free. On the same day, we shot a music video, for the band Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux. Now it's online!

In the short film post, I mentioned that the short film had an unusual relationship with the music video. Well, if you've already watched the short, when you watch the video you'll see what I mean. I took snippets of the storyline from the short, mixed them with the band's performance, and made a music video out of it. Doesn't matter which one you watch first, but do watch them both to see the differences.

I'm very excited at directing my first ever music video, it's a great song, and you can find more details about it and the EP it comes from here. You can have a listen to the songs at this link here, while reading the excellent writeup they got in the Guardian.

This all came about quite randomly. One of their songs, Mother of Girl, was used in the red band trailer for Cockneys Vs Zombies, I Shazammed it to find out what it was, raved about them online, and their manager Peter got in touch. I'd been wanting to direct a music video for a while, and so here we are.

I'll do a followup post about the shooting of both short and music video, but for now, please direct your eyes and ears to the video itself, at this link here, or by playing the embedded video below. Enjoy! And pass it on.

Update: the EP is available to buy now, from this link here!

Music video credits:

Eighteen Nightmares at the Lux:
Shimon Joseph - vocals, guitar
Greg Gold - guitar
Constantin Groenert - bass
Alex Allen - drums

Starring Daniel Brocklebank

Directed by
James Moran

Camera & Sound
Stuart Dye

Jess Taylor

Production Assistant
Piers Beckley

Thanks to
Jodie Kearns
Jen Handorf

James Moran
Peter Cornish-Barlow

Shot on location at
Enterprise Studios

DCC Ash font: