“Watch, learn, don’t have nightmares….”

Exciting news to start as this year my second feature should finally be getting underway! I shall be collaborating with New York Times best-selling author Simon R. Green (www.simonrgreen.co.uk) on an original horror feature film that he has written. Earlier this week I met with Simon and the films producer in Bristol to look at potential studio spaces for our winter shoot (with any luck happening around October time). The film takes place in one location which will be shot entirely on a set, my first time working with one as opposed to on location, so I’m looking forward to that.

Though seemingly small in scale with just one location and four principal characters, the film is quite FX driven, relying on a large amount of both visual and practical gags, so there’ll be a lot of prep needed over the next few months to make sure we can deliver a film that is just as engaging and frightening to watch as the script is to read! I’m a little daunted at what lies ahead, as whilst horror is something I’ve always wanted to tackle, the idea of pulling off something that is genuinely scary to watch does intimidate me – as of course once you’ve rehearsed, dissected, blocked, filmed and edited everything, it can be easy to lose sense of whether what you’ve done is even effective anymore! Effective moments in horror films are of course made up of so many different elements when you watch them (camera movement, performance, music, sound, editing) that when you’re constructing and moulding each of these elements individually it can be difficult to judge the final picture until you see it on screen.

I always imagine it’s like making a comedy (another one I’m yet to tackle!) and trying to gauge whether or not anyone else will actually find it funny! I’m also very aware that horror and sci-fi are two genres with a particularly enthusiastic and devoted fanbase, so I don’t want to let them down! Still, Simon has written a great script to work with (plus can keep me in check with his own encyclopaedic knowledge of the genre!) and as always I’m excited by the challenge. More on that project to come as it develops.

I want to update you all on “Intruder” as well, as I know I said that would be filming in March, however shooting was unfortunately delayed when a new Sky series being shot at the same location fell behind in their set construction which meant they had to work through the same weekend we had aimed to film. Thus, sound and the sheer volume of activity going on just made our shoot impossible. They were then due to start shooting the week after (the 4th April) which pushed our shoot back even further – so we should now hopefully be filming in late May. It’s a lot later than I’d anticipated and initially I looked at simply picking another location to film in, however I just didn’t manage to find anywhere that suited our script as well as the previous one – so felt it would be worth the wait.

Plus, it can be very tricky to co-ordinate everyone’s availability on a low-budget shoot like this when you have to allow for other, paid work that the cast and crew might be committed to. I remember we originally aimed to shoot “Broken” last August, which became November by the time we got everyone together. Still, that was worth the wait and I’m sure this will be too – the nature of the beast!

Speaking of “Broken”, the score for the film is almost complete, with composer Kevin Hoover just applying a few finishing touches to it now. With that and delivery of the final sound mix due sometime in the next week, the film should be ready to screen by the end of April.

That’s the latest for now, I shall post more news and stills on all these projects as they develop…..

On an unrelated note, I can highly recommend Duncan Jones’  “Source Code”, a very good and intelligent sci-fi thriller.

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