If you’re reading this I guess that means that the launch button worked. Thanks for taking the time to check out this little blog of mine. The mission with this site is to create an archive / curation of some of the writing (and other work) I have done over the last few years.
I first began writing for THN back in 2013 as a distraction from working in retail. Since then I’ve gone from doing the occasional article, to running the yearly FrightFest coverage. Through this festival I’ve met so many brilliant minds of the horror genre and I am lucky enough to call some of them friend. Over the years I’ve had the honour and privilege to spend time with a wealth of talented members of the film industry, and you’ll find some of my conversations with them hosted here for your viewing pleasure. I am also lucky enough to be able to call myself a Rotten Tomato Approved Critic, they reached out a few years ago when they were really pushing for some diversity within their writing ranks.
Before we get into all of the film coverage, I thought I’d use this first post to embarrass myself by sharing some of my own short films. After college, I studied Media Production at the University of Lincoln, and during the three year course, worked as a producer on several of our projects. Please remember that this was back in the early 2000’s, that we were poor students making stuff with money from our own back pockets, and we thought that what we were making was cool. Whilst some of the dialogue is a bit ropey, and some plot points make no sense (I swear they did why we made them and I’ve just forgotten), I still think that our production values remain high and I have a fondness for them.
Cross/Process was created as part of a video project in my second year, based on the theme of ‘relationships’. It was shot mainly in the small Cornish village of Polperro, with an excursion to the Seal Sanctuary in Gweek. We filmed there as it was our director’s home town; all the cast were also friends of his. The story ends kind of abruptly, that’s because after two days filming, our lead actress decided to ghost us, meaning we had to construct an entirely new ending on the fly.
Catalyst was the first of two final year projects. Once again, rather than film in and around Lincoln like the rest of the groups, we went further afield, this time filming at the Hopwood Park Welcome Break Services. We filmed across two nights in freezing cold November, with our two female leads Emily Hall and Neele Bjerre. Both were really good sports and even went so far as to do their own fight choreography and stunt-work. Originally the plot was set within the setting of an airport, but when we found out the astronomical prices of filming both land and air side, we reworked the idea to one that was more attainable.
Our final production was our biggest venture yet. After Catalyst was set primarily within one location, we really went for it here, filming across two countries in multiple venues. The primary setting was London; we filmed in some posh flats in St. Pauls, the now Michelin starred Bibendum restaurant (where our extras got to eat for free), on Millennium Bridge, and in a swanky Spa. We even hired a Mini for some driving around the city shots, but they were sadly lost in the edit. Then we got on plane and flew to Palma de Mallorca for the second half of shooting, where we filmed (and stayed for one night) in a lush 5-star hotel. We even filmed underwater; our camera operator got a crash course in diving. It was a LOT of hard work from all five of us, and the sleepless nights resulted in us getting a 1st on the project, which isn’t too shabby. However, I’m still not sure how I survived this one with my sanity in tact.
So there you have it, my humble beginnings in the film world, and the reason why I always try to be fair on all films I write about. I’ve been there in the trenches with little time and money, and I remember just how hard these darn things are to create.