Friday, 12 August 2016

Interview: Emma Dark - Director of "Salient Minus Ten" (August 2016)

Emma Dark - Director of Salient Minus Ten & Seize the Night.
Salient Minus Ten is the latest short film Fantasy, Sci-Fi Horror from Film-maker, Emma Dark. The film stars Emma DarkDean Sills, Chris Hampshire and Beric Read. The Indiegogo is now Live until September 2016: HERE - please check out the official facebook page and twitter. Music to be composed by Seize the Night's Eric Elick.

Please, tell me a bit (a taster) of what is Salient Minus Ten?
Well it’s a Science Fiction Horror short film, and to be fair it will actually have more horror elements than my previous film ‘Seize the Night’, so don’t get too upset about the Sci-Fi part :-).  I guess you could describe it as a dark and disturbing Sci-Fi, perhaps not as disturbing as something like Event Horizon, and it’s not set in space either (my budget doesn’t extend to space craft sets unfortunately), but I think Horror fans will be suitably pleased by it.

The synopsis reads:
“Adam Harper is an average man. And on an average day he suddenly finds himself catapulted into the strangest, reality changing game... A game of time and chance, where the stakes are a matter of life and death.”

It’s a fairly brief synopsis for now, I’m quite keen not to give too many details away.  As you can tell from the title there is a time limit imposed on this ‘game’ too.

Tell me more about your cast?
I’ll go through them in billing order to make it easier! So first up I have Dean Sills onboard playing the lead role of Adam Harper.  Dean is not only a very competent actor but a very professional person, down to earth and easy to get along with too.  All ‘must have’ qualities in a leading actor for me.  Dean’s been doing really well for himself having written and produced a TV series called ‘Up North’ with fellow filmmaker Steve Call (Steve is an up and coming filmmaker to watch, very talented, and very professional too).  ‘Up North’ is completely non-horror related, in fact it’s a comedy, which just shows how versatile Dean can be.

Next up is me (said in the least egotistical way possible, trust me, I’m really not like that)!  I’m sure one day you will see a film from me where I’m not in front of the camera too, but as an ex(ish)-model not only would it be a bit of a marketing failure to not appear on screen it would also disappoint a large proportion of my fan base that avidly want to see me on screen.  I did get some negative comments from a few bloggers about performing on screen in ‘Seize the Night’ as well as my many other behind the scenes hats, with some considering it a vanity project I think.  If they knew how hard I’ve worked on that film, the countless sleepless nights up editing, the sheer time and effort, I think those assumptions would fall by the wayside.  I do think us female filmmakers take quite a bit of extra flack in the criticism department , despite all the support you can also see, and essentially we have to work a lot harder to counteract it.  Anyway, back to the subject at hand… I’ll essentially be playing a secondary lead role, which is basically the top level role of the supporting actors if you like.  I can’t really tell you much about it without giving too much away, but my character will be evil, as you might expect I guess from an avid horror lover!

Finally I’m bringing back two of my lovely ‘Seize the Night’ cast members, Chris Hampshire and Beric Read.  They were both very commanding on screen, again really easy to get along with, very professional, how could I not bring them back!  There is one more role I’ve yet to announce too.  I would have cast more ‘Seize the Night’ actors but you can only cast for the roles you have really, certainly without over complicating the plot anyway.

The support online for the Indiegogo is really Positive? How do you feel about this?
It is!  Actually I was a fairly blown away to have reached a 50% funding goal within a week!  I would encourage people to keep supporting, sharing and contributing though as there’s still half way to go, and I did launch the campaign on a bare minimum funding goal on Indiegogo, so it’s really important it hit the 100% target.  And thank you John for contributing yourself too and supporting so much, it’s very much appreciated.

Is this film going to be BIGGER than Seize the Night in your opinion?
It depends what you mean by bigger.  I think overall as the story has a more closed ending than ‘Seize the Night’ it would probably be a more programmable festival film.  Certainly it will have the same high production values again, and I’m bringing back several ‘Seize the Night’ crew members to ensure that is the case, including Eric Elick (composer), Davy Simmons (VFX) and Merlyn Roberts (Assistant Director), with more alumni to be announced!

Finally, when can we expect to see Salient Minus Ten on the Festival Run?
Always a tricky question, but as a rough estimate I’d say it might see submissions around late December / early January, it all depends on how quickly post production goes!

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Article: How to film when you have ZERO BUDGET!! (Film Advice by Georgy Ragazza) (August 2016)

Producer  Georgy Ragazza of Fragments of Fear!!
(Georgina Ragazza is the co-creator and producer of Fragments of Fear, a 26-episode horror web series which premieres on YouTube in October 2016.)

On February 1st 2014 we began the first shoot for Fragments of Fear in an old barn building stuck in the middle of a field in the pouring rain. We had a pile of scripts, a handful of actors and crew, and a passion. We wanted to make a TV show.

Copyright, Fragments of Fear
Three years later we’re doing the final shoots and edits, and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Along the way we’ve experienced walkouts, disappearances, network collapses, and one death. And throughout all of this, we haven’t spent a single penny.
You too may have a dream and a gem of an idea, and you think you have to scale the heights of a Dynasty style mini-series, complete with elaborate wardrobe and billion-dollar budget.
I’m here to tell you to think British, and go the rather more pragmatic DIY, Heath Robinson route. It isn’t an easy one, and there will be times when you feel like giving up, but we’re living proof that it’s possible.

Top Ten Tips for Filming on a Zero Budget:

1. Location: Official locations cost money and there are all sorts of legal requirements and paperwork involved. At a bare bones minimum, you need somewhere quiet and with enough room to fit a skeleton crew and a cast. It helps if you have a friend with a barn in a field, but just as useful are pub back rooms, community halls after hours, or local amateur theatres outside of rehearsals and performances. A generous thank you credit on your film and a raft of social media shares and acknowledgements goes a long way! Be prepared to film in a flat at 3am if that’s when the noise dies down – flexibility is key to No Budget filming.
Copyright, Fragments of Fear

2. Source Material: If you have an original idea, that’s a great start. Your idea, your show. There’s also material in the public domain which you can reimagine, update, or interpret – places like Project Gutenberg are brilliant for this. Or, you can collaborate with enthusiastic creative friends who have stories but no publishers. This is the beginning of your network journey, and the point where hugely creative production companies are born.

3. Talent: You’ll need actors! Again, start with your friends – if you’re in a creative social circle, the chances are that you know actors who need additional material for their show reels, or students in the middle of a performing arts course who need credits for Equity membership. A little reciprocal goodwill goes a very long way.

4. Wardrobe and Make-up: As with actors (and most film crew) everyone needs help with their portfolio. An independent film is a great way to give everyone much-needed credits in return for their skills. I came from a theatre background doing make-up and had no TV experience, but a small handful of film credits and so Fragments is an asset for me! You can also approach film schools in your area and offer extra credits. 
Copyright, Fragments of Fear

5. Props: To supplement the usual tables and chairs and other furniture already on hand, a judicious amount of skip diving comes in very handy. Always ask permission where possible, but you can nab a surprising amount of raw materials to which you apply creative Blue Peter style skills. A number of charity furniture outlets will let you borrow items for a small, returnable deposit, but this contravenes the No Budget rule so keep that for emergencies only.

6. Transport and Catering: Car pool where possible, or make puppy dog eyes at your brother’s mates’ band with the van. If you’re filming in a flat, do a potluck supper, or get everyone to bring an ingredient. Most people are happy to bring their own lunch though, especially if you’re nice and make them tea.

7. Equipment: Friends and students come to the fore here once again. If you want to work in the industry you need credits, but to get credits you need to work in the industry. It’s that old Catch-22. This is where you need to get the best that you can though, because your final film will only be as good as the raw footage. A student or aspiring director friend with a decent HD camera and a directional microphone is your best friend for life. There’s even a growing movement now for movies shot on iPhones, with a plethora of tutorials available on how to build Steadicams, auto cues, dollies, and more using bits of old junk from the garage.

8. Post-Production: The process of the edit. Do your homework at the filming stage and make sure that you have well lit, clear footage with good sound, and the editing process will go a lot smoother. Again, it’s friends who need credits, although most laptops come with pretty decent editing programs. Have laptop, will travel.
Copyright, Fragments of Fear

9. Distribution: After a lengthy and potentially soul-destroying journey around various TV networks both great and not so great, we realized that getting your non-solicited work onto a TV screen is harder than getting Apple to let you play a Beatles’ song on the soundtrack. In this age of blogging and vlogging, setting up a YouTube channel is the key. There are some remarkable projects on YouTube made from anywhere between zero and a modest crowd fund – check out Bloody Cuts, for example. If you can set up a channel on YouTube, you can show your masterpiece across the world to billions of potential fans. Swoon worthy. 

10. Publicity: You wrote a short film. You shot a short film. You edited a short film. And now you have a YouTube channel. But how do you rise above the parapets of the billion other YouTube channels and get people to watch your Citizen Kane? You man the social media, and you work your Facebook page, your Twitter account, your Instagram (behind the scenes photos!), and your Vine (here’s us prating about on set!). Talk to people. Get involved. Get your friends and family involved.
You have to work long days at strange hours in weird places with odd people. It won’t be easy. But it’s the best fun in the world! 

Copyright, Fragments of Fear

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Review: Life Is Cheap!! Directed by Kurt Dirt (August 2016)

 Life Is Cheap!! Directed by Kurt Dirt
Kurt Dirt is a colorful guy! He has a love for all things Troma-like and Trash Cinema. It shows in his Experimental, Exploitation 53 minute short film: Life Is Cheap. I first met Dirt with Liam Regan at Horror Con 2015 - they both signed stuff for me and it felt an honor. Regan was promoting Banjo (2016) and Kurt Dirt was a real cool guy to speak to, too.

Onto the Film.. "Joeby Cleftico is living the dream scrubbing urinals and unblocking toilets, untill that is he is caught taking his work home with him...literally! now unemployed he must face up to the wrath of his long suffering mother Babs, their monstrous incest born offspring "Bubbles" and to make matters worse his mother's psychotic chainsaw wielding ex prison girlfriend is on the loose!!"

The film is shot on Hi8 video and makes use of home made SFX, Jet black humor and a colorful cast of characters this "Metallic K.O of a splatter film" will appeal to fans of John Waters, Troma & HG Lewis. It has a grind-house feel to it all. I imagine Uncle Lloyd Kaufman will LOVE it, too!!

It's crude, offensive and very raw film-making at it's best which is kind of a throw-back for me as it reminds me of the old VHS label Screen Edge in the UK. As a film-maker myself, it was very clever and brave to film on Hi8 Video, just as brave as the performers in this this with it's tongue slapping against it's grisly, sick, cheek! Expect gore, sick jokes and BAD Behavior... Don't expect major high production values or Bambi! Kurt Dirt is a LEGEND!! Brave stuff, Mr Dirt!

WARNING: Please Do Not View if easily offended!!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Interview: Aaron Lewis Price (Actor & Cosplayer) (August 2016)

Aaron Lewis Price (Actor & "General Zod" Cosplayer)

How long have you been Cosplaying as Genral Zod/How did it start out?
I first got into cosplaying as General Zod back in 2014, when I went to my first Comic Con to meet the awesome and my friend Sarah Douglas, who played Ursa in the original Superman films; At the time I made my own costume which consisted of a black karate jump suit, boot coverings and duct tape to look like Zod’s uniform, I now own a professionally made more stream line version of the costume. 

Since then I have attended numerous comic cons and even acted and portrayed Zod live on stage at one of the big York con’s in 2015. I haven’t done any con’s this year but in 2017 I may have plans to attend some.

Tell me a bit about yourself as an actor?
I have always had a keen interest in acting, but it wasn’t until 2006, when I lived in Spain for 6 years, that I would really start to feel this was what I wanted to do with my life. At the time I bought a video camcorder and began to re-enactment famous scenes from different films, it was a new experience to me, not only as an actor, but would also be a learning curve and experience working a camera, and editing the videos together. 

Since moving back to the UK, I’ve continued to create new content and videos, and taken acting screen classes. Which after nearly a year of being at the YSA (Yorkshire School of Acting) I’ve learnt so much as a screen actor not only about the skills but about myself which has helped me so much.
I have recently done some short films which I’m excited to see when they’re released this year, A Funk Oddity and The Room…. Then the big one end of August 2016 Earth: Rise of New Krypton. 

Tell me about Earth: Rise of New Krypton?
Earth: Rise of New Krypton is a short film about 8-10 minutes in length written, directed, produced and costume designed by the awesome Tim Allen. The short film is based on the comic book Superman villains, General Zod, Ursa and Non, who are pitted against 3 mercenaries recruited by LexCorp, who become enhanced humans using Kryptonite, boosting them to superhuman levels. 

The battle will be in a similar vain to the recent Captain America Civil War film, which will see all 6 fighting against each other.  Filming will take place on August 28th down in London on a massive green screen studio. The film will be released in November, the short film is heavily inspired by Superman The Movie, Smallville and the Supergirl TV Show… This film will feature a Zod that will be my own version and take on the character with hints of elements of previous incarnations. 

You're a talented Video Editor, tell me about your Youtube Videos?
Firstly, thank you very much for the kind words; I’ve been doing video editing as long as long as I can remember. Starting off when I was doing re-enactments. As I made more and more videos, I really got into the visual effect, I’ve always loved the special effects of films, the art, illusion and magic of special effects really can make the impossible possible. 

I’m continuous pushing to better myself all the time, the thing with visual effects, is that you always looking at ways to create fun and realistic things on film, that don’t exist in the real world or not there when you filmed it, and seeing the final result of all that hard work that can take hours sometimes days just to show a few seconds of film, can be so rewarding. 
Visual effects would probably be the industry I would be going into if it wasn’t for my true passion and love of acting. 

What tips have you got for other Actors trying to start out?
The first piece of advice I can give any aspiring actor out there is DON’T GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM.

A lot of actors give up on their dream of wanting to become an actor, because of the expense of training to become an actor through drama schools that can cost you up to 10 grand or more.
However my advice is look into acting class groups that are run independently and professionally, these classes are much more affordable and usually done on weekly bases.  Some of these groups like the Yorkshire School of Acting after a year will present you with a screen acting industry standard certificate. 

Auditioning is probably the most important part, audition for anything and everything if you can. The great thing today is that you don’t physically always need to turn up for an audition to actually audition. Auditions can quickly be done over the internet nowadays, by uploading an audition tape and sending it through email. This has made it a lot easier for actors to audition for a wider choice of roles.

It’s important for any aspiring actor out there to know, and this is another reason some actors give up, when you’re first starting out, you will be doing a lot of short films either as expenses only paid or for free. It’s important to remember that while it might not be ideal, these short films help to build up a show reel.  A CV of your acting ability, this will give you a massive boost in advertising yourself and your talent to show what you can do as an actor.

Extra work, while it’s not essentially regarded as acting, and most of the time you will be in the background pretending to talk or standing at a bar drinking or walking by the camera. Extra work which is available through agencies is paid and the pay is ok, but it will offer you experience of being on a real working TV/Film set. It can be a great way to make contacts as well, however if you’re serious about wanting to be an actor, I wouldn’t advise to do too much of it, as you can become a target for any future work for being an extra rather than an actor. 

Lastly I will say, acting can be a long road that can take time to get where you want to be in your profession. Never give up on your dream and you have keep pushing yourself and believe that you will make it, those who have made it, never gave up, so neither should you.  

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

INTERVIEW: Richard Carter (Actor/Body Builder) (August 2016)

I first met Richard Carter through social networking and went to December's Camden Film Fair with him in 2015 - See, HERE. He is a bodybuilder and actor. Please, see his facebook page, too.

Tell me a bit about Shooter's Hill?
Shooters Hill still in preparation production. It tells the story of Jackson Lynch. After leaving Shooters Hill at a young age returns later in life to see his dying mother. Jackson's brother is also destroying the family criminal business due to illness health of his mother. Jackson who is highly intelligent and one step ahead of everyone even the police. Jackson's past in London starts to haunt him... the things he left behind. He left Leeds with similar problems to return to a clean slate. Jackson becomes psychotic, an emotional wreck, mentally disturbed and a unstoppable force in London so underworld.

How long have you been Body-Building?
I've been competitive  bodybuilding for 3 years but weight training on and off for years. I've been lucky enough  to be  sponsored  by 3 UK fitness companies.

Any other Filming Projects you'd like to talk about?
I'm currently  doing many viking roles for TV commercial and film, also some viking short films and UK Viking TV series. Many roles in gangster films upcoming this year, but plenty more of exciting  roles constantly coming in.

What advice have you got for Body-Builders starting out?
All film work is hard to penetrate! I can honestly say bodybuilding has helped me slightly to achieve roles, but it's not the only thing. Having a good look different features always helps. It's always important to bring something different to the table. Specific looks or attitude... being positive punctual and reliable always helps in filming having big muscles will not get u film roles. The right attitude and prospective helps.

Anything else you would like to add? Career Advice? Personal Advice?
Always do all film work proposed to you paid unpaid or expenses only. It helps to gain mass experience and certainly make new friends! Never expect to much and it's not all bright lights and stardom! It's a lot of work sleepless  night and long hours! It's like building blocks the more you build the higher you go

Richard Cater in Shooter's Hill... Coming Soon!

IN MEMORY: Carlos Dunn (Indie Film-maker) has Passed Away! (Rest In Peace) (September 2018)

Some sad news to report. The film community in the Indie Field are stunned to learn that Film-maker and Writer , Carlos Dunn has pass...