Indulge in a bit of aural pleasure with the latest episode of the brilliant award-winning podcast, The Evolution of Horror!
I joined Mike Muncer as his guest to delve into cult classic The Blob from 1958 – starring Steve McQueen in his first notable movie role, and its far superior 80s remake, thanks to the golden horror combination of Frank Darabont and Chuck Russell. There’s lots to love about both these lovely, gloopy alien movies.
Prepare for a potentially controversial statement about another horror classic! Gasp!
On sale now – I’ve written two features for the latest issue of the glorious FilmStories magazine.
First, I chatted with captivating BAFTA-nominated actress, Niamh Algar, about British psychological horror Censor for the cover feature. I’ve been a fan of Niamh’s for a while now since her roles in The Bisexual and Pure, so it was great getting under the skin of her character in this movie – a stylish, smokey piece set against the backdrop of the 1980s video nasty era by debut featuremaker, Prano Bailey-Bond. The UK cinema release date is now 20th August.
Second, I had the honour of interviewing director Ate de Jong about a film I hold dear to my heart, Drop Dead Fred. A personal favourite from my childhood, for reasons I discuss in the piece, Ate and I spoke at length about the serious undertones of this gross-out comedy that was unfairly dismissed in the early nineties, but thirty years later has finally found its audience and cult status. Starring one of my all-time heroes, Rik Mayall, I got the skinny on all the folklore around Fred. I did meet Rik once in my twenties, but that’s a whole other story!
Massive gratitude to the editor, Simon Brew, for once again giving me the pages to write about films I adore and speak to people I admire.
I am forever a fan of the amazing Film Stories magazine – it’s a truly independent publication and as an avid reader, I’ve never once been disappointed in a single article. So I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to write a new feature for issue 18, due out over the coming weeks. It’s the fifth edition I’ve written a piece for and this was another delight.
This piece is a look-back at a British 90s movie that caused quite the stir on its release with it being a bit more slap than tickle. I had lots of fun researching the film and speaking with the filmmaker – who was a delight to talk to. It’s the story of how this film was developed, the challenges faced in production, critical reception at the time and how it found wider acclaim and fandom more than two decades later.
More will be revealed when the issue is out, but you can pre-order a copy here. It’s a snip at just £5.99 for the print edition, or there’s a digital option. Please support this utterly brilliant publication. Everyone has been hit hard these last few months and print media especially so. With an already challenging market, and then retail outlets closed for a considerable period, mag makers have been hit hard. Beloved Q magazine has folded and ScifiNow has moved to a digital platform only. Please help keep print alive and support this brilliant mag. We need it – it’s a big warm hug for film fans.
A brand spanking new article written by me is featured in the latest issue of the wonderful Film Stories magazine! It’s my third piece for the mag.
A five-page spread all about Rachel Tunnard’s brilliant 2016 film, Adult Life Skills starring Jodie Whittaker, it was a delight to write and reflect on. I spoke to Rachel about how she made her debut feature and there’s so much to learn from her experiences.
Massive thanks to Rachel for chatting with me so openly and sincerely about the production.
The article’s called Patching Up and starts on page 74 in issue 10 – the October edition of the magazine.
Out now in print and digital format, Film Stories is available online and in independent stores, including the BFI Southbank shop, with super cheap subscription options, too.
Thanks to Simon Brew for commissioning me to write this article about a film I love, again. I’m always really proud to be part of this very special movie mag.
An extended article I wrote for the spectacular new print magazine Film Stories has now been published. The feature is about the too often overlooked 90s rom com Jack & Sarah, starring Richard E. Grant, Samantha Mathis, Sir Ian McKellen, Dame Judi Dench and Dame Eileen Atkins. Spread across five pages, I argue that the film is well worth a revisit and discuss its many merits. It includes extracts from an exclusive interview I did with the writer/director, Tim Sullivan, who was very generous with his time and shared so many interesting stories about the making of his ‘baby.’
Film Stories, Issue 5, is available now from the BFI Shop, WHSmiths and via mail order. It’s a snip at just £5.99, or it’s even cheaper if you opt for a subscription deal! This issue also includes:
The stars of Rocketman on bringing the Elton John biopic to the screen
Richard O’Brien on the lost Rocky Horror Picture Show sequels
The movie apocalypse films that have flown under the radar: Reign Of Fire, anyone?
True confessions of a movie PR rep
The woman who transformed Warner Bros’s movie marketing
Jack & Sarah: revisiting an overlooked 90s British movie.
The evolution of movie special effects, and the return of practical
Three films and he’s out: the movie career of Yahoo Serious
Celebrating the musical films of John Carney
The trick to making a horror movie remake
So don’t miss out! And I hope you enjoy reading my lovingly crafted article!
I had excellent news this month! One of my feature film pitches, a period horror piece, has been selected for Arrow Video FrightFest’s New Blood 2018 scheme with Queensbury Pictures! The scheme aims to find new writers and nurture their project from script to screen. One of last year’s entries, thriller Broadcast Signal Intrusion, is now in pre-production and due to be shot later this year.
I’m ecstatic to be one of eight writers selected, and have already had invaluable mentoring by BAFTA-nominated UK producer Jack Tarling (God’s Own Country; Await Further Instructions), horror icon Barbara Crampton (You’re Next, Re-Animator, From Beyond), director (The Ranger) and producer (Psychopaths) Jenn Wexler, and Queensbury Pictures’ Giles Edwards. Over the next few months, I’m going to hone the script and see if this scary baby can be brought to life. Many thanks to FrightFest and Queensbury Pictures for the opportunity.
Also, I made an ident for FrightFest – Shushpiria – which is now available online! A spoofy love letter to Argento’s Suspiria, it screened just before the UK premiere of The Ranger on both main screens, including the iMax, which blew me away. The point of the ident is to get the audience to switch of their phones.
This no-budget project was shot in one day by a very talented and creative team who gave their time because of their passion for it (credits at the end of the film). It’s a huge challenge to spoof something as specific and well-loved as Suspiria, but the lovely feedback from the crowd suggests the effort worth it. It was tremendous fun to do, even down to recording the faux Goblin music. Little bit of trivia – the painting in the background of the phone scene is by my dad – a very talented artist. Enjoy!
Chuffed to announce that I’ve been selected for the BAFTA Crew Film/TV programme 2018! I’m part of a group of shorts to feature writers, directors and producers who are working towards their debut feature or TV show over the next few years.
Looking forward to meeting everyone and getting started on the roundtables, seminars and networking events. Knowledge is power. @BAFTAGuru #baftacrew2018
2018 is now in full swing, and this is my first news post since the birth of my amazing baby daughter, Ava-Grace, in January. I’m loving balancing motherhood with my writing and filmmaking, and have actually found myself with a renewed sense of vigour, despite the mountain of diapers I have to contend with on a daily basis. I’m incredibly inspired and the ideas don’t stop coming at the moment. I can’t wait to share them, but for now, I’m riding the wave of love for Blood Shed!
Since making its festival debut last August at FrightFest, Blood Shed has been selected for more than 30 festivals across the globe, winning 6 awards and garnering many more nominations, and we’ve still a long way to go! Our latest win in February was the Best International Short award at Nevermore Film Festival in North Carolina.
It’s been just over a year since we smashed our Kickstarter campaign target and began production on the the film, and James and I can hardly believe it, but Blood Shed has been selected for TWO Oscar qualifying festivals in the USA. The first is Nashville Film Festival! It’s one of the longest-running film festivals in the US and one of the most acclaimed in the South, so we’re thrilled to be part of it. We’re screening with the superb Found Footage 3D on 18th & 19th May. Nashville had nearly 5000 short film submissions this year, selecting just 215, and we’re competing as part of the Graveyard Shift competition.
The second qualifier is the amazing Seattle International Film Festival! Connie screened at #SIFF last year, so Seattle feels like home for me as a filmmaker. It’s the largest and most highly-attended festival in the USA and the selection of films this year is not to be missed. Blood Shed screens on 26th May as part of the Terror Internationale block.
It’s not that we think a film about a man-eating shed would ever actually be nominated for an Oscar, but it feels amazing to get recognition from such big festivals that get thousands and thousands of submissions from films of all genres from across the globe.
Finally, I’m happily beavering away at feature ideas, with several already scripted and others at the outline or pitching stages. I’m also keen to get back on set and shoot my next two shorts from the Summer, but am making sure I get plenty of time to enjoy my babymoon with my favourite Moranic production…
Blood Shed continues to cook up a storm in the US! Our little sheddy tale of guts and gore has brought us glory the last few weeks, notching up several awards! First, we were stunned to wake up to the news that Blood Shed scooped THREE awards at the prestigious Knoxville Horror Film Fest!
We beat stiff competition to be crowned Funniest Film, and James Moran was named Best Director for a short, and we won Best Script for a short film, too. As Producer, Co-Writer and Production Designer, I’m grinning from ear to ear and thrilled that our rather unique tale has found its place on the film scene so quickly.
The awesome trophies arrived this week and are now adorning the Moranic Productions gong shelves!
The festival team kindly picked our star, Shaun Dooley, as the winner of the Best Male Lead Award. Here’s a quick peek at the trophy that is currently en route – what a hot bird! We can’t wait to unwrap this little chick.
Huge thank you to both festivals and their judges, but also to our supporters who helped get this film made and spread the word about it. It’s an honour to share it with so many like-minded shed-fanciers.
We have more screenings coming up. We’re screening at the awesome Ax Wound Film Festival in Vermont on Saturday 18th November, then we’re back in London on home turf for the Underwire Festival 2017 where we’ll be screening at the Prince Charles Cinema on Friday 24th November. Come and show your support if you can. I’m nominated for their Best Producer award and at more than 8 months pregnant, I am extra, extra emotional about this nomination!
In other news, James and I are guests on the latest edition (season 2, ep 7) of the brilliant film podcast Casting the Runes! We were chuffed to chat with the lovely Runes team and had a great time talking about Creepshow and Blood Shed. Have a listen to the episode here! We hope you find the things we say insightful as well as plain odd, weird and strange.