Cover Feature – Morfydd Clark interview – Film Stories, Issue 19

I’m delighted to have written the cover feature for this month’s Film Stories magazine! I was lucky enough to interview the chameleonic actress Morfydd Clark, who spoke to me about two new films out in October that she stars in – psychological horror, Saint Maud, and the comedy drama, Eternal Beauty. We had a good old natter and chatted about both and so much more.

Speaking to me from New Zealand, where she is currently filming the new Lord of the Rings TV series for Amazon, Morfydd was incredibly insightful, charming and self-effacing. She sets the screen ablaze in both films. I also wrote the Eternal Beauty review in the same issue. Huge thanks to the editor, Simon Brew, for being such a supporter of my writing.

Films Stories, issue 19, October 2020 is shipping now.

New ident for Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 – ‘Screen’ – now on YouTube

Hard to believe a year has zipped by since we released #FFIDENT20, but it has. Though James Moran and I swore it would be our last Turn Off Your Bloody Phone ident for Arrow Video FrightFest, we changed our minds and did a surprise ident this year in lockdown, on incredibly limited resources, to celebrate the Digital Edition of FrightFest this August and help make things feel a little bit more normal.

Turn Off Your Bloody Phone: Screen features contributions from Mark Kermode, Emily Booth, Corin Hardy, Nicholas Vince, Matthias Hoene and devoted FrightFest supporters.

Written & directed by James and I, it screened before the world premieres of There’s No Such Thing As Vampires and I Am Lisa at FrightFest on 28th August, but is now available online for free on YouTube.

Thank you to FrightFest for still running a festival this summer, albeit digitally. It’s horror Christmas and we cherish the festival organisers’ efforts.

On writing team for ‘The Companion’ app & website – a treat for 90s scifi fans

I’m so happy to be part of the writing team on The Companion, a brand new app and website devoted to 90s scifi. There’ll be long reads, podcasts, daily trivia, infographics and artwork to indulge in as your companion to all the films and TV shows that made the era so special. From Armageddon to The X Files, The Companion is an insider look at who, how, and why our favourite films and shows were made from the cast, crew and experts who were there. As it’s app/website, the material will be up-to-date and it’ll always be with you in your pocket.

The Kickstarter campaign to raise a wedge of funds to aid the launch in August is now live and has already raised a huge proportion of the total needed in just two days, but there’s still a little way to go and great perks to be had – early bird subscription offers, art prints, enamel pins and more! Head over the the page for more details!

Nine-page article in Film Stories, Issue 14, March 2020 – on sale now!

Aside from writing my new play, prepping for my next short film and cooking up some other secret projects, I carved out time to write another piece for the INCREDIBLE movie magazine, Film Stories, issue fourteen.

This time, I interviewed eight great directors about the challenges they’ve faced getting their feature films made, their inspirations, honing their craft, obstacles they’ve overcome and still combat in the industry, and they also shared their wisdom and advice for new filmmakers. Oh, and though not a big deal, all eight of these incredible directors are female filmmakers. Both Film Stories and I are proud of this. We celebrate them in this mammoth nine-age article, the longest feature that Film Stories has published to date. It’s available in indie shops, the BFI Southbank shop and to order online.

Huge thanks to the filmmakers who spoke to me around their exceptionally busy work schedules and personal commitments to share their stories and experiences:

Alice Lowe

Prano Bailey-Bond

Rachel Tunnard

Hope Dickson Leach

Aislinn Clarke

Rita Osei

Jeanie Finlay

Chelsea Stardust

And great thanks to Simon Brew, the editor of Film Stories, for asking me to write this, but also for consistently putting together such a brilliantly entertaining, informative, exciting, independent and cool magazine, and in glorious fine-smelling print no less, not just digital.

New podcast appearances – Evolution of Horror & Franchise Players – out now!

I LOVE a good podcast, especially podcasts about films, so I was chuffed to chat about two great stonkers in two recent podcasts, both of which are now available for your aural pleasure.

First, I chatted to Mike Muncer on the hugely popular Evolution of Horror podcast about Ti West’s 2009 retro occult horror, The House of The Devil. A stunning example of beautiful low-budget independent filmmaking, which wears its influences on its sleeve, Mike and I delved deep into the plot, aesthetic, its legacy and superstar Greta Gerwig’s supporting role, as well as its film nerd status as a fine example of ‘mumblegore.’ This episode is twinned with Mike’s chat with Robb Watts about another witchy release from the same year, the equally brilliant Drag Me To Hell by Sam Raimi. Have a listen here or via Apple Podcasts and other services. It’s recently been Apple Podcast’s number one film history podcast!

Then I had a good old natter with Mark Goddard and Chloe Davies for the Franchise Players podcast about one of the best thrillers that has ever been made – yes, I said thriller rather than horror – Richard Donner’s 1976 classic, The Omen. This is another movie I have such respect for, and Mark, Chloe and I discussed the film in great detail – scene by scene where we could, evaluating the story, performance, score, its set pieces, where its genre lines blur and the influence it’s had on modern horror classics. We spoke for several hours and I could have praised it for another six hours. You can listen here.

If you love a bit of film history, critique and trivia, or just want to get your geek on during your commute, when cooking, in the bath or when trying to sleep, or you’re searching for creative inspiration, both are a good, fun and worthy listen. Enjoy!

And there’s more of me chatting on podcasts to come over the coming months… To be announced soon!

New article published in Film Stories Magazine, Issue 5, Out now!

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!

Film Stories cover art