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!
I’m really proud to say that an article James Moran and I wrote about our hit short, Blood Shed, is featured in issue one of the brand spanking new movie buff magazine, Film Stories!
The magazine is the brainchild of Den of Geek founder, Simon Brew, and accompanies his popular new podcast – also entitled Film Stories. The magazine was recently funded by a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, smashing the initial target – almost doubling it. It champions new releases and new writing, celebrates all the geeky film stuff that you want to read about, and features regular columns by stand-up Romesh Ranganathan, BAFTA-winning creator of Wolfblood, Debbie Moon, and writer/director of The Levelling, Hope Dickson Leach. So we’re in great company!
Our article addresses how to get your film noticed and more bang for your buck when submitting to film festivals, with our hints and tips for playing the odds and creating a successful strategy. There are also some of our lovely behind the scenes photos taken by the brilliant Mike Shawcross.
You can get your hands on a copy of issue one now, or subscribe so you don’t miss out on the next magnificent issue!
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…
After a tiring month-long campaign, Blood Shed hit and exceeded its Kickstarter target on 27th March! James Moran and I are overjoyed. When we embarked on this crazy dream of a man-eating shed, we had no idea that we’d end up with pledges hitting 114% from 166 backers.
We initially aimed for £10,000, so this is a real triumph for us. Yes, Kickstarter takes a share of this for using the platform, and we have to cover the rewards and postage and packing from this amount, but this is still a good sum of money to make a really ambitious short film with. Nevertheless, purse strings will be tight and we want to make Blood Shed the most amazing film that we can, so we’re working round the clock on pre-production and will be squeezing the most from every single penny.
James is directing, I’m producing and we wrote the piece together – our first official writing collaboration – so this is rather a special project for us. It’s come a long way since my initial light bulb moment when I was cooking last November and improvising trailer voice overs for imaginary films! This happens to be how a lot of ideas come to me…
The support we’ve had from pledgers, press, bloggers, industry bods and film enthusiasts has been amazing, as has the support from family and friends. Running a crowdfunding campaign is tough – nothing prepares you for the sheer blood, sweat and tears that goes into it, and the round the clock management is all-consuming. You find yourself working through your sleep, skipping meals, unable to answer personal calls or even go out sometimes. Also, no amount of research into peak times, best times to launch and end, best times to make announcements, types of perks to offer and pricing, etc. really makes much of a difference – there’s a lot of luck and a lot of random peaks and troughs along the way. All the support we had really kept us going and motivated us to keep being creative and interacting in different ways across different platforms. You all helped us to keep the faith!
We shoot the film at the end of April, so just a few weeks away, and we’re hoping to have the film completed in June. The film stars the amazing Sally Phillips and Shaun Dooley, and we’ve an impressive team on board. You can read more about the cast and crew at the official Blood Shed website.
We still have a limited number of perks left, such as signed scripts, limited edition merchandise packs, digital downloads, writing-related perks, and props from the film. These perks are available for purchase from the Blood Shedwebsite until 1st May 2017 only.
I’ll keep posting updates, but more information will be added to the film’s website over time. For now Shedites, thank you. And I’m off for a quick sleep.
Some joy for the weekend! Blood Shedis now fully funded on Kickstarter! I’m absolutely over the moon that we hit our initial £10K target. After several weeks of round the clock campaigning, James Moran and I can finally rest assured that our weird but wonderful Creepshow-inspired short film, starring the incredible Sally Phillips and Shaun Dooley, will actually get made! We’ve an amazing team working with us on this film and can’t wait to share it with the world.
We’re still live on Kickstarter until Monday, March 27th at 8:59 AM BST, so if you haven’t seen our campaign rewards yet, head over and feast your eyes on our sexy perks – enriched with sheddy goodness. We have limited edition merchandise, writing workshops, unique props, signed scripts and even a slap up meal at BAFTA up for grabs! So, join us!
Our composer, Ben Foster, is hard at work creating the score, with help from his synth wizard, Toby Pitman. This very fine piece of kit is being used to create the music of the shed…
All of our pledgers are so important to us and we’re so happy that, as it stands, 149 people want to help this film get made and embark on this journey with us. You are all legends!
If you want to get involved but can’t afford to pledge – we understand that completely. Times are very hard, so we’re even more thankful to get support for this. We’re on Twitter as @bloodshedfilm and any retweets would help us get in last minute pledges and every single penny will make Blood Shed even more spectacular than it is already going to be.
What a week this is shaping up to be! Connie is now an award-winning film! We’ve bagged our first award from five nominations in just a few short months. Our wonderful lead, Catrin Stewart, won Best Actress at HorrorHound Weekend Film Festival in Ohio, US! Catrin is an incredibly talented actress and played both Connie and Dolly in the film, that’s thirty four scenes all shot in just two days. Thanks a million to HorrorHound for making us an award-winning film! Even Connie is bouncing around!
In other news, Connie has been accepted by more festivals, but we can’t announce these as yet! So keep your eyes, ears and puppets peeled for more news on these.
Also, we’re now into the last week of our crowdfunding campaign for Blood Shed. We’re currently 86% funded, which is amazing, but there are only 4 days left on the clock! Naturally, I’m in FULL panic mode. We’ve started with the pre-production on the film as we’re aiming to shoot in late April, and anyone who’s ever run a crowdfunding campaign knows that it is back-breaking, constant work. In many ways, it’s like having a baby for a month. BUT, it is the only way that Blood Shed can be funded.
New rewards have been added – you can have a photo of your pet appear in the film as a victim of our shed, there are very special unique retro Polaroid on-set photos available, screening tickets, signed goodies, merch! Please go and take a look. The shed needs you.. Well, I do. I mean, the film is set to star SALLY PHILLIPS and SHAUN DOOLEY. Who doesn’t want to see them and a man-eating shed in a Creepshow-style film? BARGAIN!
We’re on the home stretch with the Kickstarter campaign for Blood Shed, with just 9 days to go! We’re currently just over 70% funded. This is a lovely sprint to have achieved, but crowdfunding is a marathon. Believe me, it is definitely a marathon – possibly a double marathon. I’m personally surviving on coffee, Diet Coke, 2 hours sleep a night and an obsessive need to constantly refresh the Kickstarter page in case we’ve had a new pledge.
We’re really honoured to have an incredibly talented cast on board for this project. First, we have Shaun Dooley who will play the role of Jack. Shaun stars in the upcoming BBC One drama Gunpowder alongside Kit Harington and Liv Tyler! From the heartbreak of Broadchurch and the Red Riding trilogy, to the hit movies The Woman in Black, The Awakening and Eden Lake, Shaun can always be relied upon to deliver a powerhouse performance. He showed a sensitive yet terrifying side in Misfits, as well as a barnstorming singing voice, proving his range, flexibility and fiercely unpredictable edge. He’s also appeared in the TV shows DCI Banks, Ordinary Lies, Cuffs, Great Expectations, The Game, This is England ’90 and Exile. He is the only man who can take on a massive living shed…
Starring alongside Shaun is the incomparable Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony, Veep, Miranda, Green Wing, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Bridget Jonesfilms). She’s a comedy gem! These two actors are such a talented combination, and we desperately want to bring this film to life and share it with you all.
11 days sounds like a long time, but in reality, this is a heartbeat away. We’re entrenched in pre-production for Blood Shed (location hunting, crewing up, production design elements, music) as well as cracking on with crowdfunding campaign, but ultimately, we have to hit our £10K target or sadly, the film cannot be made. Not only would we be sad, the shed would go hungry. Please pledge if you can. She loves you.
If you’re in any doubt, here are some very wise words from our wonderful supporters. You can trust them – look, they’re cleverer than us! They know it’s a good concept!
Also, here’s a little press round up below! Click through each one to read the full article.
Thanks so much to everyone who has helped to spread the word so far! Please shout from the rooftops! 9 days… YIKES!
Blood Shed is about a shed that eats people. It’s a love letter to the 80s horror anthology style, with key influences being Creepshow, Tales from the Crypt, The Evil Dead and Tales from the Darkside for visuals and feel, while telling a bizarre new tale with a unique monster.
I’m co-writer and producer, and James Moran (Severance, Cockneys vs Zombies, Tower Block, Spooks, Torchwood, Primeval) is my co-writer and director. He is ACE, and I say that as a professional with no bias whatsoever. Well, a little. But he really is an awesome talent.
Here’s the synopsis!
Jack loves a bargain. And he loves sheds. When he buys suspiciously cheap second-hand parts online to build his very own dream shed, he and long-suffering wife Helen find they’ve got more than they bargained for: a killer shed with an appetite for blood. As the body count rises, and the shed’s ferocious appetite grows, Jack is faced with a horrifying dilemma. A comedy horror about a man’s twisted love for his shed… that eats people.
We are desperate to bring this beautiful baby to life, to delight horror, comedy and classic monster fans, but we need YOUR help to do this. We need to raise a minimum of £10K to make it happen, but we’ve budgeted this within an inch of its life and we can deliver something really unique and special for this amount.
We have an incredible team on board, including BAFTA-nominated composer Ben Foster (Thunderbirds Are Go, Happy Valley, Torchwood, Scott & Bailey, Prometheus, The Grey, Prisoners) and illustrator Andy W. Clift on board for storyboards, comic book style panels for the film and poster artwork.
The campaign is live until 27th March, but don’t delay, some of our perks are very limited. If you’ve already backed us – thank you so much. Please share the link, tweet it, like our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, send carrier pigeons, semaphore… Please support! Our shed has an insatiable appetite and needs to be fed… and unleashed on the world!
Our perks include signed goodies, exclusive extras and downloads, set visits, on-screen appearances, screening tickets, props, limited edition merchandise, Executive Producer credits, writing workshops, script feedback and even a piece of the shed! With STRETCH GOALS to be announced (my god, they are COOL).
More updates on the cast and crew coming over the next couple of week, along with update videos.