Blood Shed’s meteoric rise! World Premiere, festivals, award nominations & reviews!

It’s been six months since we shot Blood Shed, and the shed has had something of a meteoric rise since its World Premiere at Horror Channel FrightFest in London just over a month ago! As co-writer, producer and production designer of this tale of 80s shed gore, I couldn’t be more proud.

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Blood Shed cast and crew ahead of the World Premiere! Pic: Moranic Productions 2017

We just yesterday found out that we’ve been selected by our SIXTEENTH festival! AND we’ve been nominated for an award at Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival in North Carolina!

To have sixteen festivals booked in little over a month since our World Premiere is really quite a feat, and we’re overjoyed that so many festival programmers love a story about a killer shed as much as we do! It’s all come as rather a surprise to James and I. We’ve never had a film gather such momentum so fast and only hope that the little shed that could continues to find its tribe on the festival scene and beyond! My fingers and toes are crossed daily.

Last week we announced four festivals – Knoxville Horror Film Fest in Tennessee, Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, Ax Wound Film Festival in Vermont, and Underwire Festival 2017 in London, where we’re up for another award – the Producing Award. Underwire is also a BAFTA qualifier festival – our first to date. I’m more than a little bit overwhelmed by that as it’s a personal award, and Blood Shed was by no means an easy film to make.

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Blood Shed has two festival outings this week in case you’re able to catch it on the big screen. First, the film will be screening in Pennsylvania, USA on Friday 6th October at the Indie Horror Drive-In Film Festival

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Then on Saturday 7th October, the shed is back in London to rock Wimbledon International Short Film Festival from 7.30pm, where we’re nominated for the Best London Filmmaker award, and eligible for two further awards to be decided on the night!

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More details on the festivals that we’ve been able to announce so far can be found on the Screenings page of the official Blood Shed website, which is crammed with stuff!

We’ve also had a flurry of exceptional reviews following our premiere. Here are just a few highlights with some linky links for clicky clicks if you want to feast your eyes on the full reviews. They’re rather lovely and have certainly left us all warm and fuzzy inside.

​“…indebted to the CGI-free horror of the Eighties, and in particular to George A. Romero’s Creepshow (1982)… as though this were a lost British segment of Romero’s anthology film.” SciFiNow

“A thirteen-minute slice of genius… enough gags and gore to put a smile on anyone’s face… Davies and her partner-in-cinematic-crime James Moran have a perfect handle on what makes an entertaining and memorable short.” Starburst

“Loaded with laughs and gore to satisfy in this very niche sub-genre you never knew you needed.” HorrorTalk

We’ve had such tremendous support from our Kickstarter backers and new fans who’ve discovered the film since we ran our crowdfunding campaign back in February. All digital rewards, and most of the physical perks, have been sent out for the gang to enjoy. Those waiting on swag packs that include a poster, badges and magnet – never fear – they’ll be on your doorstep in no time. They’ll be worth the wait!

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Merch! Merch! Merch!

We may offer some of the remaining limited edition merchandise as competition prizes at festivals or on social media, so keep your eyes peeled on the Twitter feed.

We’re deep in pre-production on our next short film, Hank: Portrait of a Serial Killer, which is due to be shot in November (depending on when my baby decides she’s ready to come out) and completed in early 2018. This one is written and directed by me, and produced by James and I. There’s no shed this time, but still lots of gore, blood and jokes. We hope to share this with the festival scene next year.

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Blood Shed trailer and World Premiere! MA complete! Mama to be…

Months and months of hard work have now finally paid off! Yes, Blood Shed is now complete! Bringing this unique tale of a guy’s deep, obsessive love for his man-eating shed to life was far from easy, but James Moran and I can now finally celebrate as our short film is unleashed on audiences!

And even better still, we’ve had a terrific response to our trailer, and a flurry of fantastic news through from film festivals! Good news, it seems, is like buses! Long may it continue! I love it when a bus comes on time!

Blood Shed‘s WORLD PREMIERE will take place at the UK’s biggest genre festival – Horror Channel FrightFest, on 27th August! We’re especially thrilled to be part of FrightFest again and screening as one of only twenty-six shorts selected for the festival this year. Having our laughably twisted work recognised in this way is a big honour. We had no idea that our story about a bloodthirsty shed, with an aesthetic inspired by Creepshow and 80s horror, including the fashion and style, would strike a chord in this way.

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Back when we wrote the first draft of the script together, last December, James and I could only have dreamed of getting this kind of response. This certainly makes the pain and torment of crowdfunding feel worth it, and we can’t wait to share it with all our pledgers, festival audiences and dare we say it, reviewers (*chews off nails frantically in anticipation*). As co-writer, producer and production designer of the piece, I put my heart and soul into Blood Shed… and she certainly enjoyed eating me up for months on end! But the hard work doesn’t stop now… The marketing and distribution has only just begun, merchandise has been designed and ordered, the extra content and digital goodies are being pulled together for Kickstarter supporters, and the press train is underway! When I see this image of our two amazing stars, Shaun Dooley and Sally Phillips, drenched in blood, it reminds me that they probably had it harder than me on this film!

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Moranic Productions 2017

Though Blood Shed has felt all-consuming (how many references to being eaten can I crowbar into this blog?!), 2017 has been a huge year for me in other respects, too.

Connie continues to enjoy success on the festival scene and has even picked up some awards, and festival acceptances are still coming in. Looks like there’s life in the little foul-mouthed puppet film yet! There are numerous festivals that I’m itching to announce, but can’t just yet, but there are some very exciting ones coming imminently, including GenreBlast and FilmQuest, both in the US in September!

My next project as writer/director, Hank: Portrait of a Serial Killer, is now in pre-production, with a view to shooting over the next few months… More on that soon.

This year I’ve also achieved a couple of massive life goals! I successfully completed my second Masters degree, in Professional Media Practice, validated by the University Of Bournemouth. My final project, on slasher films, feminism and psychoanalytic film theory, was the culmination of five years of blood, sweat and tears, and resulted in my original feature film script and insightful research on slasher films and feminism. Having studied previous modules at the Met Film School, Goldsmiths and with the BBC Academy, I learned and grew so much over the five years of study, and so many of my writing and directing projects have been researched, developed or inspired as a result of the MA. Considering I hated school when I was a kid and felt like a complete outsider, it’s hard to believe that I now have two Masters degrees!

19225021_10156350969497796_7176068856575256697_nBut, an even bigger life goal has been unlocked that will make me look rather different in my graduation gown at the MA presentation ceremony in November… James and I are expecting a baby! Yes, a beautiful, no doubt loud, giggly and impatient, little girl! Not only will I be an MA, and MA, I will literally be a MAMA! James and I are both thrilled that we’ll be parents. We can’t wait to meet our little warrior woman and shower her with love.

But, I’m still writing, producing, directing and am generally unstoppable. There’s nothing that Team Moranic can’t achieve. We’ll just have a super cute, extra little team player on our side soon.

 

 

Connie awards and screenings update!

I’ve been drowning in production and post-production on Blood Shed and pre-production on Hank the last two months, so it’s been a while since I posted an update about my beloved Connie! Well, here it is… Don’t ye worry, the little diva is still making waves!

Connie continues to thrive on the festival scene, with more award wins and nominations, which is always a lovely, exciting surprise. It’s been almost exactly a year since the film was shot, and writing this kind of update fills me with glee.

Connie has won an Honourable Mention Award at The International Horror Hotel 2017, and screens at the event in June in Ohio, US. Connie has had several screenings in Ohio and has either been nominated for an award or won one at each of those festivals. Big love to Ohio! Thank you for appreciating my work. 

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Back home here in the UK, Connie also took the Unrestricted View Film Festival in London by storm at the end of April, garnering nominations for Best Short, Best Director and Best Actress! This was a great surprise, but sadly we were unable to attend as we were away at another film festival in Poland. Gosh darnit!

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The next UK screening of Connie is currently set for August bank holiday weekend in beautiful Manchester. Manchester is very close to my heart. I lived there for six or seven years and it was the first place I lived that made me feel completely at home. The people, the culture, the architecture, the honesty – I still have a special place in my heart for the city. Yes, Connie will have her Northern UK Premiere at the incredible Starburst International Film Festival. So not only a city I love, but a magazine I love too – all in one festival. Hip hip hooray!

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Before she’s let loose on Manchester, Connie will be making her way to Berlin for her German Premiere next month at Final Girls Berlin Film Festival! We’re heading over to attend the festival in person, and in puppet, and can’t wait to see the audience reaction. I love sitting amongst the crowd and watching the screenings – you can hear every giggle, roar, gasp and clap. There’s nothing like it.

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Connie has also been selected as part of the prestigious Etheria World Tour 2017/18 and will screen internationally at Etheria events throughout 2017/18 at universities, art galleries, conventions, museums, independent cinemas, year-round travelling horror conventions, partner festivals, pop-up Etheria screenings, official Etheria Women in Horror Month events, and horror/sci-fi/comic conventions. Now that is BIG news – she might be coming to a town near you soon! I’m so thrilled to have my work included as part of such a great line-up and to be working with Etheria. It’s a real honour. 

And finally, I’m so very proud that Connie is screening TONIGHT (26/05) at the Seattle International Film Festival! Being selected for an OSCAR qualifying festival is something that I never expected for my tiny film about a very sweary, domineering puppet. It’s a huge festival and one I definitely want to attend in future! So, if you’re anywhere close to Seattle, go along and enjoy.

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In other news, Blood Shed is in the edit and we’re still aiming for a festival release later this summer, and Hank is in pre-production and casting. I can’t wait for people to eventually see these two projects. They mean a great deal to me and are a little off-the-wall, but I hope will be really memorable (for all the right reasons)!

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Coming in 2017… Hank. Pic: Moranic Productions Limited

Blood Shed Kickstarter is now LIVE!

She’s (A)LIVE! Well, our Kickstarter campaign for Blood Shed is alive.

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.

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Ben Foster

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.

www.bloodshedfilm.com #bloodshedfilm #nightofthelivingshed

Thanks so much to our supporters so far, and the very kind press who have already started helping us spread the word! We tip our hat to you lovely people!

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From Dusk Till Con

 

Connie Screenings, Panel & Videos for Women in Horror Month 2017!

Women in Horror Month 2017  is almost upon us! Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the work of women in the horror industries.

I’m very pleased to support #WHIM this year, with Connie screening at one event and I’m also part of a panel discussion at another:

img_7490WIHM: United in Blood 2017 Vol.1 
Friday 10th February, 7pm, The Macbeth of Hoxton, 70 Hoxton St, London N1 6LP

Shorts:
Used: Destinie Orndoff
Halloween: Monica Demes
Beauty N’ Blood: Tapanga McCarbe
Nasty: Prano Bailey-Bond
Mauvaises Têtes: Rebekah Fieschi

8:10. WHIM Panel moderated by Wendy Rose:
Emma Dark, Cat Davies, Prano Bailey-Bond & more

9:20: Soska Sisters Massive Blood Drive PSA.

img_7488WIHM: United in Blood 2017 Vol.2 
Sunday February 19th, 6.30pm, The Hen & Chickens Theatre 109 St Paul’s Rd, N1 2NA

Shorts:
Mindless: Katie Bonham
Slit: Pablo Absento
Connie: Cat Davies 
A Tricky Treat: Patricia Chica
The Stylist: Jill Gevargizian
Madre De Dios: Gigi Saul Guerrero
Innsmouth: Izzy Lee

Feature Film:
Slasher House 2 (Intro + Q&A with MJ & Anna Dixon)

If those line ups aren’t persuasive enough to get you to come and support, Connie has thrown in her two cents worth in a very special video announcement made especially to promote her screening:

***NEW EVENT ADDED***

Connie will also be screening in Dublin on Sunday 19th February – our Irish premiere, as part of another WIHM event!

Acid Cane Presents: Women in Horror (Dublin)

Sunday February 19th, 6pm

The Liquor Rooms

5 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

€12 on the door


I also played a nurse for director Damon Rickard for his contribution to the amazing Soska Sisters Blood Drive PSA, Bloody Nurses. It was a really fun shoot and a fantastic way to kick off 2017. For now though, here’s some behind the scenes and official stills from the shoot until the bloody video is unleashed on you all!

So, spread the word about these arse-kicking events and let’s celebrate female talent in horror! Shout about them from the rooftops, and enjoy the films!

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Connie North American premiere -Nightmares Film Festival, and Crystal Palace International Festival inclusion

I’m chuffed to say that we’ve had news of more festival acceptances for Connie, two of which I can share below, though others are currently under wraps! Very exciting. Ssssh…

First, Connie will be screened as part of Nightmares Film Festival, a top international film festival dedicated to the horrific, the dreadful and the weird – perfect for little miss puppet. The festival takes place from 20th – 23rd October in Columbus, Ohio, at the world-renowned Gateway Film Center, named one of the top twenty art houses on the continent by Sundance. This is currently set to be our North American premiere!

Connie will be screened alongside some of the very best features and shorts from around the world, including my recent FrightFest stablemates from August, The Stylist by Jill Gevargizian, Gwilliam by Brian Lonano and The Babysitter Murders by Ryan Spindell, so Connie will be in great company! Precise day/time of screening is to be announced.

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Then on Friday 18th November, she’ll have her second London outing as part of the eighth annual Crystal Palace International Film Festival. Following the success of KEEN-wah at the festival last year, this is sure to be a real treat. The festival has a great vibe, with themed nights and is one of the coolest I’ve been to in years. It runs from 29th October – 19th November at several venues in South East London. You can buy tickets for our screening on 18th November here.

I’m really thrilled that Connie is finding its audience and that people will get to see Catrin Stewart’s powerhouse performance as both Dolly and Connie. She’s truly mesmerising.

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Connie in post-production and KEEN-wah to have US premiere in New York!

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It’s been a manic couple of weeks juggling numerous creative projects all at different stages. I did get some time to party at the BAFTA TV Awards and enjoy some red carpet glamour and champagne, but I’ve been really focused on bringing my latest short film, Connie, to life. A comedy horror about a withdrawn, reclusive female wannabe ventriloquist and her loud-mouthed sidekick, it’s a story that I just had to tell and this week – WE WRAPPED. After an intense two-day shoot, plus some extra special interviews, I was exhausted and emotional, but it was all worth it.

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Your name in lights, kid Pic: Cat Davies, Connie, 2016
This strong female story is full of heart, horror and a foul-mouthed puppet. I am the writer and director, and I co-produced the film with my partner, and now business partner from Moranic Productions, James Moran, who is also our editor.

 It was a fantastic team effort – I was blessed with a really fantastic, creative crew. But, I was really blessed when it came to my on-screen talent. Both my leading female characters are played by one incredible actress, the lovely Catrin Stewart (Doctor Who, Stella), who had to play two characters – one being a puppet – often at the same time. I don’t know how she did it, but she was magical.The film is now in post-production, but much, much more to follow on that over the coming months…

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Diva Las Vegas Pic: Cat Davies, Connie, 2016
In other news, I heard this week that my previous short KEEN-wah will be screened at the Iron Mule Short Comedy Film Festival in New York in the late summer or early fall at an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. This could well be the film’s US premiere! Iron Mule has been operating for more than a decade now and showcased early work from celebrated filmmakers and comedians such as Stephen Colbert, Seth MacFarlane, Lena Dunham, Aziz Ansari, and Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Galzer. So I feel rather honoured! More details on that to follow.

For now, a damn good rest is in order. And the puppets can have a sleep, too.