‘Faux Hidden Gems of the VHS Era’ now on sale

A cool project that I’m involved with is now on sale! I’m a guest writer included in Faux Hidden Gems of the VHS Era – a collection of all the best/worst and bonkers plots from the back covers of 1980s VHS boxes, but for movies that don’t exist! It’s a smashing little book available in an actual print edition and is the brainchild of the magnificent Mike Garley, an EMMY-nominated comic series writer (Collider, Wallace and Gromit, Adventure Time, The Kill Screen).

As a kid, my family rented stacks of VHS tapes every weekend – all the weird and wonderful shock and shlock flicks. They all had glorious cover art that was sometimes better than the movie itself, cracking loglines and enticing synopses. This book pays tribute to the era with a compendium of completely made up movies that could totally have been made and fit in perfectly with the real thing on video shop shelves.

I’ve created a totally made up cult VHS hit for this book, complete with logline, reviews, production gossip and a crazy premise. The book features 52 fantastic creations from the depths of the mind of Mike Garley and other guest writers – it’ll leave you wishing you could actually rent these gems. It’s great escapist fun and only £6.00. Buy it here now.

Quantum Leap feature for The Companion now live

My first piece for The Companion has now been published. It’s an extended feature about one of my all-time favourite TV shows – Quantum Leap – concerning one of the programmes most important episodes – the first in which Sam leaps into the place of a woman – What Price Gloria. The piece is called One Giant Leap for Sam, Another Day for Samantha.

Scott Bakula as Sam Beckett, as Samantha, S2 Ep 4, Quantum Leap

I talked to the amazing writer and co-exec producer, Deborah M Pratt, who was generous with her time, about her influences, intentions and reflections on writing and making the episode, and the timely relevance of its themes. It was an honour to speak to such a pioneer.

I’m really proud of this piece. Revisiting the show has been a slice of nostalgic delight, but also a reminder that though we’ve made some leaps, there is still yet more progress to be made in a post #MeToo era.

Sam conquers 1960s sexism… in heels

You need to be a subscriber to The Companion to read my feature in full here, but it’s a great app and website for TV, film, scifi and 90s fans. A snip for some great content and different perspectives on all the movies and shows you loved from a cracking era. More on Quantum Leap from me to come!

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 feature in Film Stories magazine, Issue 18, August 2020 – Pre-order now!

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.

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 article in Film Stories magazine, Issue 10, Oct 2019 – on sale now!

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.

New short play, ‘Crappy Birthday to Me,’ a success at Slung Low Shorts, Leeds

This month, my short comedy play Crappy Birthday to Me premiered at the marvellous Slung Low Shorts alongside a collection of new plays by new and established writers. Slung Low 4, as it was Slung Low’s fourth outing, was performed at The Holbeck, Leeds from 18th to 21st July. I was delighted to be asked to be part of Slung Low this year – it was an honour.

Crappy Birthday to Me is a twisted family comedy about a twentysomething woman who returns home to a secret birthday party. She is less than thrilled at the idea of an awkward evening with her parents and sister, but this is no ordinary birthday bash…

Programme extract

I was super excited to be there on the opening night and meet my cast and director, and see and hear the reaction of the audience. It was a full house and I’m really proud of the team for pulling it together so brilliantly. And some horror geek trivia, the dad was played by Michael S. Siegel who was in Killer Klowns from Outer Space!

With the cast and director

I’ll be bringing this short play to London soon, and may possibly turn it into a short film, but for now… I’m happy to say that my play was the one with the most clean up afterwards… Apologies to the stage management team for putting up with the fruits of my mad brain.

And huge thanks to all of Slung Low for including me in the line up this year! It was utterly brilliant and I can’t wait to see Slung Low 5.

The aftermath…

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

New article featured in Film Stories magazine

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!

 

 

 

Selected for BAFTA Crew Film/TV 2018

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

BAFTA CREW PARTICIPANT IMAGE
BAFTA Crew 2018 participant