Wednesday 5 April 2023

First Festival Selection and New Poster!

I was delighted that The Harrowing received its first festival selection at the May the 4th Sci-Fi festival. The festival takes place in Portmagee which was the Unit Base when Star Wars filmed on Skellig Michael. It also happens to be my parents home village. Mark Hamill AKA Luke Skywalker famously pulled a pint of Guinness in my cousin's pub.

The awards ceremony will be at The Royal Hotel, Knightstown, Valentia Island on May 7th 2023.

The film also has a new poster by my Graphic Designer friend Ryan Killeen. Ryan is also the Lead designer for the Mobo Awards!

Wednesday 14 September 2022

London Sci-Fi Society 48 hour Filmmaking Competition 2022.

I was delighted to be able to put together a great little team to do the London Sci-Fi Society 48 hour filmmaking competition last weekend. The team was very ably anchored by multi-talented Black Country Director of Photography Matt Hickinbottom of Musical Motion Pictures. Not only did he shoot the film - he also edited, scored and did sound design. The VFX shots were provided by Mark Lunn to cap off what I think is a great little film. I even did my first ever practical effect!

Birmingham actress Gem Durham (Felicia's Journey) played the lead alongside her daughter Honey Harris and newcomer Arthur Benson. Both child actors did really well and Gem was excellent as the Mother.

My artist friend Darryl Georgiou stepped in to play the Man in the Street who has to say the all important line given by the competition organisers.

Unit Stills were provided by Shaun Temple and SFX/Make Up by Rafaela Rosado Mateus.

We filmed it on Saturday afternoon and early evening and then did Post Production on Sunday. I have to say it's the least stressful one of these time limited competitions of the several I've done and definitely the smallest budget. We'll know in a week or two if we make the shortlist which will mean a trip to London for the awards ceremony. I'm now planning a festival run. Here's some more pics from the day.

Sunday 18 July 2021

Stowe Story Labs Finalist!

I wes delighted to be selected as a Stowe Story Labs Fellowship finalist a couple of months ago. It's a very prestigious lab in my opinion. I applied via the new Irish Film London scholarship and made their shortlist of three. My story is called The Little Winding Road and is based on a true story about a remote hill village in Southern France. The village is suddenly visited for the first time at the end of the war by a group of retreating, trigger-happy German soldiers.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Advice to New Screenwriters on Finding a Producer: Why You Are Just One of Many Voices Wanting to be Heard!

A newbie screenwriter asked on a Facebook group I run about how to find a producer for their scripts.
               Photo by brabus biturbo on Unsplash
Firstly you must seek out honest critiques of your work. Asking your friends or family is an absolute NO NO! They won’t tell you what you need to hear. Read this useful take on Criticism.

My initial advice would be to get some professional coverage on what you think is your best script. Buy coverage from an experienced script editor who will give you an honest opinion. The best ones are expensive. Find out about them. Ask on forums who is good. Do they have the experience and connections you need?

If you can't afford that then join a supportive writers group such as Bang2Writers or Yvonne Grace’s Script Advice Writers’ Room on Facebook where you can ask questions and learn a lot.

Ask writers if they will read your script in exchange for you reading theirs and giving notes etc. Read Lucy Hays excellent blog Bang2Write. Likewise UK Scriptwriting Opportunities which is good for opportunities and links to good lists etc.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of writers and scripts out there. Put yourself in the mind of a time poor producer - many of whom are 1 or 2 person bands. Why should they read your script rather than anyone else? What makes yours stand out?

Placing in a competition or talent scheme might. Find a reputable screenwriting contest. BBC Writers Room lists many competitions and opportunities. Consider writing for the stage as well. Fleabag started as an Edinburgh fringe act. There is a lot of crossover of writers from stage to screen and back. Winning or placing in a competition might help you get representation by a literary agent or manager.

Good coverage from a reputable reader or editor with industry connections might get you noticed too. Without this you are just one of many voices wanting to be heard - so very difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff from a producer point of view.

I strongly suggest that you go to the London Screenwriters Festival in London where you will learn a lot and make a lot of contacts. ScriptAngel - which has a good mailing list - usually releases a discount code for this. The on-site accommodation is good value.
Its also worth keeping an eye out for when Samantha Horley runs her next Make A Film the Market Wants seminar. She knows all about audience and what works in the market.
You can also join Shooting People. Their mailing list for screenwriters, filmmakers etc are useful places to learn and ask questions.
My other piece of advice is find some cast, crew and locations and make your own film. It will give you an invaluable understanding of the process etc. That’s how I started.

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Friday 15 November 2019

The Stanley Fisher Story

I'm planning to shoot a short documentary about 95 year old Stanley Fisher - a Jewish British Army veteran who fought in Normandy and then at Nijmegen to help relieve the Paras caught up in Operation Market Garden. He then witnessed the horrors of Bergen-Belsen shortly after its liberation.

Stanley Fisher
I've had a preliminary meeting with him and hope to film his story in the next couple of months. Watch this space!

Stanley's Dog Tags

Friday 16 August 2019

Crowdfunding Campaign to do a Script Editing for TV Course

I've just started a crowdfunding campaign to do a Script editing for TV course.

You can read more on my GoFundMe page here