Thursday, 23 September 2021

Interview with Brandon Scott by David Kempf

 

When did you first become interested in writing?

In the fourth grade, I had scribbled outlandish things down prior to that, but in the fourth grade…I was ten I wanna say, but we had our first ever state graded writing test and of course it came with a prompt. It was something to do about summer vacation, a very cliched so I wrote a short story about a haunted house at the end of some derelict street with my friends and our bikes and all of that…pure make-believe, but the graders contacted my teacher and said that not only did I pass, but I entertained them and wanted to thank me for breaking the monotony.

So, after that I was hooked and began writing small tales here and there. It wasn’t anything major, but that was the moment that I felt confident enough to do more scribbling.

 

How did you get involved in fantasy/horror?

As a kid, like every other kid in my age group I started on Hardie..or Hardy…Hardy Boys and although those were cool, they were lacking a whole lot of something, then there was Goosebumps. Something about those dark worlds Stine created, however light and humorous, was marvelous and I found myself needing more of it. Honestly, I think my first Goosebumps book convinced me that I might want to take the writing thing serious, but to take it to a darker level.

I was never huge into fantasy, not high fantasy, I liked The Hobbit as a kid, but the Lord of The Rings trilogy lost me by the middle of the two towers. Now, the Harry Potter books were great, but they had a level darkness that was well crafted. When I got older, I found a huge appreciation for Neil Gaiman, Stardust was a book that made fantasy more digestible for me.


How would you classify the genre you write about?

Multi-Genre. That’s not an easy question, but the Vodou series is supernatural suspense…The Duchess series I’ve embarked on is dark fantasy. I have a new novel, that will be released in serials, I’d say is dark sci-fi. So, all in all, I stay in the realm of horror or at the very least I keep the horror elements there, but I try to drift into layered storytelling and slow burn intrigue. The Vodou series moves fast and punches, but in contrast, The Duchess series is deeper into fantasy mode with mystery and slow burn intrigue.


Why do you think horror and fantasy books remain so popular?

People like being uncomfortable, they like not knowing what’s next, but what we need is another Jack Ketchum. Dallas had a way of storytelling, however graphic, was driven with a cadence and pushed the boundaries of what the reader could take. Ya know, the good guys die at the end sometimes, bad things happen, not everyone can make it. Before him, no one was really doing that, the hero is supposed to save the girl and stop the bad guy, but not in a Jack Ketchum novel.

I remember when I saw Jeepers Creepers, it had that ending where the good guys lose, Justin Long’s character screaming in torment as the credits roll. I thought it was genius, it wasn’t highly received or praised, but I think we need more of that in books, especially from higher profile authors. The good guys lose in the end and they lose dramatically.


What inspires your stories?

Folklore, or creating my own folklore and add a dash of real events in a way. By the end of the new series, I plan the final book to take place in the lore I’ve created, something about that is appealing to me. I’ll take real events or people from my home town and make real built fiction out of it.


What do you think the difference between American horror and British horror is?

From the authors I’ve read, Catherine McCarthy and Ramsey Campbell for examples, the mood in British horror is more steeped in lore. The descriptors are very different as Brits use adverbs a lot more steadily than the American author, here we’re told to edit them all out, redraft a complete sentence to avoid them if need be. American horror seems to have developed a taste recently for splatterpunk or splattergore, which isn’t my cup of tea. I’ve tried reading some and just can’t get into it.


What are your favorite horror books?

The Rising series by Brain Keene, Red by Jack Ketchum, Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, Tangerine by Linda Crockett Gray, The Midnight Sun by Ramsey Campbell, anything from Robert McCammon and Sarah Pearse wrote a great book called The Sanatorium.


What are some of your favorite horror movies?

The Serpent and The Rainbow, Frailty, The Mist was cool and so was 1408, Romero’s Dead series. Dawn of The Dead remake was great and is my favorite remake. The best to me was the first I ever saw at the age of three or four and that was Phantasm. The cemetery scene really messed with me as a kid and when I grew up, I really appreciated the film as a whole.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment as an author?

So far, being featured on the front cover of an anthology (25 Gates of Hell) alongside Brian Keene, Catherine McCarthy Jill Girardi—made me feel like I’ve made it. Probably another was when my first novel, Vodou was a finalist for the Maxy Horror Novel of The Year, because at the time I really didn’t believe that the book would ever see the light of day.


Do you have any advice for new writers?

DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS! I can’t stress that enough. Reviews are a determent to the writer and they are not written for the writer, but for the consumer and by ingesting them you run the risk of becoming lost in your own fanbase. It takes a hundred 4-5-star reviews to build confidence and a single 1-star review to wreck it, conversely too many 4-5-star reviews and you get too much confidence and set out to write the great American novel only to fall way short of that glory.

My advice is to pick a handful of people you love and who’s opinion matters to you and write for those people, first tell the story you want to tell, not what you think the fans want, don’t pander to the masses, you’ll lose your soul real quick—but to those handful of people, in my case I write for eight people; eight. Those eight people are my judge and jury and sometimes the executioner, so if they’re happy then I’m happy and if they’re not then I work on it until they are. If you operate that way, then the rest of the world’s opinion won’t matter much.

I recommend to write the first draft by hand, if you can, it slows the process down to a point where you think each sentence and you’re still in the phase when you don’t have to get it right, just get it down and when it’s time to get it to the computer, read every sentence out loud and not just recite them, treat your draft like a Broadway production, read the narration like Orson Welles, read the dialogue with intent and dialect, this is the best way to finds flow errors and bad sentences, you’ll rework a whole paragraph like this and this is something I wish I would have known years ago.


What is your opinion of the new self-publishing trend?

It’s great that there is that options and that the author can recoup majority of their money, I think the only issue is that books are being published that shouldn’t be, or they need a lot more work and maybe they were books that were rejected by a lot of other places and the author decided to put it out into the world anyway, believing their work was good enough, when maybe—it wasn’t. I think that’s where the stigma around self-pub is there, the consumer has read too many bad books and most won’t read self-pub for that very reason. We have gate keepers for a reason and with self-pub there is none.

On the other side, it’s a good benefit to those who are great writers that don’t want the hassle of subbing to agents only to wait six to seven months for a reply or to a small press that may fold in a year. It’s all about money at the end of the day and self-pub is the best way to maximize your cash in a fast-tracked time table. (As long as your clutch at marketing!)

Some incredible self-pubs:

Christy Aldridge (These Ghosts Bleed, Seth and Kill, My Darlings)

Catherine McCarthy (Door)

Edward Lorn (Cruelty, Bay’s End and The Sound of Broken Ribs) – (these are brutal)

Joshua Marsella (Scratches and Severed)

Brian Scutt (Korean Road)

Last, a non-horror book, but a book I love:

V.F Sharp (The Forest of Arrows)


What are your current projects?

The third installment of the Vodou series has been pushed back till October. I’m in the middle of a commissioned short piece about zombies, that’s a new topic for me. I’m deep into a three-book series, with extensive work done to all three, but it’s a dark fantasy series called The Duchess and I’m about to launch the first part of a serial novel called Serum, with part one titled, The Death of Pine Street. 


Please in your own words write a paragraph about yourself & your work. 

My name is Brandon Scott and I’m an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association. I live in the mountains of North Carolina. I spend my free time hiking in the Linville Gorge, playing golf and running around thrift stores. I use to play guitar in a punk band or two back in the day. Now, I collect old and odd books, antiques and Funko Pops! (weird, I know!)

My work crosses several genres, I’m labeled as a Horror Writer, but I’m more into Supernatural Suspense and Dark Sci-Fi, the horror elements are there, but I’m into slow burn intrigue and character development. Although I’ve written some gory scenes, (the short story, A Child’s Game and soon Carnival Fantasmagoria, Book 3 of the Vodou series.) I choose to stay away from Splatter Punk or Gore outright, unless it serves the story’s plot, which in my usual case, it won’t. Neither will over the top sex scenes. I think my work fits in most people’s comfort zones and is paced enough to keep the reader engaged.



Monday, 20 September 2021

COMPETITION: Win Violation on Blu-ray



Violation  - Released from 27th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis: 
The critically acclaimed Violation sees Madeleine Sims-Fewer in lead role as well as writer and co-director alongside Dusty Mancinelli in their big-screen writing and directorial debut.  This daring and disturbing film is set to arrive on Blu-ray and digital in the UK from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder on 27 September 2021.

Madeleine Sims-Fewer gives a multi-faceted and highly compelling performance alongside Anne Maguire (The Hummingbird Project) and Obi Abili (21 Bridges, Billions) in this darkly enthralling, deeply unsettling rape revenge-thriller.

With her marriage about to implode, Miriam (Sims-Fewer)  returns to her hometown in remote Canada to to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister (Maguire) and brother-in-law (Jesse LaVercombe). But one evening, a seemingly tiny error of judgement, leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked and devastated. Believing her sister to be in danger, Miriam feels she must protect her at all costs,  but the price of revenge is high and she is about to unravel emotionally and psychologically.

What follows is unflinching in its exploration and portrayal of one woman looking for retribution.

Violation displays the depths of depravity which humans will go to try and overcome grief and turmoil.

Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/2XtTGbt

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who is the director of Violation ?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 04-10-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.


COMPETITION: Win The Power on DVD



The Power - Released from 27th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Feel The Power the chillingly poignant and shocking British Shudder Original from rising star Corinna Faith in her writing and directorial debut. The film is set for its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International on 27 September 2021 and will also be available on DVD and digital.
 
Rose Williams (Sanditon, Reign) pulls out all the stops in a compelling, complex performance alongside Amy Beth Hayes (Black Mirror, Bridgerton) and Emma Rigby (Catlevania, Prisoners’ Wives) in this spine-tingling, terrifying horror.

January, 1974. Amid the UK blackouts, a newly trained nurse, Val (Williams), starts her first job in an old hospital in London’s East End and is instructed to cover the ‘dark shift’. Inexperienced and afraid of the dark, Val is forced to confront childhood trauma and abuse as she battles the evil entity haunting the hospital and lurking in the places that never see light.

With wounded patients in need of care, a suspected possession, and rampant racism and misogyny, can Val survive the night?

Switch on The Power and feel the fear.


Pre-Order from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3CpI88k

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

Who is the director of The Power?

Send your name, address and of course the answer to competition365@outlook.com

Quick Terms and conditions - For full T&C click here
1. Closing date 04-10-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Interview with Tom Paton


Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.


Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?

It’s honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it’s always a “pinch myself moment” when I see something that I’ve made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any of my previous movies, so it’s great that Horror Channel is supporting it and bringing it to UK audiences.


How difficult was it getting the film off the ground? It was shot in Yorkshire, right?

Films are always hard to get off the ground to be fair, I’ve just been incredibly lucky that there are people out there who have believed in me and the stories I want to tell and so that’s made my journey through filmmaking slightly less painful. We shot the film in York in a town called Bubwith and I was there for around two months by the time we wrapped and really felt like Yorkshire had captured a bit of my heart. I’ve spent a lot of time there since.


One of the interesting layers in the film’s narrative is the issue of ‘space immigration’ – the fact that Bran, the main character (played by Stephen Moyer), is banned from settling on another planet because he’s a refugee from Earth. How did that idea form?

One of the things I’ve always loved about science fiction is the power to tell a very relatable story in a completely fictionalised setting. I’ve never been a fan of lecturing an audience or being lectured to myself when watching a film, and so I feel like my job as a writer is to create something that you can enjoy on its own or take away something from it that could change your perspective if you so wish. The idea of a planet being entirely built on immigration that suddenly decides it doesn’t want any more immigrants arriving really came out of the situation in America and the plight of South American immigrants trying to cross the border. The concept was to switch that to a character who you wouldn’t traditionally see trying to go through that type of journey so that the movie would act as “how would you like it?” cautionary tale.


It’s got a great cast. Are you personally involved in the casting process?

I was very involved in this one yeah. I’d been a big fan of Stephen since True Blood and he’s such a great actor that he really brought so much to the film that would not have been there had he turned it down. Casper Van Dien was always on my bucket list of actors to work with because I’m such a huge Starship Troopers fan. Landing him felt like a big deal for me and we’ve literally just finished another film together called Assailant (it’s a return to my Horror roots so hopefully we’ll be doing another one of these interviews for that one down the road.) Tala, John, Emily, Shayne and Mike were all an absolute pleasure to work with too, so I had a real blast on set with this one.


You’re famously a self-taught filmmaker. Is that why you can easily move from directing and writing to producing and company-building? Some might call you a film entrepreneur.

Well, I appreciate the compliment. I think being self-taught certainly had its advantages in terms of teaching me the business side of filmmaking. Truthfully, it’s about lateral thinking – making movies is a puzzle that you’re having to figure out and the more aspects of the process you can master the easier it becomes in terms of finding your path to bringing it to life. It’s very similar to a game of chess and if you move the wrong piece early in the game then it will come back to bite you in the ass later.


All your films flirt with the horror and sci-fi genres. Is that a space you feel particularly comfortable in?

I’ve always been in love with films as a form of escapism, so I think that’s what attracts me to genre movies in general. But I think my real love is in survival tales - my two upcoming movies are both still in that survival genre but move away from sci-fi concepts entirely. I think my thing is to apply what makes a person tick in survival situation to different genres and see what happens. I have a comedy and a post-apocalyptic project in the pipeline, that whilst entirely different tonally, still explore what it means to survive in a tense situation that is beyond your control.


What advice would you give aspiring filmmakers just starting out?

With the technology available today, I honestly believe that if you think you’ve got something thematic to explore then there is nothing stopping you from getting two actors together and shooting something. The best way to become a filmmaker for a living is to just go and make something and prove to people that you’ve got the chops to hold a story together. We made my first film ‘Pandorica’ for hardly anything and if we did it today it would’ve cost even less with the available tech. Not only did just having the resolve to go and do that signal to the wider industry that I was capable and someone worth working with, but to this day it’s still the most fun I’ve had on set and will always be one of my favourite things I’ve ever done. So go do it, you’ve got nothing to lose.


You’ve been called Britain’s answer to low budget movie legend Roger Corman. A fair comparison?

I love hearing that. It was first said to me by a journalist that doesn’t like my work and was clearly trying to insult me, but it was music to my ears and has kind of stuck. I love the idea that Roger Corman carved his own space within the industry and maintained that output for over fifty years. It was reading his autobiography that made me get off my ass and go and make my first film. So, to be in a position where I can even now get that comparison is a huge compliment to me and I can only hope that one day someone will read a book about my journey and set off on their own adventure.


You’ve already shot your next movie 400 BULLETS, an edge-of-your-seat military action thriller. What are the release plans for that?

‘400 Bullets’ is very much for you if you like ‘Assault On Precinct 13’ and drops in the UK in September after a successful US run earlier this year. I’m really proud of the movie and if you love action then hopefully, you’ll have a blast with this. I’ve also just wrapped on a movie called ‘Assailant’ with Casper Van Dien, Chad Michael Collins, Poppy Delevingne and Jeff Fahey that is a return to horror thrillers for me and should drop in 2022.

G-LOC airs on Horror Channel Friday Sept 17, 9pm.

 


Monday, 6 September 2021

COMPETITION: Win Terrified on DVD



Terrified - Released on DVD and Blu-ray from 13th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
You’ll be Terrified as writer/ director Demián Rugna’s (The Last Gateway, You Don’t Know Who You’re Talking To) nightmare inducing horror makes its UK Blu-ray, DVD and digital debut from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder on 13 September 2021.

Voices in the kitchen, furniture shaking at night, corpses moving seemingly of their own accord… in a quiet suburban street in Buenos Aires, strange occurrences convince the residents that they’re being haunted. Following levitating bodies and murderous threats from an unseen entity, neighbours Clara, Walter and Alicia get together to tackle the problem. But as things get more and more sinister, they start to see how truly dangerous the presence really is.

When a paranormal investigator is brought in, they hope he’ll get to the root of their neighbourhood nightmare… but dark spirits don’t like being disturbed and things take a dark and deadly turn.

Get Terrified, evil is here.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38G7DFL

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 20-09-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Belzebuth on DVD



Belzebuth  - Released on DVD and Blu-ray from 13th September

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Pray for mercy, evil has risen in Emilio Portes’ Belzebuth, a chilling Shudder Original gore-fest that descends to the depths of hell. The film is set for its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International on 13 September 2021 and will also be available on DVD and digital.
 
Horror legend, Saw’s Tobin Bell (Mississippi Burning) stars alongside Narcos: Mexico star Joaquín Cosio (Quantum of Solace) and Tate Ellington (Sinister 2) in this darkly disturbing, gruesome Mexican/English film that will strike the fear of God into you.

After the loss of his own child, Special Agent Emmanuel Ritter (Cosio) is called in to lead an investigation into a spate of deeply disturbing deaths involving young children. Things take an ominous turn when a former Vatican priest (Bell) is enlisted to help.  When he uncovers a link to an ancient demon – the most evil one of all – the descent into twisted terror begins.

Belzebuth is a dark, terrifying new work of demonic possession.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3zOIC78

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 20-09-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Interview with Shawn Kelley - Director of My Father’s Brothers

 

My Father’s Brothers, a true account of an army airborne company outnumbered in the jungle during the Vietnam War, is now On Demand and DVD from Passion River. https://amzn.to/3mYPfjN

The film, directed by Shawn Kelley, follows their struggles, how they survived, and how they continue to deal with the conflict.   

A multiple best documentary award-winning film, My Father’s Brothers focuses on one pivotal day in American history that affected the lives of 140 soldiers. On June 29, 1966, surrounded and outnumbered 10-to-1 in the dense Vietnam jungle, an army platoon is savagely attacked while they wait for reinforcements from their company. 50 years later, survivors tell their story of tragedy, resourcefulness and heroism. Some volunteered for the army as teenagers. Others were drafted. Some went back to Vietnam years later in hopes of finding closure and peace. All share a bond that cannot be broken.


Why did you feel this was a story that needed to be told, sir?

My father doesn’t outright talk about his time in Vietnam but can be willing to do so when asked. For years, I just didn’t know the right questions. The more we talked, the more I discovered there was another side to my dad that I didn’t know. I felt that was worth exploring. And I discovered a lot of other combat veterans are the same way. I believe it’s important to keep these stories alive.


You obviously would’ve heard a lot about it, growing up - - what do you recall mostly?

Really just bits and pieces. I knew the June 29, 1966 battle was important to him and that one of his men received the Medal of Honor during that battle, but that was about it. My dad would only say so much. Even when I was interviewing him, which I did on multiple occasions, he was guarded with his answers. It wasn’t until I read the book, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, that I started to find the right questions. The book painted a vivid portrayal of what it was like for, basically teenage soldiers, to go on patrol in the jungles of Vietnam. It was terrifying to me to think that my dad and the young men he led did the same thing. That book helped me to frame up the right questions, because I will never really know what that was like. And then the conversations we had started to get more interesting.


As you got into the details, for the documentary, were you even more moved by what happened? 

Absolutely. At the 173rd Airborne reunion, I started interviewing the men in my father’s unit the day after I met them for the first time. I didn’t expect how open they were with me, and I was literally trying not to cry during the interviews. All during the editorial process and the hundreds of times I’ve seen this film in various forms, I still tear up. I wasn’t expecting this type of emotional connection for not only the story, but the veterans, too. The empathy I now have for combat vets has gone through the roof.

 

What didn’t you know about your dad, that you now do?

If you met my dad today, within a few minutes, he would find out about more about you, try his best to make you laugh, and even figure out a way to help with a problem you might have. He’s just built that way. He’s the nicest man I’ve ever met. So, to think that in his mid- to late-20’s he was leading 140 men into combat, making life or death decisions, and shooting at people in a jungle, is just hard to imagine. That’s not the dad I’ve know all my life. But what I found was all those experiences really helped shape the man that he is today.

How close was the platoon before the event?

The company that my dad commanded had four platoons with a total of about 140 men. Because this was so early in the war, the soldiers in Alpha Company did not train as a unit together before Vietnam. They were sent to Vietnam from a many different units and then assigned to A/2/503rd, so a lot of them didn’t know each other. Some would get injured so badly they would leave the army with a disability. Some would die. New soldiers would replace them. But friendships would form in the platoons that would last a lifetime. 


Do you feel the event strengthened the bond between the survivors?

After the war, many went on with their lives outside of the military and they slowly drifted apart. It wasn’t until quite a few years later that the 173rd Airborne Association started to have reunions. A lot of these guys began to reconnect 20+ years after the war. Bill Palmer, one of the veterans in the film, came to his first reunion 30 years after the battle. His second reunion was 50 years after the battle, where he finally met the soldier that saved his life on June 29, 1966. I’ve been to four reunions with dad. It’s wonderful to hear their stories and laugh with them. The bond between them is incredible. They would do anything for one another. And that started with being in foxholes together in the jungles of Southeast Asia.


There’s some great imagery here – well done on how striking it is.

Thank you – that was a challenge. When I interviewed my dad, I had the scrapbook of photography my mom put together to use in the film. I also asked all the veterans in the film to bring photographs from their time in Vietnam for me to use. But I found I needed a lot more. That’s when I started making trips to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. What a treasure that place is! I was able to find more photography as well as footage to use in the film. It wasn’t all from my dad’s company, but it helped to paint the picture of what they experienced. I knew from watching war movies with my dad as a kid that all the imagery had to be right. He would say things like, “that insignia should be on his left side of his uniform, not the right,” or “what’s that American soldier doing with an Israeli assault rifle?” Kind of ruined a lot of movies for me. But I learned you need to be accurate!


Sound, I’m guessing, is quite important to a film like this?

They say that sound is often more important than visuals. Audiences may forgive bad footage but not bad sound. There had to be the right balance – I didn’t want the sound to get in the way of the story the veterans were telling. Being a first-time filmmaker, I was fortunate to work with experienced filmmaker friends. When I gave the list of American and Vietnamese weapons to Jason Hausman, the sound designer, he smiled and took it as a challenge. Ross Wissbaum was the sound engineer that brought everything magically together. And Trinity Velez-Justo was the brilliant composer of the film. I met her a speaking engagement just by chance. We started talking and before you know it, working together. I’ll never forget when she sent me the first music cue to review. I listened to it against the video and just started bawling – it was like pent-up emotions all came rushing out. The music perfectly complemented the story. 


Did you always intend on doing the film independently?

Yes. But that’s only because I was a first-time filmmaker – I didn’t know another way to do it. I was determined to boot-strap the film. It wasn’t long before I realized the power of what a team could bring to a project. It was a very small team, but the passion and talent they brought to the table was amazing. Funding started out from just my wife and me, but slowly I was able to add some private funds. My plan was to complete the film, go the film festival route, then find a distributor. And that’s what I did. Looking back, I would rethink funding and engage with a distributor and impact producer earlier in the project’s timeline.


Being a documentary, has it been easy to nab distribution?

Finding the right distributor was a challenge. Not all of them handle docs or work with docs like mine. It wasn’t until I attended AFM, which was virtual last year, that I met many distributors that looked promising. I had several offers, but ultimately, I engaged with Passion River. They work with a lot of docs, including My Beautiful Stutter, which is a film that was on the festival circuit with mine. That film is amazing. Since they went with Passion River, it was another good sign. 


Have you found more and more distributors are looking for content this year, considering there weren’t as many films in production last year?

2020 was an interesting year, to say the least. It seemed that a lot of distributors hit the pause button for a while to see what was going to happen. So that also shifted the number of films that will release this year. I engaged with my distributor earlier in the year, so my knowledge of what distributors are looking for now is limited.


Do you suggest they attend markets and so on, to network?

AFM 2020 really worked out well for me. It was virtual, but it came at a time when Zoom burn-out wasn’t a thing. I met a lot of people in filmmaking from all over the world by virtual networking and I may not have been able to do that if it was in-person. During AFM, you could hover over a virtual networking table, quickly see who was there, then ‘pop in’ for a chat. Usually someone was already talking, but attendees at the table would wave to you. During a break in the conversation, ultimately someone would say something like, “Hi Shawn. So, tell us about your doc.” It was great. Although there’s a lot of value in non-virtual events.


Have you another film in the works yet?

I have two projects that are in just the beginning phases of the process. One is about a custom knifemaker. The other involves the music business, but that one may have to wait a bit longer with everything that’s going on in the world. I’ve also been working on short stories about veterans and plan to do more longer form pieces about combat vets. My Father’s Brothers has shown me the value in sharing veterans’ stories. I’ve also been talking to filmmakers about collaborating on some different projects. It’s fun to think about the possibilities.


Buy from Amazon at https://amzn.to/3mYPfjN



Monday, 23 August 2021

COMPETITION: Win Wired Shut on DVD



Wired Shut  - Released on DVD from 30th August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on DVD to give away.

Synopsis: 
Jaw dropping slasher Wired Shut from director Alexander Sharp, in his feature film debut, will have you open-mouthed with fear when it arrives on DVD and digital 30 August 2021 from 101 Films.

Famed author Reed Rodney (Blake Stadel – Riverdale, The Twilight Zone) seems to have it all – international acclaim for his writing, a sweeping secluded mansion and money beyond his wildest dreams – but life isn’t always what it seems on the surface. Behind the glossy exterior lies the shell of a man, an alcoholic haunted by his past transgressions that destroyed his family.

When a horrific car crash leaves him in bad way, he faces reconstructive surgery and his jaw is wired shut, leaving him unable to speak. Forced to recover at home alone, the isolation threatens to overwhelm him… then his estranged daughter Emmy (Natalie Sharp – The Flash, Supernatural), turns up.  Is she there to reconnect after all these years or does she have an ulterior motive?

When a dangerous secret emerges and a menacing intruder shows up, Reed and Emmy must band together to try and survive the night… 

Get totally wired with gore-filled splatter-fest Wired Shut.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3jb9LeK

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED

Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 06-09-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

COMPETITION: Win Sound of Violence on Blu-ray



Sound of Violence  - Released on Blu-ray from 30th August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis: 
In thrilling new horror Sound of Violence, a young girl recovers her hearing and gains synthetic abilities during the brutal murder of her family. Finding solace in the sounds of bodily harm, as an adult she pursues a career in music composing her masterpieces through gruesome murders.

From the mind of talented new writer-director Alex Noyer and featuring a stunning lead performance from Jasmin Savoy Brown (2022’s Scream, The Leftovers), Sound of Violence is one of the most original and shocking horrors of the year.

Sound of Violence has its UK Premiere at Arrow FrightFest, 26th - 30th August
Dazzler Media presents Sound of Violence on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from 30th August
 
Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2W9SMkk

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 06-09-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

COMPETITION: Win Random Acts of Violence on Blu-ray



Random Acts of Violence  - Released on Blu-ray from 23rd August

And to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 2 copies on Blu-ray to give away.

Synopsis: 
Jay Baruchel writes, directs and stars in his horror debut Random Acts of Violence, which makes its UK Blu-ray debut from Acorn Media International in conjunction with Shudder, following its success on the streaming service.
 
Fan favourite Jesse Williams (Cabin in the Woods) leads in this gore-filled slasher as his own creation is bought to life by a fan hell-bent on committing Random Acts of Violence in increasingly gruesome murders.  The film will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and on digital to download and keep on 23 August 2021.
 
Comic book creator Todd Walkley (Williams – Grey’s Anatomy), his wife (Jordana Brewster – Fast and the Furious), assistant (Niamh Wilson –Saw III) and best friend (Jay Buchel – This is the End, Sorcerer's Apprentice) are heading to NYC Comic Con when bad things start to happen – a lot of people are getting murdered. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using his “SLASHERMAN” comic as inspiration for the killings. As the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends dropping like flies, he is forced to face the killer and put an end to his notorious comic.
 
Will Todd be able to stop the spree or will he fall victim to his own creation?
 
Get in on some Random Acts of Violence.

Pre-order on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3g4J0Xl

For your chance to win just answer the question below.

COMPETITION CLOSED


Terms and conditions
1. Closing date 30-08-21
2. No alternative prize is available
3. When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.
4. Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.
5. Entries that come directly from other websites will not be accepted.