Thursday, 28 June 2012

Stoopid Studios : The making of The Sandwich


So here's a link to Stoopid Studio's latest film. Our second scripted film (written by yours truly) and below is some waffle on the processes behind it.

One evening on my long walk home, I was thinking about my as yet unborn child and had an idea. I imagined that it was quite possible for my future son/daughter, to travel back in time and kill me, now that I had already done my bit in creating them.

My mind had an argument with itself on the nature of the paradox and before I knew it, I had walked the 3 miles home with no recollection of how I got there.

Well I wrote this down and changed some elements of it, but the idea of children from the future coming back to visit their father is the driving factor behind it. Instead of trying to kill the father they're trying to stop or encourage him to eat a sandwich.

It didn't take me too long to write but I had to keep going over it to make sure it made some sort of internal sense to the characters, even if the audience was baffled by the entire premise. I tried to explain all of this to my long suffering lady wife Louise, but honestly it took ages to read through it with her as quantum mechanics isn't her chosen subject in mastermind.

I gave the scripts out to the actors before the shoot and most of them had learnt their lines or at least enough of their lines for them to wing it (like I did) also at one point we realised that I'd written one of the characters to be pro when he should have been against, so a quick re-write and we were good. I also told the "children" to wear clothing that they think their character would wear in the future, which I felt would add a nice/subtle visual touch to it. Matt, who plays the last child of the father, hadn't got that text message, so instead I dug out some clothes and a wig which look suitably daft enough.

The Sandwich, I hope, is supposed to be a character in itself, as the whole future(s) fate(s) is(are) decided on if it is or isn't eaten. I'd written "Cheese Sandwich" in the script, but added a little extra something in the form of Jam. If you haven't tried a cheese and jam sandwich, I suggest you do so.

The piece took on a life of it's own really and I'm generally happy with how it turned out. The editing isn't as tight as it could have been, but I am going to say that this is part of the aesthetic of the piece because so much time travel is happening it's distorted reality. Music was nabbed as per usual from the same composer that I use for all our stuff (he has a great range and they're free as long as you mention him) the only bit that wasn't quite kosher was the music for the speed-up bit which was taken from Rayman Origins.

I've re-written the script after we filmed it as there are certain bits I thought could be improved, including the second time the first son appears, I thought it'd be funnier if he only had one arm this time and made out that he never had an arm. Also, Matt's character wouldn't refer to his universe's other dad being dead as he wouldn't know that in this universe his other dad had died.

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy. If you'd like a copy of the screenplay or think you could make a better version, send me a line to

Monday, 25 June 2012

Dangerous Corner

Recently I auditioned for a part in our local theatre's upcoming production of Dangerous Corner by J B Priestley and thankfully I landed a part! Huzzah!

For those of you who are unaware of just what Dangerous Corner is all about, here's everybody's friend Wikipedia.

"Robert and Freda Caplan are entertaining guests at their country retreat. A chance remark by one of the guests ignites a series of devastating revelations, revealing a hitherto undiscovered tangle of clandestine relationships and dark secrets, the disclosures of which have tragic consequences."

I'll be playing Robert Caplan, an inquisitive man who's never heard of the saying "Curiosity Killed the Cat!" and who believes that the truth should be out in the open no matter what the cost.

I'm quite looking forward to getting my teeth into an acting role as I haven't done any theatre work for some time. I've mainly been focusing my efforts on Short Films, writing and looking after my baby when my wife's been working.

Rugby Theatre's production will be directed by Ash Hirons, who did a great version of the better known J B Priestley play "An Inspector Calls"

The production will see the reunion of my good friend Mr. Pollard, who's not only a great friend, but a very talented actor. (Ladies should also note that my good friend Mr. Pollard is currently single, and also note that his moral compass is set in the Victorian era, meaning he won't mistreat you unless he's actually Jack The Ripper - which he's not)

The show dates : 17th - 24th November at Rugby Theatre

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Half Arsed Review : The Woman In Black

I was home alone last night and decided that I'd take a look at a horror film as I had some Doritos and Ice Cream, which are hard to consume when button mashing an xbox game.

The Woman In Black is a very atmospheric horror and is well worth a watch if you like ghost stories. It centers on a lawyer who goes to a remote house on a causeway to tidy up the recently deceased lady's paperwork and gets more than he bargained for.

I had a bit of trouble with the titular character's name. Arthur Kipps was also the name of the main character from half a sixpence, so there's part of me that likes to think of this as the unofficial sequel.

The film starts off really creepy with three girls having a tea party, which isn't creepy in itself, but it's when they suddenly stop and stare right at the camera that you get chills and what happens next sets the whole tone for the film. The special effects are very good and don't detract from the piece (here's looking at you Insidious) and the whole film is reeking in foreboding atmosphere.

My only complaint? Daniel Radcliffe. When he's first seen I found it hard to not think of him as Harry Potter, which isn't the actor's fault, it's just all I've seen him do for the past however many years he's been doing it for. It doesn't take long however for him to shake off Hogwarts and become a single parent/lawyer. But he's just not a very good actor in my opinion.

Case in point. At one moment in the film he's angry at someone for not warning him about the titular woman of the title, however instead of portraying a realistic amount of anger, bitterness and resentment he just comes across as being a little "ticked off"

He doesn't detract from the film as a whole, but I wish they'd have chosen a more well rounded actor who can portray emotions other than "teen angst" (I think Radcliffe may have played the part on stage, and maybe he's more suited for that version if it is the case)

But aside from this, I think it's a great return to form for Hammer Studios and a worthy addition to any horror fan's collection. The film made me jump, made me anxious and didn't outstay it's welcome.