Wednesday, 18 April 2012


I said at one point that if I didn't manage to keep up the production diaries for Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell it would most likely be because I've been busy working on the edit. I'm pleased to say that this has definitely been the case over the last couple of weeks.

As mentioned before I did have to change editors and at the time I worried that this might delay things even more, but luckily my old friend and frequent collaborator Ross Boyask stepped in to save the day and we've been working on the edit pretty solidly ever since. So far it's coming along really well and we're about a third of the way through. I'm not sure how realistic my end of April deadline is but it feels good to finally be doing something with it and to see it come together.

Also, Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw will be screening as part of the Edge of the City Film Festival on Saturday the 28th of April. The full programme is here.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday the 13th...

When I saw Jenny Krueger of Memoirs of a Scream Queen was hosting a Friday the 13th blogfest...

...I thought 'Cool, I can write about how Friday the 13th Part III is my favourite film in the series even though it's not very good.'

I was going to talk about how the first time I saw the film it gave me nightmares because I was far far too young to be watching such things. Then I was going to talk about how the second time I saw it I was watching through the whole series with friends over the course of a few evenings (we only made it to Part 4) and that when watched shortly after seeing Parts 1 and 2, the third one doesn't really hold up. And then I would write about seeing Part 3 as it was meant to be seen, in 3D, and finally realising that it was actually a work of genius (well, not quite, but it remains the best use of 3D I've seen...ever).

So I planned it all out in my head and chuckled to myself as I imagined what an amazing blogging triumph this new post would be. And then I absent-mindedly did a search for Friday the 13th references in my blog just in case I had covered any of this before. 

It turned out I had. Right here.

Exactly the thing I was going to write had already been written, by me, a couple of years ago. I may have been drinking at the time.

Tangent alert - I would put this momentary memory loss down to getting old, but this is not the first time I've completely erased something I've written from memory. In my third year at university as part of a course on early journalism I decided to write about the coverage of Jack the Ripper in the Pall Mall Gazette. Then by chance I came across an essay I had written two years earlier on the same subject. Back then it was definitely down to drinking.

The thing is, I don't have much else to say about Friday the 13th.

I suppose I could talk about how I first became aware of the films through a C64 game my friend owned (much like my first experience of Nightmare on Elm Street). I don't really remember much about the game other than it mostly seemed to involve wandering around until Jason killed you, much like the plot of the films. Occasionally when you died you would be presented with the image of a head with a machete through it so we would spend hours playing the game trying to figure out how to make that happen. Now we are living in the future and I can find this image with a google search.

The internet has ruined everything.

But look! If you have an ten minutes free you can watch someone play through the whole game!

Which I have just done. I'm never getting those ten minutes back.

I suppose I could also talk about my friend Jason. It's not as tenuous as it sounds - the second time I met him my friend Jason was dressed up as Jason Voorhees for a Halloween party. He hadn't made much of an effort - he was just wearing a cheap hockey mask and telling everyone his name was Jason, as if that completed the costume much more than a boiler suit ever could have done.

Like my viewings of Friday the 13th Part III, I met Jason exactly 3 times (see how it all fits together?). The first time was on my very first night at university. I'd arrived a bit later than everyone else and when I went to register they'd run out of complimentary tickets to the freshers' party.

'It's okay' they said 'You'll get in anyway.'

In the afternoon I made friends with the people in my halls of residence (including future best man, monster-maker and writer of Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell, Geraint D'Arcy) and shared my predicament with them. They all had tickets to the party.

'It's okay' they said 'we'll get you in'.

I didn't get in.

So I went to the student bar instead and made friends with a chap called Jason who had also arrived too late to get a ticket to the party.

The second time we met was the aforementioned Halloween party.

The third time was on the very last night I was at university, in the post-grad bar. 'Remember me?' I said, 'We met on the first night we were here! And now here we are again, only now it's our last night!! How cool is that!?!?'

He said he did remember me, but then we didn't really have much to say to each other after that. We may have hugged. It was a bit awkward. We were both very drunk.

So that wasn't really very relevant to Friday the 13th at all. How about the time my wife Andrea and I discovered what would really happen to us in a real life slasher situation?

We were staying with our friend Julia in LA (check out her blog here) and she took us to Universal Studios sometime around Halloween. In the Texas Chainsaw Massacre maze I abandoned Andrea to Leatherface and ran to the end without her. That was quite bad.

But in the Friday the 13th maze, stalked by several frighteningly authentic Jasons, my cowardice reached new heights. I hid behind my wife. I may also have pushed her towards him a bit too.

Friday the 13th-type situation, I am actually the last person you want on your team. I would be the annoying character that you really hope dies soon and in the most horrible way possible. I would be like the irritating prankster guy in Friday 13th Part III. Only more irritating.

See how it all comes back to Friday 13th Part III in the end?

So what have we learnt from all this? That I'm an alcoholic coward with occasional memory loss and that I spent too much of my youth trying to get a game to show me a picture of a man with a machete in his head.

Next time I decide to write about something I've already written about I think I'll just repost the original.

Actually, there is one more thing! Friday the 13th directly inspired a sequence in the film I'm currently working on, Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell. I don't want to give a way too much right now, but here is photographic evidence...

Check out the Jenny Ringo website for more info.

And if you enjoyed this nonsense, it might be worth checking out what other bloggers have written about Friday the 13th by clicking the links at the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

I am still here...

...and I'm aware it's been like years since I posted anything. But that's okay! Because my amazing and incredibly intelligent wife has been holding the fort with this rather brilliant post over on her blog.

I haven't had time for blogging, I've been busy doing important stuff like writing! And organising MovieBar!! And playing Mass Effect 3!!!

To be fair I was holding back the diaries in anticipation of some awesome production photos. On this shoot we were lucky enough to have a professional photographer on set most days so in theory there should be awesome production photos. But being a professional, our photographer is too busy with paid work to get the photos finished so I may have to wait a while yet. This seems to be the story of my life when it comes to filmmaking.

In other post-production news I've had to change editors as the editor I was using is too busy. See what I mean?

So, one day I promise there will be awesome photos. And some day after that there will be an actual film. For now I will continue the production diaries without awesome photos and I'll update you on what little news there is about the post-production. 

For now that news is limited to this -

Brother Pete finished the first animated sequence for the film. It is the most amazing animated sequence ever.

If you want to see some other awesome animated sequences, check out Pete's YouTube channel or you could check out his excellent work on Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw, which you can watch right now by going to our website and signing up to our mailing list.