2018 Films

2018 was a busy year for me film wise and I admit, I was rubbish at keeping you all updated so here’s a little recap of my year in film.

I started the year by going down to Southampton to finish off my scenes for Darren Ward’s Beyond Fury, not technically a horror, more of a crime/thriller although my character certainly has some horrific things happen to her.

This film had been a long time in the making, partly held up by me as my hair colour changed from dark brown to red about mid way through and I was red for around a year before going back to dark brown again, then the peroxide and red dye mixed with the heat of hair straighteners left my ends frazzled so I had to have a lot cut off and had to wait for it to grow before I could finish shooting.

These are the problems with shooting a film over a long period of time though rather than in a block, there’s bound to be problems with continuity.

I’m looking forward to seeing how this one turns out, if the directors previous films are anything to go by, it won’t be for the faint hearted!

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I had a bit of a gap after finishing Beyond Fury, I was busy working all the hours in my online casino presenting job but I left that in June and in the second half of the year my schedule was packed.

I went down to Poole in Dorset to film Harvest Of The Dead – Halloween Night, as the title suggests, it’s set on Halloween and is a true, unapologetic horror genre film.

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I’d never worked with the director, Peter Goddard before and I have to say the whole experience was a joy (well, apart from having to get the train back to London a couple of times with  hoards of drunken football fans).

A really relaxed set and a fantastic, efficient skeleton crew, I was always amazed by how many scenes we managed to fire through on each filming day.

I had a lot of fun on this one.

Then I was off to Birmingham for a little cameo in Alex Bourne’s Clownface, I met Alex on the Banjo set and was delighted when he wrote something in Clownface especially for me, a role that plays a loose homage to Courtney Cox’s character, Gail Weathers in one of my favourite films of all time, Scream.

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Next up was a road trip to Snowdonia for Maria Lee Metheringham’s Party Of Valice.

Maria cast me against my usual type for this one and I loved the character.

We shot and lived on location in a 18th century mansion, I loved it, I really felt quite at home there, I think there’s a  definite chance that I lived somewhere like that in a past life . . . The only thing I couldn’t get to grips with though was the lack of phone signal or Wifi, anybody who knows me, knows that I’d probably rather lose a limb than be cut off from the world without my phone.

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On one of the mornings, myself and another of the actresses decided to go for a run to the nearest village, we figured we could get our exercise done for the day and find signal, two birds, one stone, well, who knew that it’s much harder trying to run at a high altitude? It was not only up in the mountains, it was also blowing a gale and right by the sea. We must have looked so comical and out of place that an old man who was out walking his dog offered us a lift, we gratefully accepted, only later did we think it probably wasn’t the cleverest idea getting in to a car with a stranger and his dog, whilst being away making a horror film, I mean, that’s totally a cliche plot for a horror film in itself right?

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It was great being reunited with some of the cast and crew from Pumpkins, I love working with them all and Maria is a force to be reckoned with, she gets an idea, she shoots it, edits it and then on to the next! I do find myself feeling inspired when I work with her.

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Finally it was down to The Newforest for Terrence Elliot’s, Devil In The Woods, I’d met Tezz on Harvest Of The Dead and he and Peter Goddard reversed roles on this one, and it was great working with them both again.

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I moved to London over 11 years ago for work and I love it here but none of the films I’ve shot this year have been in London, they’ve been up and down the country, and well, actually, Wales is a different country.

I can only hope that 2019 will be as exciting, I already have a couple of things in the pipeline so I’m hopeful.

I also have some script ideas that I’ve been sitting on so in my down time, I want to crack on and get them written up and of course I haven’t forgotten about Bad Moon Rising still being in edit, it is also totally my fault but I’m on it!

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Horror On Sea 2018

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Horror On Sea is one of my favourite yearly events, organised by the wonderful Paul Cotgrove and set in Southend On Sea, the festival at the Park Inn hotel pulls in film makers and avid fans of the genre from up and down the country and is a great platform for indie horror films to premiere.

I’ve been lucky enough to have films screen there for the past four years running. In 2015, ‘Serial Kaller’ and ‘Axe To Grind’, in 2016, ‘Banjo, in 2017, ‘Zombie Women Of Satan II’ and this year, Sunday 21st January 2018 saw the premiere of ‘Pumpkins’

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Written and Directed by Maria Lee Metheringham, and edited, VFX’d and scored in lightening speed by a very talented bunch, principal photography only wrapped in October and the festivals submission cut off is in November, this was the first time most of the cast and crew had seen the finished article.

We shot mainly up in various locations in Yorkshire so for most that are based near there it was quite a distance from Southend but that considered there was an amazing turn out, one of the actors I think even had a 500 mile round trip.

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The hotel bar next to the function room is always a great place to meet like minded horror freaks and catch up with friends you’ve made over the years, like team Mycho whose film ‘Mask Of Thorn’ screened on the Saturday so I’m yet to see it and Mark Rathbone and the main reason I come to the festival every year (other than that I’ve had films screening each year) Marks ferrets! Their little faces though, too cute!!!

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Team Pumpkins – some of the cast/crew

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Jelly the ferret

I also missed Eileen Daly whose film ‘Witches Brew’ screened on the Saturday.

Every year I say that the next year I’ll do the full weekend but then January seems to come out of nowhere and I’ve ended up working but next year for sure, I’m going to do the full weekend!

Even though I was only there for the one evening, I still left feeling inspired, my friend John, also in the industry came along with me and we bounced a few ideas around in the car home so maybe we’ll have something to screen at the festival next year . . .