Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sotheby's?

No one swore. No one belched. No one burst into tears. An away win at Charmed Central.

For anybody that failed to tune in for our radio debut last night on Xan Phillips’ brilliantly-named South by Southampton show, you have another seven days to ignore this listen again link before you can legitimately say that you’ve missed it. And while it’s going to take a little more practice before Jake and I can fully expunge all traces of repetition, deviation and hesitation, it was a lot more fun than we were expecting. A big Charmed shout-out to Xan for inviting us on his show, respect to Loz for some in-horde perspective, kudos to horror-encyclopaedia Rob for identifying the zombie movie with Donald Sutherland in, and apologies to Shami for falling victim to my poor mental arithmetic.



And for astute followers of the IndieGoGo campaign, it seems that we were victims of a “fraudulent transaction” after all; the special place in our hearts that used to have Earle Watson’s name embroidered in fluffy letters has been replaced by a darkening stain. I had assumed that our unsolicited gains would now be Barclaycard’s problem, but some people seem to get their on-line kicks in strange ways. Chumped.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Feeders digest

Time to drum up some attention from the gore-hounds and genre fans.

With St Marcelo still doing his delicious thing with the edit of Zombie Resurrection, and the fund-raising infrastructure oiled and running smoothly, Jake and I have taken the liberty of putting feelers out into the zombie community. Anything we can do to boost the fan-boy awareness and get people pre-psyched on the movie through the joys of the trailer is going to make our lives easier when the film is finished. And when the real tarting starts.

Plus it can’t hurt with the IndieGoGo campaign. Pick up your copy of the DVD now, save yourself the unsightly rummage through a bargain bin later.

So, time to make yourself a hot cup of tea, and get clicking…

  • A great piece on the Horror Cult Films website. The expression “stylishly shot splatterfest” is so going on the posters that we take to Cannes.
  • Some photos in the Horror News section of the Snakebite Horror website.
  • A lot of redness on US website Truly Disturbing Horror, with another great quote for the poster – “a truly sick zombie flick”. Very heavy, and very metal.

And if that isn’t enough of Jake and I shamelessly whoring our wares, fans of the front-of-camera car-crash should set aside 6:00 till 8:00 pm tomorrow night to tune in to Xan Phillips’ radio show on Voice FM, Southampton’s education station, to listen to the pair of us tie ourselves up in knots live on air. And for those of you blessed with a postcode outside the region, don’t think that you’re let off the hook:


How the inarticulate wibbling of two splatter-fiends is going to boost the local education level remains to be seen, but I’ve been practicing my vowel sounds anyway. Repeat after me, Ms Doolittle – the pain in Spain falls mainly on the braaaaaaaains. Gargled.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

404 - Earle not recognised

In the same way that it’s considered bad form to start a text conversation with an old girlfriend after you’ve been drinking, it is widely acknowledged that blogging while still agape isn’t the wisest of plans.

But, this moment needs a posting. You’re going to have to excuse me and read around the astonishment.

But before I jump in, I’d like to take this moment to throw out a massive hunk-a-hunk-a Charmed love to the fabulous people that have headed across to our IndieGoGo campaign, marvelled at just how uncomfortable two people can look when stuck in front of a camera, and then still contributed to our post-production fund. The undead wall of love is now up, and Jake’s and my thanks extend to each and every one of them.

And while we’re on the subject, I’ll tell you where the astonishment stems from.

Just before close of play, we got sent through a contribution, and one that didn’t make a lot of sense at first. It wasn’t from anyone that we knew; there were no perks requested; just a straight donation. Of $5000.

What? $5000? Just like that? And when I emailed him to make sure his cat hadn’t just been walking across the keyboard, the mail bounced back. No such address.

A genuinely anonymous benefactor, and we can’t even get in touch to say “thanks”. Or ask why.

Earle, I have no idea whether you followed through the maze of links on our IndieGoGo page and have chanced across the blog, but this genuinely seems to be our only possible opportunity to say thank you. A heartfelt albeit astonished thank you, mixed up with elements of what the hell did you see that prompted you into such an unsolicited act of filmic philanthropy?

So, thanks to Earle-the-anonymous, Zombie Resurrection gains a new Executive Producer, and Jake and I take one giant leap closer. Stunned.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

OK... Go!

Right – so that’d be the sound of two boys on the scrounge, then.

Absolutely. Yesterday at about five pm we jumped through the last legal hoop, and our IndieGoGo funding campaign went live.

For anybody that has no idea what I’m talking about, IndieGoGo is a crowd-sourcing website – basically the film equivalent of those on-line sponsorship websites that have suddenly popped up everywhere, except that you promise goodie-bags in return for cold hard cash. Want a photo session with you dressed and made-up as a zombie, with the highly awesome Rob Luckins and Heidi Clarke? Fancy a personalised ringtone from Jim Sweeney, who plays Zombie Resurrection’s one-man swearing master-class Mac? We just may be able to do you a deal.

Post-production is an expensive time (sound, music, foley, titles, CGI, grading, mastering, etc.), and crowd-sourcing is just one of the avenues that we are exploring. A pal of mine recently ran a very successful IndieGoGo campaign to get his critically lauded documentary about über-loaded Weetabix-haired Scot-bully Donald Trump through its final stages. As the only thing that our films have in common is that the director, Ant, and I may occupy adjacent slots in a phone book, it seemed enough to warrant us giving it a shot.

And with David Cameron’s recent prattle about what he wants to see from British cinema still ringing in my ears (and which will be a blog subject all on its own once the ire has subsided a little), crowd-sourcing is without a doubt one of the most sensible options available to us. But, being honest, it’s an avenue I wish that we didn’t have to explore.

Getting the IndieGoGo campaign up is the thing that has made me more uncomfortable than anything else in the production. Sending out an email to everybody I know asking for cash is not something that rests easily against my psyche; in fact it strains at every tendon and fibre in my being. If this posting seems more even deranged than normal it’s because it comes off the back of a terrible night’s sleep of angst and trauma, let down by the tried-and-tested staples of yogic breathing, onanism and the Shipping Forecast.

Anyway, with that mea culpa firmly in place, please take a couple of minutes to go check out our campaign page (or click on the picture) – even if you don’t want to pick up a perk, just watching the video boosts our “IndieGoGo Factor”, and helps push the campaign onto the front page of their web-site.


It’s a massive Charmed thank you to the early birds that have already hit the contribute buttons – we already $1400 closer to our target in less than a day (yes – that’s US $ we’re working in, which makes everything seem that much bigger). A heartfelt thank you to you all from Jake and me.

Oh, and while I’m here, I probably also owe you all a profound apology for the couple of wankers that dominate the video; at least it answers any questions about why we prefer life on the other side of the camera. It seems to me that chronic narcissism is a perfectly reasonable position to adopt if you’re an actor, otherwise it must be absolutely interminable having to watch yourself on the big screen. Shrinking.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Bemvindos!

Ah – he’s back again so soon with guilt-fuelled blogging incontinence.

Indeed, without the shame of having to formally postpone the arrival of the trailer yet again, we are now free to fill you in on what’s been happening over the last month or so. I don’t want you thinking that the radio-silence meant that we had awarded ourselves Christmas away from all things zombie related.

And key amongst last month’s activities was getting our editor on board; an official Charmed welcome to the highly excellent Marcelo-the-edit. Finding ourselves an editor was not a quick process: putting up postings on Shooting People and Talent Circle, trawling through the CVs and show-reels of the twenty or so of applicants, interviewing, sending out multiple copies of the first assembly, more interviewing, etc.

But in the end, the choice was very straightforward, as there was only one outstanding candidate. Better still, even after all this palaver we hadn’t put him off.

A decision well made, it appears, as this morning the first fifteen minutes of the film arrived in our in-boxes. Re-worked, re-mixed, tightened, removed of excess fat and flab; a much more entertaining viewing experience than the one we had dumped on him. Universal feedback from the long-suffering pals that we sent our original assembly off to was that the first act was way too long, and in one fell stroke we’ve lost five minutes of film out of the first twenty.

Finally we get to taste the fruits of someone that properly knows how to edit; it’s considerably harder than just knowing how to use the software. Stand up, Phelps and Hawkins, and acknowledge your limits. After weeks of poorly administered digital CPR, the real doctor has finally arrived.

But the real pay off is going to come when Marcelo arrives at our first horde scene. One of his previous editing gigs was the very nicely made urban gangster flick Zebra Crossing, which featured a protagonist who is the absolute doppelgänger of one of our zombies. Separated at birth? You decide…




In about 18 minutes of screen time, I have a sneaking suspicion that Marcelo’s going to develop a nagging sense of being trapped in some bizarre Sisyphean editing loop. That’s the beauty of the zombie genre – just because the last time we saw someone they were getting a Glock unloaded into them, all bets are off after the apocalypse. I can only imagine that the Sherlock writers are planning a similar stunt. Spoiling.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Ooh – hello, trailer

Taa daa!

Oh, wait a minute. A very happy 2012 to y’all. Let’s get that out of the way first.

I know – it’s been weeks since my last confession. Far too long to list all my bad behaviour in one sitting, but suffice to say that I now finally come bearing gifts. After a seeming eternity of broken promises and rain cheques, I’m delighted to finally be able to introduce you all to the Zombie Resurrection trailer. Delighted and relieved.

And like bad godparents, we’ve tried to make up for all the missed birthdays and Christmases by bringing you something special.

So, what you see below you are the fruits of Matt’s fabulous editing, Ads’ tone-perfect grading, and Dale’s sublime musical accompaniment. Worthy wrapping for all the succulent goodies within. I hope that this serves as an adequate CV for Heidi and Sara’s impeccable zombie make-up skills till the real mess arrives.


And with the digital constipation now firmly rodded through the system, we return to business as usual in Charmed Central; don’t think you’ll be able to get away with another whole month without a Phelpenrant. Now, can you all please stop hassling me? Unblocked.