Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Birdeatsbaby need your help...

In April 2009, back when I used to actually update this blog more than once every four months, Brother Pete and I went to see Birdeatsbaby at the Latest Music Bar in Brighton. I wrote about it here. It was one of the most amazing gigs I'd ever seen. There was just something incredibly refreshing about the music and the energy in the performance; it was different enough to be exciting but without alienating the audience. I wasn't really able to put it into words back then and I can't really now, but the point is they were really really good, as seen here...



They continued to be really really good. In 2011 they made this awesome video for a single on their second album, which I later screened at MovieBar...


They are still really really good. Now they sound like this...


But they need help to finish their third album. There's a Kickstarter page here. I know everyone is running Kickstarter campaigns these days and it's becoming more and more difficult to stand out, but here's why you should support this one -

- They are really, really good as mentioned above.

- You can pay the price of the album and then when they're done you actually get a copy of the album. So really you're just pre-ordering something you will probably buy one day anyway (because it's going to be awesome).

- They've been really upfront about their costs, and the fact that they are putting in half of what they need themselves shows how serious they are about this.

- They are doing really well and have passed the halfway point, so with a bit of extra help they will definitely make it!

- Did I mention that they are really really good?

So you should seriously consider heading over there and contributing to their Kickstarter, because if artists this good can't crowd-fund their work then there is seriously no hope for the rest of us.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Guest Post - Peter Regan (part two)...

Day Two- 14th April 2013

Day Two began as any normal day on a Jenny Ringo shoot begins. There were bandages, fake blood and lights in tiny cramped spaces.






We started with a scene that was eventually cut for time. Time in the film, and lack of time to create the effects needed. However all I remember was sitting on the bathroom floor, squashed up against the wall trying my hardest not to break down into laughter. I failed. How unprofessional of me.


Despite my failings, the scene was shot, and after getting the feeling back in my legs we moved on to the monsters outside ready for their close ups.


Once again the sun had got his hat on. However lighting a dark, interior corridor when you're outside is a pain in the back side unless you are the proud owner of some massive bright lights. Unfortunately I am not.

However we managed to get a happy medium and grab the shots we needed. As soon as the monsters had finished it was time to film the babies.


How does one direct babies I hear you ask? Well simply put, you don't. Instead you wave lots of things around, blow bubbles and eventually turn the TV on in a hope to distract them long enough to get the shot we need. It eventually worked and resulted in a 10 minute out-take of pure cute anarchy.

The beach was next. Originally the script called for the beach discussion to be at night. However in case this didn't work, a back-up would be required. Day time beach...no issues here. It was sunny, we got the shots, we moved on. We would be back later for the night time which came with a few surprises.


Now off to space to space for us to crank the F-stop.

Space was located in a barn. The result of a friend’s short who still had a set up for a couple of days.

Here's the original film the spaceship was constructed for...


Robot from zoneonestudios on Vimeo.

Now I'm new to filming things for myself and when told to crank the Fstop to make sure we had a smooth green screen, I couldn't help but stare blankly before nodding in agreement (something I've learnt more about with more night shoots). However we managed to get the space we needed. Everything was in focus that needed to be and we packed up and left.


And then we had to wait....

...finally it was dark.  We could now reshoot the earlier beach scene but in darkness.

"But if it's dark, how are you going to film anything?"

We had a plan. A plan involving plastic folders, LED lights and camping lanterns. A plan that gave us the desired effect or a burning magic flame. A plan that came at a deadly cost. The cost of being attacked by millions of  bugs.

Evil beach dwelling creatures that crawled up out of the pebbles to attack their prey. Had I not been tired and grumpy, some of those bugs may have survived to tell the tale of how they saw the filming of Jenny Ringo 3. However, at times I am not a patient man. It was survival of the fittest. I won.

Here's Pete not being very patient...



However had I had to face the sea fox alone, I'm sure I'd be telling a different tale. It's never a good sign, when your back is to the sea and everyone start looking over your shoulder at a "dog" coming out of the sea. Not a dog my friend, but a fox. A fox that each night rises from the briny depths to wander Worthing looking for easy prey. A Sea fox...I would guess.

Anyway, we got through the last location shoot. We each went our separate ways, back to the safety of our houses and beds, to dream of the adventures of sea foxes and beach bugs.

We still weren't finished. There was still animation that I had to complete, the construction of a monster and trying twice to get the perfect night time shot of Brighton Pier.

This is another tale for next time...

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Please vote for Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook by clicking the Tweet button under this video or by tweeting '#VMShortsVote Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook'

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Jenny Ringo and the Funhouse of the Damned...

If you haven't seen Jenny Ringo and the Monkey's Paw turn away now because there will be spoilers ahead. Or you could just watch the film -


I'll let you in on a secret. I never intended for Jenny Ringo to be a series. When she ends up in Hell in the first film it was meant to be just that...the end.

Then I started making the second film. To justify it the writer Geraint D'Arcy and I decided that Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell would be a prequel. Haven't seen it yet? Here's the trailer -

You can see the whole film by going to www.jennyringo.com and signing up to the mailing list!

Anyway, when we were shooting it became apparent that the relationship between Jenny and Gavin had evolved from the first film and it certainly felt like it was happening after that one. So I decided to embrace the fact that it was a sequel, which meant somehow I needed to explain how Jenny escaped from Hell.

So I contacted Paul Cousins, an amazing artist I knew from back when I was writing for Night Warrior, and suggested the idea of a 5 page comic to bridge the gap between Monkey's Paw and Cabaret from Hell. This is the result (click the pages to make them go bigly)...






If you enjoyed the comic and would like to see more Jenny Ringo adventures please vote for Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook by clicking the Tweet button under this video or by tweeting '#VMShortsVote Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook'

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Guest Post - Peter Regan (part one)...

Peter Regan was one half of the two-man film crew who made Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook! Here are his memories of the shoot...


On the weekend of 13th/14th of April 2013 I shot Jenny Ringo!

Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spell book to be more specific.

Over two days we hoped to bring to life the most ambitious Jenny Ringo film yet. A film with dinosaurs, killer clowns, hellish landscapes, 'Tron' style in game escapades and bizarre monsters from other worlds...and so we did.

Director Chris Regan and Producer Andrea Regan had strategically planned everything down to a t so we could fit everything in, so I grabbed my camera, batteries and memory cards and dived into the car to get underway.

Day One - 13th April 2013

First stop, Under-cliff.

There were a number of scenes that took place outside and it looked as though we had been blessed on this bright and sunny Saturday morning in April.

 
This was the first issue I had. Having an inability to see properly I need the use of spectacles to see properly. Also suffering from migraines in bright sun, I had adapted these spectacles to "react" to the harsh UV rays, creating a darker lens protecting my eyes. Had I known that this combined with reflectivity of the LCD screen on the camera, would result in an inability to see what I was filming properly, along with a lot of guess work relating to the focus, I may have re-thought my previous eyeball solution.

Anyway, we managed to get through the first few scenes well enough. The bright weather was holding up and we were still on track.


We had one final shot to make in Brighton, overlooking Madeira Drive for a giant pizza.

Unfortunately it was decided that the best place for me to film was next to a playground. Now I know I was there to film Jenny Ringo. Chris and the cast knew I was there to film Jenny Ringo. However I couldn't shake the feeling that anyone else passing by may have thought I was there to film children playing.


Luckily we got the shot we needed and moved down to Madeira Drive for close ups, and to prove to all those questioning onlookers that I was in fact making a Jenny Ringo film.

However someone still wasn't happy and the heavens began to open. With the first few drops of rain. Rain that would decide not to stop as originally forecast and later forces the well planned schedule to be reassessed and split into multiple shots.

So back to Worthing we went to continue the adventures of Jenny Ringo and to Lime Café to battle the evil clowns.


It's always a bit of a struggle on films with few crew members when faced with a room full of extras. You're trying to plan a shot but also make sure everyone knows what’s happening and will be ready when the director calls “Action”.

Saying that, on this occasion there wasn't really any major difficulty. Everyone who arrived seemed quite happy chatting until it was time to get transformed into clowny evil-ness.

I don't think I'll be forgetting anytime soon, having to film close up after close up of menacing clowns, especially when it seemed it was me they were after.


Unfortunately that was where day one ended. The rain continued to pour, light was beginning to fade and we still had a couple of exteriors left. These would have to be moved to the next day. A day of monsters, babies and sea foxes...

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You can see Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook here -

http://www.virginmediashorts.co.uk/film/4903/jenny-ringo-and-the-infinite-spellbook

To vote, click the Tweet button under the video!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook!

Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook has been entered into this years Virgin Media Shorts contest and I could really use your votes!


I've tried to cram as much cool stuff into the 2 minute 20 second running time as possible, including dinosaurs, monsters, evil clowns, spaceships, tentacles and more!

You can check out the film here -

www.virginmediashorts.co.uk/film/4903/je...

To vote either click the 'Tweet' button under the film, or Tweet '#VMShortsVote Jenny Ringo and the Infinite Spellbook'

As always I meant to blog a lot more during the production, and then got caught up in the actual production itself. This one was a lot of work, partly because there were so many different elements but mostly because I took on the edit myself. BUT I will be posting behind the scenes stories and some bonus video content over the course of the week so watch this space! AND I'll be unveiling the brand new Jenny Ringo website very soon!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell...

...will be released online tomorrow for anyone subscribed to the mailing list. You can subscribe at www.jennyringo.com for free. We won't spam you or send anything too annoying, I promise.

I feel like I should write a whole post about what it's been like spending the last year and a half on this film, but it's late and you could just as easily watch the trailer...



...or read one or all of the following reviews....

http://www.mycinemaonline.com/500/

http://blueprintreview.co.uk/2013/06/jenny-ringo-and-the-cabaret-from-hell/

http://joshuamreynolds.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/on-stage-at-the-cabaret-from-hell/

http://horrorjuice.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/jenny-ringo-and-the-cabaret-from-hell/

http://www.horrormoviediary.net/2013/06/jenny-ringo-double-feature-cabaret-from.html?spref=fb

http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2013/06/short-film-review-jenny-ringo-and.html

http://cassieshouseofhorror.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/jenny-ringo-and-cabaret-from-hell-review.html

http://the-bone-breaker.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/jenny-ringo-and-cabaret-from-hell-short.html

https://www.facebook.com/groups/filmsploitationpodcast/permalink/552129471495750/

So please go www.jennyringo.com and subscribe to the mailing list so I can send you the link to the film, and then feel free to come back here and leave a comment - I'd love to know what you thought of it.

Thanks!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Looking for reviewers for Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell...

Jenny Ringo and the Cabaret from Hell is now finished! Here's the trailer -


 
The full film will be released on the 18th of June but you will need to subscribe to the mailing list at www.jennyringo.com to see it.
 
In the meantime I'm looking for people to review the film. If you have a blog or website and you would like to review the film, just let me know and I'll send you a secret link to the full film. You can leave me a comment here or e-mail me at whatwritesatmidnight[at]gmail.com
 
Here's a brief synopsis -
 
Jenny Ringo is a witch who lives with her slacker flatmate Gavin. When a spell to help Gavin audition as a singer in a Cabaret club backfires Jenny finds herself trapped in her flatmate's body! But there are far worse surprises waiting for her in the mysterious Cabaret club where the audience feast on the souls of the performers and the MC keeps a terrifying secret in a bucket in her office. Can Jenny reverse the spell, save Gavin and defeat the demon MC before they both become lunch for the thing in the bucket?
 
If you do decide to review the film here are some stills you can use (photos by Kristina Sälgvik)

Thanks!