Category: Blog

The Lure of the Silver Scream [7]

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The cast and crew of All Bad Things…, photographed yesterday outside the Rajnagar International Restaurant in Solihull.

Left to right: Joe Dempster, Sham Zaman, Gabriela Zogall, Anthony Atkins, Sophie Sharp, Olivia Comer, John Messer, Kevin Clarke, Steve Green, Rob Eadon, Demelza O’Sullivan, Abul Kalam, Liam Woon, Aliy Haycox, Jamie Lambe. Not shown: Chrissie Harper (back behind the camera), David Shakes, Omar Kasis.

The Lure of the Silver Scream [6]

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Principal photography commenced yesterday morning on All Bad Things…, a short film directed by Chrissie Harper from her own screenplay (developed from an idea of mine). The two leads are played by Liam Woon and Demelza O’Sullivan, with Sham Ali as the waiter. We were generously offered a chance to film at the award-winning Rajnagar International Restaurant in Solihull, which really added to the authenticity of the storyline. There are two short scenes left to shoot, but we hope to have the final edit completed by early October.

The Lure of the Silver Scream [4]

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With our Club Vamporama teaser “Who is Bette Noir?” filmed and edited, Chrissie Harper and I headed over to a quiet Solihull cul-de-sac on Tuesday morning to shoot “Hail Cthulhu!”, a minisode set in that same universe featuring Dru Stephenson as Jenni and Elizabeth Hastings as Marie. In case you’re wondering, they switched position from Chrissie’s storyboard because Dru pointed out the uneven ground would elevate her to the same apparent height as Lizzie. This was typical of the professionalism, attention to detail and enthusiasm both actors brought to their performances, and we can’t wait to get the finished short film ready for a public screening.

Good News for Bad Things

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Had some fantastic news yesterday about our short film All Bad Things…, which centres upon a bizarre meeting in a restaurant. Obviously, it’s crucial we get an authentic location for the shoot; no one’s going to be convinced by a couple of trestle tables under a bed sheet.

Well, last night I took a ‘phone call from the owner of an award-winning Bangladeshi restaurant which my late wife and I first visited shortly after its launch in 1987, remaining regulars for the next twenty years. He’d read our proposal and wanted to support the project, offering access to either (or both) of his two premises. It’s a massive thumbs-up for the project, and for everyone working on it.

We’re hoping to schedule the shoot for the last Sunday in July. Now the lead actors and location are in place, we’re looking for volunteers to help out on the day, either behind or in front of the camera. If you’re interested, drop me a line via steve.green@ghostwords.co.uk.

Update 30/7/17: Unfortunately, we had to postpone the shoot, but only by a few weeks. As the Romans used to say, festina lente.

Update 10/8/17: The shoot is now scheduled for 20 August.

The Lure of the Silver Scream [2]

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Above left: Dru Stephenson as “Jenni”. Above right: Melyza Fay as “Jude”.

In addition to our short film All Bad Things, work continues on our proposal for a tv series adapted from the comic strip Club Vamporama. My colleague Chrissie Harper and I spent the afternoon at Route 44 in Acocks Green, Birmingham, where we shot the second of three mock news reports featuring characters from the show; the third (with Lizzie Hastings as “Marie”) is scheduled for Friday morning.

It’s been a fascinating experience, not least because Chrissie roped me in to play the interviewer; I won’t pretend to have anything like the talent displayed by the actors I was working opposite, but I think I managed to avoid total embarrassment.

Calling the Tune [2]

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The project I alluded to in a previous entry moved another step forward on Tuesday evening, when Chrissie Harper and I met with Rob Hoffman, owner of Birmingham’s Robannas Studios, and Kerrang! Radio presenter Johnny Doom. It so happens that Johnny and I both used to appear on Made in Birmingham TV, and experienced much the same unceremonious farewell, so it was good to get together in a more upbeat environment.

Discussions are still at an early stage, but we will be making an announcement about this project very soon. In the meantime, those of you on Twitter can follow us here.

Which People’s Princess?

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In the immediate wake of actress Carrie Fisher’s death, I was intrigued to see numerous references to Leia Organa, her iconic character in the original Star Wars trilogy, as some kind of role model for female empowerment. Really?

Leia is a princess — in other words, a feudal title inherited via her adoptive parents (most likely Alderaan’s monarch).
Leia is a senator — most likely a similar inheritance.
Leia has “the Force” — this time, from her birth father.

None of this strikes me as particularly empowering, and her story isn’t exactly inspirational, either. In the first film, she’s an less-than-successful spy who has to be rescued by a (male) family friend, her brother and a guy she subsequently falls in love with. By the third, she’s deliberately walking into a trap to rescue her new boyfriend and ends up dressed as a giant slug’s sex toy, before being whisked to safety by a tribe of feral teddy hears. Feeling motivated yet?

For me, Leia Organa isn’t a patch on, say, the Alien franchise’s Ellen Ripley, who has clearly broken through a chauvinist Plexiglas ceiling to become the bolshie warrant officer on a grubby refinery starship (thankfully, we were spared the planned scene where she and Captain Dallas make explicit the sexual relationship only vaguely hinted at in the final version). Everything that Ripley gets, she’s earned, and not simply handed because she’s got a rich family or her dead mom got knocked up by the chief assassin of a sinister cult. Now that’s an empowering role model.