YOU'VE GOT BLOG ON YOU

A range of genre orientated blog posts and editorials

ON THE BEGINNINGS OF SCENES

Screenplays are a very formal type of writing with a highly specific format and rules. This is because they are not just a way to tell a story, they are blueprints for making a movie. Sure, spec scripts are sometimes more sales tools than blueprints – designed to interest executives, directors, and cast in making the film. But they still have to look like a plan for production of a movie. After all, that’s the ultimate goal. With this in mind, today I want to focus on what the screenwriter must do when they open a scene. I read many scripts that fail to do this properly. Let’s start with the very first part of the scene: the slug line. First, I should address when you need a new slug l

TOBE HOOPER: 10 OF THE BEST

It’s a sad fact of life that as we gallop through the years, many of our heroes and oldest serving bastions of genre cinema are being lost to us. It’s been almost exactly two years that Wes Craven passed away, and George Romero departed not much more than a month ago. Now we’ve just had the sad news that Tobe Hooper has also died from natural causes. Although the famed director’s last film was back in 2013, his reputation and indelible influence on horror cinema has never diminished in stature and certainly can’t be underestimated. “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” alone terrified a generation and stamped itself on modern culture in a way that only mega-budgeted Hollywood blockbusters have been

JACK ATTACK

There are plenty of reasons why the infamous serial killer “Jack the Ripper” has never, ever left the public consciousness. The primary one being that the gruesome murders took place in the 1880’s, just as printed newspapers were becoming readily and cheaply available to all the masses. The deaths highlighted the radical social problems that existed in London during the latter part of the 19th Century, as well as providing the lurid publications of the time enough excuses to provide all the gory details. The Whitechapel murders were therefore arguably the first example of “click-bait”. Because of the extensive coverage, all of the information that swirled around the police investigation (bot

TABOO BUSTERS

Debut director Emiliano Rocha Minter’s WE ARE THE FLESH is an extraordinary and unsettling film experience about a young brother and sister roaming an apocalyptic city, who take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit, who takes them on a sexually-charged, nightmarish journey into an other-worldy dimension. The film, soon to be released by Arrow Video, is certainly not for the prudish or faint-hearted, featuring explicit sex and grotesque set pieces, building to a finale of demonically depraved proportions, making WE ARE THE FLESH extreme art cinema at its boldest and most taboo-bustingly bizarre. Here are six more films, also released by Arrow Video, that pushed the boundaries of

THE THREE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS YOUR STORY SHOULD ANSWER

(Spoilers: Gravity, Little Miss Sunshine) In my book, The Three Stages of Screenwriting, I describe what I refer to as the “Dramatic Question” of the story. This is the question that is asked by the Catalyst (also known as the Inciting Incident) and answered in the Resolution. At its most basic, the question is some form of: “Will the main character achieve their goal?” This question defines the scope of your story. On an unconscious level, the Catalyst lets the audience know what the plot is about by posing this question. The audience knows the story will be over when they get the answer. The Dramatic Question relates to plot. When I ask my students to define the Dramatic Question of the

MY FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE: FABIEN DELAGE

Fabien Delage is an award winning graphic designer, photographer and film-maker.He first broke onto the scene with his horror travelogue series Dead Crossroads and recently had his documentary Fury of the Demon play at London Frightfest. His latest feature (currently in production) is Cold Ground - a film described at 'The Descent meets The Blair Witch Project'. What's not to like?! Here, he tells us about his favourite horror movie, the infamous 'Freaks' (1932) I was 8 when I saw Freaks for the first time. I used to play in the living room while my Dad was working or watching movies. Back then, I watched adventure and monster movies. We had already been through the whole VHS collection of U

SINISTER: STORY ANALYSIS

Horror has pretty much always been my favourite genre. Like a lot of people of my generation, I saw a lot of movies years before I was supposed to (don’t ask how). Yeah, action movies were fun, sci-fi was a blast – but it was horror that really struck a nerve with me. I love being part of an audience and experiencing someone else’s vision of terror. But quite early on I realised that I not only wanted to watch horror films, I wanted to write horror films too. It’s a desire that is shared by many genre fans I think. I learned quite early on that knowing the genre you are writing within is vitally important. And so is knowing what works and what doesn’t. The best way to do this is to analyse a

THE EVIL DEAD

Director: Sam Raimi Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor One of the big problems with writing about classic movies is that views are well established; there is little new to be said and the consensus is the film is, well, classic. So what happens when you view something supposedly great and you don't agree? This is art of course, nobody's opinion is wrong. But you can run the risk of casting yourself out by swimming against the tide of something in the pantheon. Wherever I look, The Evil Dead is thought of as a classic. Personally, I thought it stank. Now, even if you love the film and instantly hate me for that line, stay with me a moment. Because, even though the f

MY FAVOURITE HORROR MOVIE: SIMEON HALLIGAN

Simeon Halligan is an English writer, director and producer best known for his survival horrors Splintered (2010) and White Settlers (2014). He is also one of the directors of the Grimmfest Horror Festival (which is imminent!) As if he wasn't busy enough, his latest feature Habit is currently in production and will be released early next year. Here, Simeon tells us about his favourite horror movie - one one of the best haunted house movies ever... The Haunting (1963) How the hell do you pick an all time favorite horror film? It's taken me a while to decide on this and even after I rewatched THE HAUNTING recently, with this piece in mind, I wasn't sure if I was making the right choice. I figu

HAUNTED BRITAIN

Ghost Hunter Laura Sian Dixon takes us on a journey of her TOP 10 HAUNTED LOCATIONS. 10. DRAKELOW TUNNELS I’ll start off with Drakelow Tunnels in Worcestershire, which I went to last June. I’ve chosen to include this place in my top 10 not because of the activity we experienced (which was pretty much non-existent apart from a few odd noises), but because of the place itself. Built as a shadow factory in the Second World War and intended as a nuclear bunker in the threat of a nuclear attack in the Cold War, Drakelow Tunnels is a very eerie place. It has all the right ingredients for a horror film; miles of pitch black tunnels that all look the same, leaving you confused as to where you are,

AN ADULTS GUIDE TO ANIMATION

Seoul Station – a thrilling tale of a zombie outbreak in South Korea - isn’t your typical animated fare - it features gut-munching zombies, brutal violence and white knuckle tension. Definitely not one for the kids, but why should kids have all the fun? Putting the Disneys, Pixars and Ghiblis of the world to one side for a moment, here are a selection of animated films that run the gamut from outrageous and erotic to surreal and irreverent; you should perhaps watch when the little ones are tucked in bed! FRITZ THE CAT (1972) Ralph Bakshi’s legendary countercultural comedy, based on Robert Crumb’s character, was the first cartoon to get an X-certificate in the US. And little wonder. The story

TOP ALIEN INVASION FILMS

In FINAL RECALL, Wesley Snipes is a no-nonsense survivalist trying to stop aliens from taking over planet Earth, and attempting to convince a cabin full of teens what is at stake. All the elements of a knockout aliens versus humans sci-fi chiller are in place - creepy creatures, dazzling effects, abductions into a flying saucer, and Snipes charging around the woods in army gear, Predator-style, with a pump-action shotgun, blasting at black-eyed beasties in an attempt to save humanity. Here are some other choice alien invasion films to keep you watching the skies… DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (1963) This adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic novel sees Earth attacked my giant plants - triffids - after

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