Tag Archive | "2014"

Director Adam Wimpenny – Interview

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Director Adam Wimpenny – Interview

Posted on 04 August 2014 by Chris Ford

blackwood-poster

This week sees the release of ‘Blackwood’ a classic English ghost story with a bit of an update. With a very strong cast including Russell Tovey Ed Stoppard and Paul Kaye Blackwood prooves to be a very enjoyable take on the Ghost Story including much that wasnt expected.

Last week I caught up with Blackwood director Adam Wimpenny and asked him a few questions about Blackwood:

Adam

If you had to summarize the film in one line what would it be?

Blackwood is a modern take on the classic English ghost story, with a twist.

What drew you to make Blackwood as your first feature film ?

I always wanted to make a ghost story, as a kid I grew up in a big, old, drafty farm-house on the Yorkshire moors so I think it always got my over-active imagination thinking there were things living in the attic. I’m a huge fan of suspense and tension movies and they’re a lot of fun to direct, so Blackwood seemed like a perfect first film.

How did the script translate to film? Were there difficult aspects to capture?

There were certainly a number of ambitious aspect to the script. Joe the writer had put into the script a a number of scenes that required some dangerous stunts and special effects including huge storm scene. As a director you get excited by these things on the page but on the day of shooting you wonder how on earth you’re going to pull these things off, especially when you’re working to a tight budget. I remember standing around in a freezing cold forrest with all these poor actors being dowsed in ice cold water for hours on end. I had to make a lot of apologies at the end of that filming day!

Blackwood has a very talented cast, you have worked with Russel Tovey and Paul Kaye before, were they obvious choices to you?

I’d directed Paul in a TV comedy series called Strutter and I’d made a short film with Russell called ROAR. Both of them had been fantastic to work with and I was really keen to get them involved with Blackwood. In the script the antagonists are Jack and Patrick, a local groundsman and a priest, and I thought they’d make a great double act together. I was really drawn to the idea of counter casting two actors known mostly for their comedy as these dark, sinister characters and they really deliver.

The strongest part of the film for me is the final 30mins, things unravel, they aren’t as they seemed, was that part of the story difficult to tell without giving things away in the lead up to it?

We really wanted to make a film that rewarded a repeat viewing. All the films on my DVD shelf are movies that have intricate twisty-turny plotting. There’s something satisfying about playing with the audiences perception and point of view in a movie, and as long as you don’t cheat and play by the rules then I think the audience enjoys being led down the garden path by film makers. However, trying to make sure the story is water tight and everything stacks up always involves a lot of head scratching and when you’re shooting the film all out of sequence as you frequently do in film making, it can become a real headache!

Was it difficult to get a film like Blackwood a cinema release especially in the summer up against lots of US blockbusters ?

Releasing a film is never easy, there’s a lot of films out there and it’s difficult to get heard above the noise of the big ten pole block busters. However, people who have seen the film have been very supportive and some of the major cinema chains have taken us under wing. We’ve resorted to using some novel marketing strategies too. Joe the writer is one of the worlds leading street artists and he created a huge piece of glowing 3D street art that was photographed in Canary Wharf last week to promote the film. The piece has gone viral and captured peoples imaginations so you have to do some left field thinking to get the people
talking about it.

Would you say the British film industry is in a good place at the moment?

I certainly think there’s a great deal of talent here and there are many opportunities for film makers although I wish there was more UK money available to support new emerging UK talent. A great number of Hollywood projects are coming to the UK to use our studios, cast and crew so we’re doing something right but I’d love to see us making more ambitious genre movies that can appeal to an international audience whilst retaining our British sensibilities.

You have previously worked on a lot of TV, The Real Hustle stands out for me as a bit of a classic and I imagine was a lot of fun to work on, did things ever go wrong? Were the ‘Hustlers’ rumbled much?

That was a great show to work on. Every day was a rush as it was always touch-and-go as to whether we’d get busted. Quite often I’d spend half a day setting up a location with hidden cameras and rehearsing with Alex, Paul and Jess but when it came to pulling off the scam all I could do was go hide in my covert van, sit back and watch things unfold. It felt like being in some MI6 sting operation. Amazingly I can’t remember one time we got busted which goes to show how easily people can be seduced with a smile and a bit of charm. The biggest problem became other people recognising us during a sting. Often you’d here some kids yelling ‘Oi! Real hustle!!’ which didn’t help. The guys started waring comedy moustaches for a few weeks but they looked so silly they didn’t last.

Whats next for you, any more films in the pipeline?

Working with the same team again I’m in the process of setting up our next film. It’s a conspiracy thriller and we’re talking about shooting it in Singapore. It’s a great script with lots of atmosphere and suspense again so if it goes the distance it’ll be a fantastic project to direct.

Thank you for your time and good luck with Blackwood

Blackwood is out in cinemas now and I highly recommended you check it out.

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Gnorman The Gnome

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Gnorman The Gnome

Posted on 28 May 2014 by Chris Ford

With the World Cup only a few weeks away we are starting to see a mass of England themed things hit the shelves, one of the more fun things Ive seen is Gnorman the Gnome from Asda, now I admit I didn’t read the press release properly when I asked if I could be sent one so imagine my shock when I received the massive 3ft tall Gnome last week!

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Yes I was a expecting a normal gnome but what a pleasant suprise Gnorman is! and hes certainly a talking point when people come over.

If you would like your own Gnorman the Gnome they are available in ASDA stores now and online at direct.asda.com for £25 each

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RoboCop Competition

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RoboCop Competition

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Chris Ford

With the fantastic re-imaging of 80s classic RoboCop out on DVD on June 9th STUDIOCANAL have kindly provided us with 3 copies on DVD and 3x Tshirts to give away, for your chance to win a DVD and Shirt all you have to do is email us RoboCop’s real name to enterthecomp@gmail.com by June 9th

3 winners will receive a DVD and T-shirt each

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If you aren’t lucky enough to win our competition you can still buy RoboCop 2014 on dvd for only £10.00 from Amazon which is a bit of a bargain.

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Top 10 Michael Keaton Films

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Top 10 Michael Keaton Films

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Chris Ford

Michaelkeat

Hes often forgotten but Michael Keaton was a massive deal in the late 80s and early 90s and has appeared in some absolute classics movies, if you are younger than thirty some of these may of passed you by so with his role in the new Robocop sparking our interests in all things Keaton again we thought we would bring you a list of our all time top Michael Keaton movies

Night Shift (1982)
It was Keaton’s work alongside James Belushi in Working Stiffs which led to a co-starring role in Ron Howard’s comedy film Night Shift. Playing the fast-talking schemer Bill “Blaze Blazejowski alongside Henry Winkler, Keaton’s was the acclaimed role and this subsequently led to further comedic performances in films including Johnny Dangerously and Gung Ho.

Beetlejuice (1988)
His seminal performance in Tim Burton’s horror-comedy classic Beetlejuice, alongside Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder, was the film which truly pushed Keaton to Hollywood’s A-list. Originally turning down the role, the actor now deems Beetlejuice to be the favourite film he has done perhaps realising that he provided the world with a character for the ages. A confirmed sequel is in the works, with Keaton in talks to reprise the role.

Batman (1989)
Re-teaming with Tim Burton to star as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Keaton’s career was given a further boost. Burton cast the actor due to thinking he was the only actor who could portray somebody with the darkly obsessive personality that the character demands, his casting was met with hostility from the die- hard fans, preferring somebody who fit the physicality displayed in the comic books. Eventually, Keaton won audiences around, as well as critics, leading Batman to become the biggest hit of the year.

Pacific Heights (1990)
Here, Keaton played Carter Hayes, a tenant in the exclusive Pacific Heights neighbourhood who turns nasty when he is asked to leave by a newly-married couple (Matthew Modine and Melanie Griffith). In this role, Keaton displayed a disturbingly tense side he had yet to show audiences he could play with ease.

Batman Returns (1992)
A sequel to Tim Burton’s Batman was inevitable, as was the opportunity for Keaton to don the cape and cowl once more. Met by even more critical acclaim despite its darker undertones, Keaton did well to stand firmly amidst more memorable turns from the supporting cast, including Danny DeVito as The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Selena ‘Catwoman’ Kyle and Christopher Walken as millionaire industrialist Max Shreck. When Burton departed the franchise ahead of the third outing, Keaton also left the juggernaut franchise, a sign of respect to the director who had guided him to superstardom.

Jackie Brown (1997)
Another role in which the actor has reprised, Keaton starred in the Quentin Tarantino film Jackie Brown, as Agent Ray Nicolette, a beloved character who crops up in Elmore Leonard novels. With orders to intercept Pam Grier’s Jackie Brown in order to capture criminal Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), Keaton also popped up as Ray Nicolette for a cameo in Steven Soderbergh’s critically-acclaimed Out of Sight in 2000.

Jack Frost (1998)
Turning in a performance in festive family film Jack Frost was next on the list, starring as a family man who dies in a car crash and comes back to life as a snowman. Despite not being well-received, it was a film which showcased the actor’s willingness to broaden his horizons having starred in comedies, blockbusters and thrillers.

White Noise (2004)
..and next on the list was horror, with White Noise referring to the electronic voice phenomena (EVP) where voices from ‘the other side’ can be heard on audio recordings. Keaton played architect Jonathan Rivers who, upon his wife’s disappearance, discovers recorded messages from Anna through EVP. Despite poor reviews, the film was a sleeper hit.

Toy Story 3 (2010)
After a slew of performances in family film Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005), Chick Hicks in Cars (2006) and a rumoured appearance in a little TV series called LOST (he was originally slated to play Jack Shephard for one episode before the writer’s decided they wanted Jack to a regular…), Keaton provided the voice work for Ken in the long-awaited and much-loved trilogy closer, Toy Story 3 – a hilarious role which inevitably led to another comedy role (akin to those which launched his career) in The Other Guys (2010)

Need for Speed (2014)

Car-racing thriller Need for Speed featured an eccentric performance from Keaton as Monarch, a reclusive and crazed host of an underground supercar race competition which features the main cast (including Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul). Drawing on many of his past influences, Keaton takes something that appeared miniscule on the page, but turns in a hugely memorable role. All in a day’s work.

RoboCop (2014)
Keaton plays the role of Raymond Sellars in an off-kilter and reserved manner, the CEO of OmniCorp covering up the corruption that is infesting the company which comprises most of America. Taking his marketing team, as well as scientist Dr. Dennett Norton (Gary Oldman), with the creation of this new law enforcement product – a robotic policeman comprised of cop Alex Murphy, killed in the line of duty. Pushed to the edge and willing to do anything to prevent his corporation from crashing down around him. Keaton plays Sellars with an air of unpredictability and ruthlessness, remind audiences why the actor is always a welcome presence in films.

RoboCop
is released on Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD on June 9th 2014 from STUDIOCANAL

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