HC: Where did the idea for Geoffrey’s Heart come from?
SB: You know I always come up with ideas in my dreams. Always. I have a dream and then I try to interpret it and make sense of it, and that's how my films come about. This was no exception. Of course dreams are never a coincidence and they are always about something deep routed in your psyche. And Geoffrey's Heart, I think is, as strange as it sounds, inspired by my experiences as a child. By the relationship I had with my parents growing up. When I was 13 my whole world changed as I got very ill and that was a turning point in my life and what inspired the premise of Geoffrey's Heart. My parents became completely different people. They were very young when they had me so I didn't get a lot of attention from them growing up, but after my illness it all changed. They became extremely overprotective and they still are. It's too much sometimes. But that shift in our relationship is what inspired Geoffrey's Heart in a way. Although it wasn't straight away apparent even to me. Geoffrey's Heart is much more than just that, but that's where it takes off.
HC: Did it take long to write?
SB: The short didn't take long at all. Couple of hours at most. I think because I had the idea for a while. I actually had this idea for the previous Short Cuts To Hell competition, but then I realised that I don't want it to be a short, I want it to be a feature film. So, I started thinking about the plot and over the course of a year I developed it in my head. I started writing the script as well but it’s far from finished.
HC: How much of the restricted budget did you use?
SB: We actually had almost exactly £666, as per the rules of the competition. We had a great camera and that's where most of the money went. But we did keep the crew well fed too.
HC: It is incredibly atmospheric with a very disturbing payoff, are you a fan of gruesome horror?
SB: First of all thanks very much for that, I was going with atmospheric. I am a big fan of smart horror and films that are made very well in the sense that they are aesthetically pleasing. Like The Shining, like Rosemary's Baby, like Let The Right One In, like hauntingly beautiful Japanese films, Battle Royale is probably my favourite film; and of course Korean horror films, Old Boy for example now that's a horror film that has everything, also like Dario Argento horror… I really don't like what's been coming out lately though, it's all just either remakes or very flat, uninspiring films that all basically have the same plot with slightly different dressing. And most of those films are really not about anything. They don't have any substance to them, and horror is such an amazing genre. It's very story oriented and you have no limits to what you can do, no rules, no right or wrong. You can really let your imagination unravel, but unfortunately few filmmakers actually do. And there is nothing more wonderful I think than actually talking about something very real through a genre that bends reality. I am also a huge fan of comedy horror and fantasy horror like many of Tim Burton's films that's another direction I like to take with my films, but not this one obviously.
HC: Did it take long to shoot and edit together?
SB: We had one day for the shoot. The last scene was especially challenging, because we were losing light very quickly but we just couldn't get the mother's reaction, camera movement and big reveal combination that I wanted. And we actually didn't get it quite right (I think it still needs a few takes) In the feature I'll make sure we get it. And I am very passionate about this project and I really hope to make it into a feature film regardless of the outcome of the competition. But it would be so great to win I've never made a feature before and looking for funding and for producers to take it on is a very challenging process. Oh, and the editing took me couple of hours. I edited it myself and all my shots were planned very carefully in advance so it was quite easy. Although, all of the shots were very long and involved camera movement. I love telling a story in as little takes as possible. And it was torture for me to cut them all up so that the film would fit into the three minute limit of the competition. But I am happy I managed it without cutting up the last shot in the end.
HC: What was the hardest part of creating Geoffrey’s Heart?
SB: It was definitely figuring out how to tell a story in just three minutes. So in the end I decided to keep it a little bit obscure, so that there is no conclusion to it. So that the viewers would hopefully be curious to see what happens next. The special effects are always challenging but so much fun. We weren't sure how we were going to go about it with the last scene at first. We actually considered real guts from the butchers, but then decided against it as it would be extremely unhygienic. So Lara Myles, who is my business partner at our production company, and also a brilliant make-up artist, created guts from kitchen rolls and silicone in the end. I thought they were great. We really don't like resorting to CGI. I really like all the effects done in camera on set as much as possible.
HC: What did it feel like seeing your work on the Horror Channel?
SB: It was really great. I just turned on the TV and there is was. I have never had anything shown on television before and that was definitely a very special moment. I even recorded it.
HC: Do you have a plan as to how to extend this idea if it wins Short Cuts To Hell 2?
SB: Yes, as I mentioned this was never a short film and the challenge for me was to shorten it not expand it. So I definitely have a plan, but I still need to work out the details. The films is essentially going to be about what a mother is willing to do in order to keep her son safe and well-fed, so she has to start somewhere not too far out of the realms of her comfort zone and then escalate as the film progresses to something she'd never thought she'd be capable of doing. Right now I am figuring out all the supporting characters so that they are all interesting and multi-layered in their own rights.
HC: Are you working on any other projects at the moment?
SB: At Clockpunk films, our production company, we've just finished shooting a long form music video, and we are still working on it to get it into shape. And I always write little ideas down that I come up with and I have tons of potential short films that I'd like to shoot sometimes soon. I am applying for various funding for those ideas.
Stewart Bridle, Channel Manager for Horror Channel, selects the FrightFest films to catch at this year's event.
It's that time again when the most torturous experience isn't being slowly sliced in half by a deranged chainsaw-wielding maniac but actually deciding what to watch from the massive line-up of over 70 films at this year's FrightFest London on the August Bank holiday weekend. Unless you've found some mad scientist to clone you several times you'll never catch everything so here are ten devious delights I recommend this year.
Today marks the UK release of Unfriended: Dark Web. The latest nightmare offering an unnerving and unflinching look into what lies beyond the everyday realms of the internet.
When Matias (Colin Woodell) stumbles across a new laptop which runs a lot better than his current hunk o' junk, he connects with his friends online for their usual game night. He soon finds out that the computer he's picked up has a connection to the Dark Web, a horrific, and unmonitored part of the internet. Matias shares his findings, and his screen, with his friends during the game night, and finds himself the target of the laptop's original owner... who will ...
To celebrate FrightFest 2018, taking place in London during the August Bank Holiday, Horror Channel is dedicating thirteen nights to past festival hits.
Amongst the twenty-six fear-filled favourites, the channel will air four UK TV premieres: Simeon Halligan's 'terror-torial' home invasion shocker White Settlers; Jeff Maher's crowd-pleasingly ghoulish orgy of sex and gore Bed Of The Dead; Chad Archibald's breath-choking supernatural thriller The Drownsman; and the hauntingly sinister Nightworld, directed by Patricio Valladares and starring horror icon Robert Englund.
Plus, we're broadcasting three network premieres; Alberto Marini's sly and witty scaremonger Summer Camp; Bernard Rose's Frankenstein, a s...
Nature gets nasty on Horror Channel in July with Animal Attack Season, a beastly collection of movies which will claw their way into your nightmares each Saturday at 9pm.
The season starts on the 7th with the big screen version of a Stephen king classic, Cujo. When sweet St. Bernard dog Cujo is bitten by a bat, he morphs into a dangerous beast and goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna (Dee Wallace) gets caught in Cujo's crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro). Stuck in their car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal. Then the following week a movie that has real bite, Burning Bright. Johnny Gavenau's latest get-quick-rich scheme is to turn his Florida...
Kids! What are they like? Some can be cute, others can be little devils... literally!
Today is the 50th anniversary of the classic shocker Rosemary's Baby so here we take a look at five of the finest devil child movies. Do you agree with our list and which ones would you refuse to babysit?! Note we have not included the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Junior as that's horrific in other ways (!)
5: Devil's Due (2014)
A recently married couple on honeymoon experience a bizarre warning, a long journey, come across some strange symbols, then are drugged, left in a room and a couple of weeks later the wife discovers she's pregnant! Her pregnancy is a time of torture for her and convinced she's being watched. Could...
From horrific hauntings and supernatural sorcery to alien invasions and blood-sucking battles, Saturday nights on Horror Channel at 9pm in June will be devoted to John Carpenter, one of the true Masters of Horror.
The celebratory season is highlighted by the network premieres of Carpenter's classic car-rage chiller Christine, with the superb Harry Dean Stanton, and John Carpenter's Vampires, a horror Western starring James Woods, as a vengeful, stake-wielding bloodsucker hunter. It also includes iconic favourite The Fog, the high-kicking fantasy thriller Big Trouble in Little China and his timely sci-fi political thriller They Live.
The Fog on the 2nd is set in a Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over ...
Sam Raimi's horror masterpiece, The Evil Dead is rightly regarded as a true horror classic.
So, it's weird to think then that there are still some viewers have yet to enjoy this ultimate experience in gruelling Horror.
Here's 13 reasons why you need to see The Evil Dead when it's shown on Horror Saturday May 26th.
1: The film spawned a cult hero in star Bruce Campbell and gave the world Ash Williams.
2: The BBFC deemed it to be placed on the Video Nasties list in 1983 even in cut form and not released uncut until 2001.
3: Stephen King liked it saying in 1972 that it was "The most ferociously original horror film".
4: The cover art for the VHS was the first...
This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.
The gates of Hell are well and truly opened on Horror Channel in May, as the UK's most popular TV destination for genre fans plays host to chilling Chinese legends, sinister sorcery, deadly zombies and a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There are four prime-time UK TV premieres this month, headed by Caroline Labreche and Steeve Leonard's unusual and compelling sci-fi thriller Radius on the 25th.
Premiered at FrightFest in 2017, it weaves an ingenious plot from the moment Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in...
Everyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's monochrome masterpiece Psycho will know that how it created one of the most enduring horror icons of the 20th century, Norman Bates. Played to chilling perfection by Anthony Perkins and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch which was first published in 1959 the movie was a benchmark in the horror/thriller genre and Hitchcock sent the rest of his career trying to match it.
Bates was a reflection, an amalgam of several real-life killers, most notably Ed Gein, whose ability to be in plain sight of his hometown whilst committing hideous crimes is almost as hideous as the crimes he committed.
Much has been written about the movie Psycho, but what about the c...
In case you hadn't heard, A Quiet Place has opened in cinemas nationwide.
The film, starring real-life couple, John Krasinski (US adaptation of The Office and 13 Hours) and Emily Blunt (Sicario, Wind Chill and The Devil Wears Prada) takes place in a post-apocalyptic(-ish) environment, in which strange wild creatures that hunt by sound have destroyed a significant amount of the population.
Krasinski and Blunt's characters, husband and wife Lee and Evelyn try to lead a life with their family as quietly (and by that we mean literally) as possible, in able to ensure their survival.
We sat down with the director and one half of Krasinski-Blunt to talk about the film, what scares him the most, and which...