ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Exclusive Interview With Composer Jeff Wayne
By James Whittington, Sunday 24th May 2009
It may come as a bit of a shock to some, but Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War The War Of The Worlds has been with us for over 30 years. To celebrate this fact and to coincide with a new tour of this musical masterpiece we spoke to Jeff himself about his love of this piece of music and his plans for the future. No one would have believed what he had to say!   ZH: So then, here we are celebrating over 30 years of your musical version of The War Of The Worlds, does it feel that it’s been that long?   JW: Yes it does!! But in a good way, actually. The world and life personally has changed so much, TWOTW remains a very close friend that has travelled with me during it all.   ZH: You’re taking it out on the road for a third tour later in the year, do you still get a buzz when performing it live?   JW: There are two stages to each new tour we do:

1.  The pre-production which is the phase where new ideas, testing new technologies, meeting with potential new cast members, and anything else that the newest production will have in it.
2.  Performing TWOTW. As the conductor, I have the best seat in the house- I’m in the middle of all the music and live performances from the guest artists, and all around me are these incredible technological ingredients. For 2 hours or so, I feel like a hovercraft – my feet don’t return to earth until I’m back in my dressing room after each show.   ZH: Have you made any dramatic changes to the show this time around?   JW: There is a range of new ingredients - one major one is from the world of illusion, levitation specifically and it involves one of our new guest artists – Jennifer Ellison in the role of Beth, Parson Nathaniel’s wife. There are a range of other new special effects, and for the first time we have our own travelling stage which has allowed us to re-design our stage, and conceal things that previously had to reside on top of it.   ZH: Why did you re-cast some of the vocal talent for this tour?   JW: This is our 3rd UK tour, and after the UK we play shows in Holland and Germany, before we head out to the US and Dubai. In 2007 we’ve also played Australia and New Zealand over a 5-week period. Every tour there have been cast changes – sometimes because of the availability of certain performers, or, as in the case of down under, 3 cast members who were major names there came in for that tour because our promoters felt that they would add extra value to TWOTW. At all times, we been so fortunate that no matter who has played a given role, they’ve all been superb and given their own individual slant on the part they’ve played.   ZH: Will this be the last time you’ll be taking your musical version of The War Of The Worlds on tour? If so would you allow anyone else to perform it live?   JW: At this juncture I’m firmly attached, but you never know. What tomorrow might offer. Recently we’ve been asked to explore a west end production by a major west end producer – that type of production would have to be created for the scale and expectancy of a west end production. Having a 10-piece band and 46-member string orchestra with me conducting wouldn’t work in that context, so it’s about judging each production on their own merits.   ZH: You’ve got a really cool piece of merchandise being produced for sale at each gig, that is a CD recording of the actual event. Was that a hard decision to make for it may capture any orchestral or vocal errors?   JW: Good point, but isn’t that what ‘live’ performance is all about? It doesn’t matter whether you’re a band, a solo artist or TWOTW – if we goof, unlike a recording studio, you can’t stop the show and announce to the audience that we’re going to take that bit again! But that is the whole adrenalin rush of live performing – to try and be perfect every show.   ZH: We heard a few years back that a movie based on your musical piece was in production, is it nearing completion yet?   JW: That’s the CGI feature film we had started production on before TWOTW alive on stage! Came along. We’re hoping to return to it from next year when these next tours are completed. We’re not a huge producing company, and our team is very hands on, so touring and producing a major feature film at the same time simply hasn’t been possible. But the tours themselves have benefited by having some 100 minutes of high definition CGI that runs on our 100-foot wide x 20 foot high screen in perfect sync with the live performances (including some changes added in this year) that without the year or so of R+D on the film side, would never have been ready for the first tour in 2006.   ZH: So when the tour is over what plans do you have? Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?   JW: Aside from putting energy back into the CGI film, I have another musical work – The Call Of The Wild by American author Jack London that I’ve started sketching out already. I’m hoping to have enough expanse of time to realize the full potential of that wonderful story. TWOTW never stops to amaze me with new projects opening up regularly, so whatever I say today, may have to be re-explored later on, so it’s best to just leave it there!   ZH: And for the future, how about a tour of one your other major musical pieces, Spartacus?   JW: It’s been a most interesting thing that since our tours of the TWOTW started in 2006, it’s probably been one of the most asked questions about whether Spartacus might become another multi-media live arena tour. Aside from certain creative ingredients to the score that I want to re-visit, I most definitely think Spartacus would excite live audiences in its own, unique way.   ZH: Jeff Wayne, thank you very much.

Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds is on tour throughout the UK in June. Click here for the latest information.        

MORE ARTICLES
Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted in Features, Interviews, Tuesday 14th September 2021
Tom Paton on the set of G-Loc-3-1

Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.

Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?

It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Escape From New York score to be released on blue vinyl
Posted in News, Wednesday 8th September 2021
SILLP1493-EFNY-visual-blue-transparent

Originally released on the 31st of July 2015, the vinyl edition of John Carpenter's classic 1981 thriller, Escape From New York mirrored the expanded CD release from 2000, with over 20 minutes of previously unreleased music plus music from scenes deleted from the final print and original dialogue highlights.

The masters for that CD were re-mixed from the original multi-track session tapes by long-time Carpenter associate Alan Howarth.

This is the first time on coloured vinyl for this LP, all previous pressings having been on black vinyl and will be released January 21st, 2022 thanks to Silva Screen Records.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sean Nichols Lynch writer and director of Red Snow
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
RedSnow-poster

Final film of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 is a fangtastic (sorry) twist on the vampire movie, Sean Nichols Lynch's Red Snow. We had a quick chat about this blood-splattered shocker which has a deep vein of humour running through it.

HC: Where did the idea for Red Snow come from?

SL: I was trying to get a different horror feature financed and was struggling to get it off the ground. It was a frustrating period for me, and I honestly felt like I'd never get to make another film. I happened to run into Dennice, who I knew from my film school days at San Francisco State. We got to talking and I started to think about how great it would be to just drop everything and ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Alex Kahuam writer and director of Forgiveness
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Alex Kahuam 1 Forgiveness

Director Alex Kahuam has brought to Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition a brutal and intelligent film, Forgiveness. Almost devoid of dialogue, it's an excursion into the raw side of reality. Here he chats about this movie and his plans for the future.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when growing up which made you want to go into filmmaking?

AK: When we were kids my brother and I my parents took us a lot to the theaters and this is where everything began for me. I just loved the experience so much and till this day I thank them because they triggered this on me and for many years filmmaking has been my life. While growing up Hollywood films have always be...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Sarah Appleton co-writer and co-director of The Found Footage Phenomenon
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Sarah Appleton

The final documentary of FrightFest Online Edition looks to one of the most misunderstood genres out there. The Found Footage Phenomenon dissects this often over-looked type of movie with interviews from many key players. We chatted to co-writer and co-director Sarah Appleton about this very informative piece.

HC: Have you always been a fan of horror movies?

SA: Yes, I grew up watching Hammer horror movies and Japanese horror because my dad was a film critic, so I used to look through all his VHS tapes he'd taped off the late night tv and pick something to watch. Evil Dead II was one of the first horror movies I ever saw, aged about 8.

HC: Can you recall the first fo...

SHARE: READ MORE
Taxi rides and crumbling hotels - Day 5 of Arrow Video FrightFest Online Edition: Part 2
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
NightDrive-poster

As we enter the final evening of Arrow Films FrightFest Online Edition 2021 there's still plenty to look forward to starting with a belter from directors Brad Baruh and Meghan Leon, Night Drive. Ride-share app driver Russell picks up his Hollywood fare Charlotte... and his whole life turns upside down. Slipping him a wad of cash, she hires him for the rest of the evening. Their first stop at her ex's place sees Charlotte running out the door clutching a tiny suitcase being chased. They make their escape, but accidentally run over a pedestrian, setting in motion a chain of gruesome events that will go to places Russell could never have imagined in his wildest dreams. What starts off as a simpl...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Josh Stifter director of Greywood's Plot
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
GreywoodsPlot-1

There are a number of monochrome movies at FrightFest this year and one of the stand out ones is Josh Stifter's Greywood's Plot so we had a quick chat with him about it.

HC: Was there one movie you saw when you were younger that made you want to be in the filmmaking business?

JS: Beetlejuice. I saw it when I was 5 years old. My family all got the flu and my mom went and rented it. This was back in the day when you didn't have access as easily to movies so if you rented a movie, it often would get watched a couple times before it was returned. Since we had nothing else to do, we all just laid around sick watching Beetlejuice over and over. I became obsessed. It was the first tim...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Conor Stechschulte writer of Ultrasound
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

Based on his own graphic novel 'Generous Bosom', Conor Stechschulte has written a tight and tense script for Ultrasound which is showing today at Arrow Films Fright Online Edition. We chatted to him about the process of bringing his original idea to the big screen.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to become a writer?

CS: I did! At about 7 or 8 I went from wanting to be a fighter pilot to wanting to be a writer. My formal education is in visual art, but I've always had narratives at the heart of all the creative work that I make and have never really stopped writing in one form or another.

HC: Was there any one person who inspired you?

CS: I can't...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Rob Schroeder director of Ultrasound
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Ultrasound-1

The feature debut of Rob Schroeder, producer of Sun Choke and Beyond The Gates, Ultrasound is a startling puzzle box Sci-Fi mystery and playing today at Arrow Films FrightFest Online Event. We chatted to Rob about this chilling movie.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be in filmmaking?

RS: Not really. When I was young, I loved going to the movie theatre every week, but I didn't see filmmaking as a career because in my town I didn't know any filmmakers. The movies were always so special for me and even sacred, so at a young age I did sense the magic.

HC: How did become attached to this project?

RS: I developed the project, by reaching out to Cono...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Peter Daskaloff director and co-writer of Antidote
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Peter Daskaloff Anitdote

Peter Daskaloff has brought his nerve-jangling movie Antidote to FrightFest Online Eidtion 2021 so we chatted to him about this complex and intriguing movie.

HC: What is your writing method when working alongside someone else?

PD: I usually write alone. But for Antidote, I had to hire a co-writer because the subject was complex. I needed another set of eyes to look at it from outside my box. Matt Toronto was recommended to me by my executive producer, Ian Michaels, who has worked with Matt before. The collaboration was a bit bumpy, but the resulting script turned out pretty good.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

PD: I had a casti...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Francesco Erba writer and director of As in Heaven, So on Earth
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
Francesco Erba As In Heaven director

As In Heaven, So On Earth mixes the found footage genre with incredible animation to deliver a truly unique take on the format. The movie effortlessly moves from its gothic animation to cutting edge technology footage and brings together a tale which is emotional and utterly heart breaking in equal measure. We chatted to its writer and director Francesco Erba as it plays at FrightFest Online Edition 2021.

HC: Where did the idea for As in Heaven, So on Earth come from?

FE: As in Heaven, So on Earth was born not only from one specific idea but, as very often occurs, from many different ones, different influences and life experien...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Casey Dillard actor and writer of Killer Concept
Posted in Frightfest, Sunday 5th September 2021
KillerConcept-2

If you managed to catch Driven the other year at FrightFest then you'll need to catch Killer Concept today. Writer Casey Dillard is back alongside director Glenn Payne but this time serial killers are the target. We chatted to Casey about this movie.

HC: It's been a couple of years since we last chatted, apart from Killer Concept, what have you been up to?

CD: Mostly avoiding Covid and trying to find work-arounds so that I can still perform safely.

HC: Where did the idea for Killer Concept come from?

CD: Glenn wanted to make a simple movie with minimal people while our core filmmaking team was unable to go to work so we kicked around a lot of ideas and KC wa...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Nightbreed
NIGHTBREED
Wednesday 22nd September
9.00 PM
The Quiet Ones
THE QUIET ONES
Thursday 23rd September
9.00 PM
Avalon - Beyond The Abyss
AVALON - BEYOND THE ABYSS
Sunday 26th September
6.40 PM