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Exclusive Interview With FrightFest Man Greg Day
By James Whittington, Saturday 7th August 2010
Publicity Director, one-time thespian and all round nice guy, Greg Day is one of the four members of the FrightFest gang. Here, in an exclusive interview, Greg chats about his time before FrightFest and what the future may hold for the brand. (Photo by Steven Hurst)
HC: Is it true you used to be an actor?
GD: Yes. The height of my short-lived fame came in Grange Hill, where, as Geoff, an ex-pupil turned bike thief, I got caught nicking and ‘bundled’ by the whole school.
HC: How did you get started in the world of PR?
GD: I’d formed a theatre production company as an excuse to put on my own plays. This resulted in a massive overdraft. I took on a job as a runner for Columbia Pictures to pay off the debt. The then Head of PR liked me and plonked me in the press office re-writing the press notes coming in from America. An opening came up for a press officer and he persuaded me to take it.
HC: You formed Clout Communications in 2008 along with Kevin Wilson and David Burns; why did you decide to venture out by yourselves?
GD: I’d formed a kind of PR discussion group (I’m a bit of a social animal). We used to meet once a month at Grouchos to network, exchange news and get drunk. David and Kevin, whom I’d known for years, were part of the group and we gradually realised that we all wanted the same thing - to branch out from our own PR enclaves but not lose our independence and style of doing things. It’s been a great success and I think we’d all agree it was one the best decisions we’ve ever taken.
HC: Your client list is incredibly varied, is it this variation that helps keep you fresh, meaning you’re not dealing with the same kind of artist/company etc. all the time?
GD: Our client list reflects our own personalities. Kevin loves musical theatre and the big West End shows. David is great at handling the complex psyches of comedians and the kind of performers and theatre companies who inhabit the ‘art-house’ scene. My background is in film and TV and I’ve worked a lot with celebrities. Also, we all appreciate talent so we’ll take on anyone or any project that we find stimulating, challenging, fun and rewarding. Also, we’ve all either performed or produced ourselves, so we can see things from the client’s perspective. I’m also a qualified psychotherapist which comes in handy!
HC: How did you get involved with FrightFest?
GD: I’d met Alan (Jones) whilst working at the Columbia press office and liked him immediately. Our friendship really blossomed when I invited him on the set of a horror film I was the Unit Publicist on in Gstaad in Switzerland. One of the producers killed himself so the film folded, leaving most of the crew stranded, unpaid and mutinous. I sprained my ankle trying to save a midget from falling down a hill (don’t ask) and Alan was great. I will always remember us doing an aerobics class together conduced by Deborah Shelton – she of Dallas fame. Fast-forwarding, I’d supported Alan during the Shock Around The Clock and Fantasm days and when he asked me if I wanted to get more directly involved with FrightFest I jumped at the chance. I could see the enormous potential straight away.
HC: Are you involved in the choosing of films that are shown?
GD: Not really. Alan and Paul are the masters and I trust their judgement completely. Occasionally, when there is a dispute over a film, or a split decision, I’ll be asked for my opinion.
HC: FrightFest is such a well known brand now; do you think it could get any bigger?
GD: Yes, definitely, but the key is for this to happen gradually, as has been the case so far. We will put on more regional events and we have plans to make the London event even more appealing. Also, we’ve just launched a bi-monthly E-Zine. However, it’s the fans that make FrightFest the brand that it is. We must always listen to them.
HC: What’s next for FrightFest and what other projects are you working on?
GD: We have our Halloween event, which, this year, is at the Empire. Very exciting.
Other Clout projects include Derren Brown’s next TV and stage shows, Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide, released by Nucleus Films, Avenue Q, Doug Stanhope, Thriller Live and we’ve just taken on Katzenjammer, who can be described as “Two comedians, four hands and one piano”.
HC: Do you have a top five of movies shown at FrightFest and what’s your most vivid memory from past events?
GD: My top five, in no particular order are: Pan’s Labyrinth, Martyrs, Living & The Dead, Insomnia and Switchblade Romance. Tons of great memories but two spring to mind now – George Romero in the Odeon West End foyer surrounded by zombies and the moment I joined the other three on stage and received a round of applause. I was truly part of the FrightFest family!
HC: Greg Day, thank you very much.
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Posted on Saturday 8th August 2020
The films may be short, but there is no shortage of scares as Arrow Video FrightFest 2020 showcases the best new short films from the UK and around the world, with six countries representing three continents. From under-the-bed monsters to monsters in front of your eyes, from the sinister and the creepy to the wickedly human and the not-so-human, this year's selection shines a spotlight on upcoming filmmakers.
The UK is represented with a record eleven entries. There are world premiere screenings for Werewolf, where game night just got dangerous, A Bit Of Fun, where a girls' night in brings out the dead and The Beholder, in which you'd be wise to ...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020
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HC: Where did the idea for They're Outside come from?
AH: This idea for They're Outside came from a couple of things. I remember as a kid hearing that my uncle suffered mild agoraphobia, and when I learned what it was, I was fascinated by this idea of some people being kind of scared to leave their homes. Of course, the recent Covid-19 events h...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Fionn and Toby Watts, directors of Playhouse
Posted on Saturday 1st August 2020
FrightFest is once again on the horizon but this time, due to global events the event has become a virtual experience with all films being accessed online. Horror is once again sponsoring the First Blood strand of the event. Here we chat to talented brothers Fionn and Toby Watts who have delivered a gothic, creepy piece named Playhouse.
HC: Was there one film or person who influenced or inspired you to become film makers?
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The UK's most popular horror and fantasy film festival celebrates its 21st bloody year with a special Digital edition, showcasing twenty-five films, from Thursday 27th August to Monday 31st August, including seven world premieres and sixteen UK premieres. Ten countries are represented from four continents in a deadly, daring and diverse programme exclusively presented to UK audiences.
Passes and tickets will go on sale Saturday 1 August and details on how to access the event and choose which films to watch are on the FrightFest website. All film screenings will be geo-locked to UK audiences and only accessible from within the United Kingdom.
The men...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel highlights six summer weekend shockers in its August premiere line-up
Posted on Thursday 16th July 2020
August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's most popular small-screen destination for genre fans presents six summer weekend shockers, five FrightFest hits including the UK TV premieres of Julian Richards, Reborn, a Carrie for the Z Generation, starring horror icon Barbara Crampton, Jordan Barker's Witches In The Woods, an unrelenting assault of pure terror, Alistair Legrand's highly unusual genre-blending chiller, The Diabolical and Milan Todorovic's sharp-teethed, seductive Killer Mermaids. All these films received FrightFest premiere screenings.
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Posted on Tuesday 7th July 2020
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HC: Did you know from an...SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest to present August digital edition
Posted on Wednesday 24th June 2020
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More details will be announced in the coming weeks, alongside the line-up of films.
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Posted on Tuesday 2nd June 2020
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Details on dates, venues, films and tick...SHARE: READ MORE Interview with Julien Seri, director of Anderson Falls
Posted on Tuesday 18th February 2020
Ahead of the UK premiere of serial killer thriller Anderson Falls at Arrow Video FrightFest Glasgow 2020, director Julien Seri reflects on this, his first 'American' experience, challenging fight scenes and the importance of personal vision.
It has been five years since we premiered Night Fare at FrightFest London, what have you been up to since then?
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You have an interesting CV - from comedy theatre and film journalism to writing for The Hollywood Reporter and second assistant directing. Was all this a game plan to becoming a fully-fledged director?
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Posted on Thursday 16th January 2020
Welcome the transgressive, the traumatic and the terrifying as Arrow Video FrightFest, the UK's favourite horror fantasy event, returns to Glasgow Film Festival for a 15th fantastic year, from Thursday 5 March to Saturday 7 March, 2020.
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CM: I have long been a fan of the 'Humans Hunting Humans' subgenre of film (Battle Royale, The Running Man, Hard Target, etc.) and was inspired to set one of these films in what many people consider the 'safe' location of the suburbs. Suburban communities feel like the perfect setting for a horror film as you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul all while knowing that you are surrounded by many people. This mixed with a desire to satirise the current socio-political climate ...SHARE: READ MORE Frightfest Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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