ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Graham Hughes writer, director and star of Death of a Vlogger
By James Whittington, Saturday 24th August 2019

The New Blood strand at FrightFest has uncovered some incredible creative talent that is waiting to be discovered. Graham Hughes is one of the people that has a film, Death of a Vlogger showing as part of this celebration. Here we chatted to him about this movie.

HC: How did the idea for the movie come about?

GH: I'd just had a bad breakup with a film that fell apart a couple of weeks before we were due to shoot it. A lot of the reason for that was because I was pushing the budget too far, trying to make a 10k feature look like a 100k feature. A few months later, still mourning the loss of the film, I watched a low-budget Canadian feature called The Dirties. It's a 10k film that, instead of trying to make itself look like more than the sum of its parts, owns its low-budget and turns it into an aesthetic. It inspired me to do something similar. The inspiration for the story came from two things: I had been making a lot of content for the internet for a few years and had also just finished Jon Ronson's book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed. Essentially the combination of those three things led to me making Death of a Vlogger.

HC: Did it take long to complete?

GH: The turnaround of the film was pretty fast, at least in my experience. I started properly writing it in January 2018 and the film was completely finished by March 2019.

HC: How did you go about casting the movie?

GH: I was extremely lucky with the cast I got, since I wrote certain parts specifically for certain people, before I'd asked if they'd be in the film! Fortunately, they all said yes. I'd known Paddy Kondracki for a few years. He's more of a writer, but I'd seen him act in a few shorts and love his screen presence. He's a brilliant improviser as well, which helped the film massively. Annabel Logan is an actor I've worked with a few times before and it's always a pleasure. She brings great ideas to the shoot and can change her performance on a dime, it's quite something to watch. She also helped coach my performance a lot at the start of the shoot, since I'm quite green as an actor. Joma West is actually my partner. She'd agreed to do a small part to help me out, and we filmed all of the scenes for that when I realised that she was holding out on me and is actually pretty f*****g good! So, I recast her in a bigger role. Nepotism at work, eh? Most of the other roles were filled out with friends and family, which was incredibly helpful on a film as modest as this one!

HC: Is it difficult directing yourself?

GH: I'd say yes, but it was sort of easier on this shoot. Given that it was usually just me on the shoot myself, I could re-take as many shots as I needed until it was done right. There were a fair few scenes that were re-shot, purely for performance. On top of that, shooting most of my scenes on my phone, I was able to instantly re-watch the takes with ease, so I could see where I was going wrong and what needed to change.

HC: The sťance sequence is excellent, how technically difficult was that to do?

GH: Well thank you! It was just technically difficult enough to be fun without being a pain in the arse. So just for context, the seance scene is a 5 and a half minute (actual) single-take scene filmed on a VR camera with multiple practical effects. Since the camera doesn't technically move that was one thing that wasn't a pain. This meant that although the blocking was quite intricate, it didn't involve the camera, which was a blessing. However, it still had to be planned for a "moving" camera, since the angle that you're seeing from the VR camera was going to be manipulated in post, it all had to be blocked with that in mind. I spent a day blocking out the scene and making sure that the effects person, who was in the middle of the scene, could trigger the practical effects without being seen by the camera at any given time. Then there was the challenge of just getting one take where everyone got their lines right, the effects all worked right, and my dog didn't wander onto the set halfway through!

HC: The piece is very "now", slightly satirical and has a lot to say about how instant hatred can spread on the internet, is it something you've seen or experienced?

GH: I think we've all seen things like this. People are so quick to judge. The fact that the term "cancelled" exists says it all. As for experiencing it, fortunately I've not been on the wrong end of a pitchfork mob. I have, however, put a lot of content online, blogs, videos, gifs etc. And people can just be incredibly cruel. The anonymity of the internet gives people a confidence that they wouldn't have in real life. I don't know why that leads them to be more mean and hateful, but it definitely helps. For my part, it's just aimed at me for the things I create, but there are people out there who are getting personally, maliciously attacked for far less. Strange times.

HC: You are a person of many talents; do you have a favourite role?

GH: I tend to enjoy the more solitary jobs, particularly writing and editing. It's nice to be able to get into the flow mode (when it happens!). However, I would love to do some more acting. I've technically been acting on and off for 10 years, but it's always for my own work. It would be great to do some acting for someone else, without having to worry about directing at the same time. But I know it's so competitive and it's not something I have time to pursue. A man can dream...

HC: Are you nervous about your movie showing at FrightFest?

GH: Yes! So many things to be nervous about. I've not personally QC-ed the DCP so while I do trust the post-house, it's impossible to get rid of the worry there. Will we sell enough tickets? And obviously, will the audience enjoy it? We couldn't ask for a better World Premiere. FrightFest audiences are notorious for their passion and love of horror. But that doesn't mean they'll instantly love it. And obviously being a World Premiere, I've never seen it in front of an audience of strangers before, I've no idea how people will react to it.

HC: Do you believe in ghosts and the paranormal?

GH: Short answer: no. Long answer: I've seen some things that I can't explain, and I am still afraid of the dark. In the small hours of the night, after making a trip to the toilet, I sometimes feel I have to run back to the bedroom before it gets me, so I have to wonder what it is that I'm afraid of, if not the paranormal...

HC: So, what are you working on at the moment?

GH: Death of a Vlogger is eating up a lot of my time right now. I'm kind of a one-man-band on the film, and I still have a 9-5 as well. I'm keen to start writing again, and I think after FrightFest there will be more time for that. I have three main ideas that I'd love to work on next, and they're all budgeted differently. So, I think the next few months should help me with that decision!

HC: Graham Hughes, thank you very much.


MORE ARTICLES
Interview with Airell Hayles writer and co-director of They're Outside
Posted in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Airell Hayles

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 Airell Hayles whose movie They're Outside mixes found footage and pagan horror genres to great effect.

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 in Frightfest, Interviews, Saturday 1st August 2020
Toby and Fionn Clapper 1

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?

FW: As a young boy I remember being absolutely blown away by the image of The Terminator's exo-skeleton rising from the flames. Around the same time I saw Candyman at a sleepover (rented by my friend's 'older' brother...) and it was such an i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Shatner Vs The Devil! Who wouldn't want to see that?
Posted in News, Thursday 30th July 2020
45507_1_DEVILS_REVENGE_KEY_ART_V0g

All hell is about to break loose as Shatner takes on Satan, when 4Digital unleashes The Tomb: Devil's Revenge, on digital platforms from 14th September.

The Descent meets The Exorcist, with a dash of Raiders of the Lost Ark thrown in for good measure, in what promises to be a suspenseful thrill-ride starring iconic Star Trek legend William Shatner, Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), Jason Brooks (Star Trek, 2009), Jackie Dallas (Stranger Things) and Michael Yahn (Daredevil).

John Brock is a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from an expedition to the caves of rural Kentucky, after unsuccessfully trying to locate a mysterious relic that hi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Arrow Video FrightFest announces August Digital Edition line-up and Horror Channel sponsors talent-seeking First Blood strand
Posted in Features, Frightfest, Tuesday 28th July 2020
FrightFest Online-Logo-3_NEW

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
Revisit James Cameron's first movie on Blu-ray in August
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Piranna II The Spawning exploded pack shot

It may seem like paradise, but just off shore, a new brand of terror has been unleashed in Piranha 2: The Spawning.

While investigating the mysterious death of a diver, scuba instructor Anne Kimbrough (Tricia O'Neil) makes a horrific discovery: mutated piranhas, with wings that enable them to fly, are responsible for the death.

As the body count rises, Anne desperately tries to convince the manager of the resort to call off the annual fish fry on the beach, but he's determined to give his guests the ultimate feeding frenzy.

This exciting sequel to Joe Dante's original Piranha also stars Lance Henriksen and is the...

SHARE: READ MORE
An all-star cast for an all-time sleazy shocker!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Schizoid Cover

In the lurid shocker, Schizoid a newspaper advice columnist (Mariana Hill) starts receiving threats from a mysterious person. At the same time, the female members of her psychiatrist's (Klaus Kinski, Crawlspace) therapy group are being murdered one by one by a maniac wielding a large pair of scissors.

Could these incidents be linked?

Donna Wilkes, Craig Wasson, Flo Gerrish and Christopher Lloyd also star in this long forgotten sleazy slasher which is getting the usual top-notch release from 88Films.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Dracula on red wax!
Posted in News, Friday 24th July 2020
Dracula OST Red Vinyl

From the team behind BBC's critically acclaimed Sherlock came Dracula, the reimagining of the iconic titular vampire for a 21st Century audience. Composers David Arnold and Michael Price reunited with writers and creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, to breathe musical life into another famous literary character from Victorian times.

For Dracula, Arnold and Price conceived an innovative and petrifying score, in which traditional instruments and musique concrete merge with contemporary use of samples and sound design.

Scoring Dracula presented its own challenges and the composers have augmented the sound of the orchestra players by creating a library...

SHARE: READ MORE
Will you hear the Echoes of Fear?
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
ECHOS_OF_FEAR_DVD_3D_PACKSHOT

Creating waves on the US festival circuit and garnering best feature awards galore Echoes of Fear is set to scare the living daylights out of UK audiences as it arrives on digital and DVD this summer from Second Sight Films.

Turning the haunted house genre on its head, this chilling scare-fest, will have you clamouring for a cushion as the horror creeps up to a truly disturbing climax. The supernatural chiller from Brian and Laurence Avenet-Bradley, has garnered huge critical acclaim and arrives on digital formats on 20 July, followed by its DVD release on 3 August.

When her grandfather dies suddenly, Alisa (Trista Robinson) inherits his house and m...

SHARE: READ MORE
Texas Chain Saw Massacre meets Shaun of the Dead in Two Heads Creek!
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020

Frightfest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Two Head Creek, a cannibalistic tale of Brits abroad, and a very witty slice of shocks and horror, starring Kathryn Wilder (All is True) and Stephen Hunter (The Hobbit Trilogy).

After the death of their adoptive mother, a shy butcher and his drama queen sister leave the UK and adventure to Australia in search of their biological mother, but the local townsfolk of Two Heads Creek are hiding a dark secret: the pair must reconcile their differences to fight for their lives in this playfully dark comedy-horror. The BBQ is lit and it's kill-or-be-killed in this hilarious, once-in-a-lifetime trip, also starring Gary Sweet (W...

SHARE: READ MORE
Grimmfest unveils first tranche of titles for its 2020 event
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
TRIGGERED POSTER CU

Grimmfest 2020 will offer a roster of feature film premieres and shorts programmes across a new online platform.

This year has seen every film festival struggling to find ways to present new films to their audience safely, without risk of infection, in the midst of a global pandemic. And after long and serious discussion, Grimmfest will be going ahead in a new format for 2020.

Grimmfest's live event at the Odeon Great Northern, Manchester, will be postponed until spring 2021. But fear not, a new online alternative "virtual festival" will run from 7 - 11 October 2020 and will feature an exciting array of feature film premieres, shorts programmes, Q&As, talks and much mo...

SHARE: READ MORE
More "lost" Doctor Who coming to vinyl
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
DrWho_MarcoPolo_3D_Exploded

Demon Records presents the narrated TV soundtrack of Doctor Who - Marco Polo, a 'lost' seven-part adventure set in the 13th Century, starring William Hartnell as the original Doctor pressed on 4 x 140g Desert Sandstorm Vinyl.

When the TARDIS breaks down in Central Asia, its occupants are met by the explorer Marco Polo. The year is 1289, and Marco is crossing the Gobi desert to Peking, for an audience with the emperor Kublai Khan. Marco sets his mind on offering the TARDIS as a gift to the Khan, despite the Doctor's protests. The time travellers must endure a long journey, fraught with danger, as they join Marco's caravan in the company of the treacherous warlord, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
The Walking Dead series to be re-issued in colour!
Posted in News, Tuesday 21st July 2020
The Walking Dead Deluxe Issue 1

Read it again!

Image Comics/Skybound Entertainment will revisit the historic independent series that took the entertainment world by storm 17 years ago The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard with newly, fully coloured issues. Featuring the stunning work of the masterful Dave McCaig, these new issues will launch in October with The Walking Dead Deluxe #1. Kirkman first announced the fully coloured issues during Skybound Xpo, Skybound's virtual pop-culture convention.

This deluxe revival of the series will also feature a memorable array of variant covers by such artists as David Finch, Tony Moore, Julian Totino Tedesco, and Arthur ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Tower Block
TOWER BLOCK
Thursday 13th August
9.00 PM
100 Bloody Acres
100 BLOODY ACRES
Thursday 6th August
10.45 PM
Meteorites!
METEORITES!
Sunday 9th August
6.40 PM