Nasty and Nice

Weirdly, that’s how I’m thinking of my twin movies at the moment.

It’s odd, considering there are actually some fairly horrific bits in HellBride, that I’ve started thinking of it as ‘The Nice One’. Specifically, I’ve started wondering if maybe I shouldn’t let a few characters currently slated for unpleasant endings ‘off the hook’. Let a few live to fight another day. Remind myself that there isn’t any great big rule of screenwriting that states that a maximum of two characters can actually survive.

KillerKiller, on the other hand, was always set to be a fairly edgy proposition. The script keeps getting harder-edged with every rewrite, too, (although there are shitloads of jokes in there as well). I wrote out a list of gore shots the other day, (to send to a fledgling effects company who have kindly offered to help us out if they can), and there’s some fairly brutal stuff there. Especially when you see it written as a list. I’d love to share the list with you fine folks, but you know what they say about presents and Christmas Morning…

Been having some interesting ideas about casting, but we’ll have to see whether they pan out or not. I have begun making enquiries.

The Elephant In The Room

OK, so there’s an elephant in the room and nobody’s mentioned it. Guess I’m going to be the one to admit that I know it’s there, and maybe we can all start to deal with it.

Back before TrashHouse, I had a whole bunch of ideas for movies. Still do. Sometimes, you get ideas that sit on the back-burner for a long time, then they get their day in the sun and everything’s wonderful. Sometimes that day in the sun has shitty timing, sometimes it’s just plain weird.

I remember seeing the trailer for Shaun of The Dead for the first time whilst I was editing TrashHouse and thinking “Oh look. A British comedy/horror film with zombies in it. I just made one of them too, and that I can’t remember there being another one since… Ooh, pretty much ever”. Still, that coincidence worked out pretty well for us, I reckon. Shaun was an amazing flick, (still one of my favourites of last year), and the similarities between finished products were so slight as to not be worth worrying about.

You know where I’m going with this. I’ve stuck my head in the sand whilst on pre-production for the two new flicks. I’ve tried to wish it away. It hasn’t worked, so a couple of days ago I went and saw it.

You know the movie I mean. The elephant in the room. Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride.

I had wondered if just not going and seeing it at all might be the most prudent idea. After all, here I am working on a ‘ghostly bride’ kind of movie with an as-yet-unfinished script. Wouldn’t I be on safer ground to just deliberately never watch it?

Actually, I’m glad I watched it. Not just because it’s a fairly good movie, (not up there with any of his best, but certainly no Planet of the Apes letdown), but because it’s put my mind at rest. The two movies are absolutely nothing alike, beyond the involvement of a ghost that looks like a bride, (which is hardly the most original conceit in the history of fiction, regardless), and I can safely carry on the way I was headed, (although I’m going to be ‘Find and Replace’-ing a particular character name that was unfortunately shared between the two movies).

By the time the flick actually comes out in late 2006/early 2007 the elephant will most certainly have wandered out of the room regardless. I just hope it doesn’t eat all the potato salad like last time.

KillerKiller screenplay sort of complete

I use the term ‘complete’ in many different ways.

In one of the ways that I use it, the KillerKiller screenplay is finally complete. Naturally, it’s not ‘complete’ in the sense that most folks mean it, (and nor will it ever be, probably… I was still writing new lines on-set during the TrashHouse shoot and I very much doubt whether this will be any different), but if I went and shot it tomorrow it would make sense and have a beginning, middle and an end. It wouldn’t be the right length and it’d have bits that clunked badly, but it’d be a film. The polishing will now commence, probably lasting until the very last day of filming.

The HellBride screenplay isn’t complete yet, in ANY of the ways I use the term. It’s quite a long way off, to be honest, which is something that I really need to get sorted if I’m to succeed in shooting these buggers back to back in the early months of next year. For a while, HellBride was far further along in terms of development than KillerKiller, but KK had a real surge over the last month and appears to have crossed the finish line first. I really ought to get back to poor neglected HellBride right now.

And so I shall.

Video Blogging

Been an interesting few hours.

With one eye on the future, I’ve been making a video blog for KillerKiller. I suddenly realised that by this point in the pre-production of TrashHouse I had started ranting to camera on a fairly regular basis, explaining how the film was bound to fall apart any minute. Some of these little rants are ending up on the DVD, and I realised that I’d completely gotten out of the habit of jabbering to camera in the year and a half since TrashHouse wrapped shooting.

Anyway, I decided to use some of the location recce footage from the other week and make a little video blog, the idea being that I could use it online to keep folks informed, then bundle it onto the eventual DVD. Yes, just like Lucas, Jackson and Smith, now that you come to mention it. I’ve even grown a manky stubble beard for the occasion because, fuck it, a director simply has to have a beard.

The problems have come with sorting out a delivery format, and something that was meant to be rattled off in a few minutes has come to dominate the day. In this age of varied connection speeds, different ways of encoding and so on, how do you choose how to deliver video content? We got plenty of criticism for only making the TrashHouse trailer available in Real Video.

The answer?

(Drumroll)

Dunno. Haven’t a clue. Tried lots of things, not happy with any of them yet. I’ll get it sorted soon. Until then, you’re stuck with a 10MB wmv file. Yeah, I know. Not perfect. But at least it’s here.

Or, rather, here:

http://www.jinxmedia.co.uk/media/Blog11105.wmv

Let me know if you have any ideas for making this more accessible for folks.

Peace n love,
Pat