Cash Flow / The Quick & Dirty Shoot

Money’s at the front of my mind today. Just had to write a large cheque that I thoroughly resented, for a firm that I felt hadn’t done sufficient work to deserve it. This hasn’t happened often in Jinx Media’s short life, (most folks that we end up writing cheques for have earned their cash twenty times over). In fact, this is only the second time that I’ve felt like spitting on a cheque before handing it over.

It got me thinking about this money situation, though. We’re unlikely to see any actual cash from the DVD deal for some considerable time, (maybe never, if the flick tanks). Quicker cash injections from more straightforward deals, (TV ones, and the like), seems tantalisingly close but never seem to get sealed. This has left me hanging out for a cheque, before I can really put the wheels in motion for the next two flicks. I know that regular readers will already know this stuff, but here’s why I’m recapping:

I’ve just spent most of the afternoon trying to work out the viability of just shooting one of my two new projects, (probably KillerKiller), in the quickest, dirtiest, cheapest way possible, just to break this state of fucking limbo that’s driving me nuts. Main problem would actually be the location. I could assemble a tiny crew and dedicated cast and just shoot the movie fairly easily… The problem would come in working out where it could be shot. Renting large premises and building sets inside them as we did for TrashHouse just isn’t the way to do something as cheaply as possible. What it comes down to: Disused buildings.

If anyone out there reading this could connect me up with a building that I could shoot in, that would look like an asylum or prison, without me having to pay more than a few hundred quid for permission to shoot there, I’d drop everything and just shoot the bastard next month. I’d feel good about it too 🙂

So, fire away to if you feel like suddenly changing the direction and mood of this blog. ‘Cos I’ve spent most of today quietly seething and I could seriously use something to cheer me up.


TrashHouse has won two awards from the TromaFling festival, which is rather fine and funky. We’ve been given the Best Screenplay award, and a runner-up award for Best UK Feature. It was a very nice surprise. Reckon if they’d had an extra award for Best Drunken Babbling by a Director we’d have had that one in the bag, too.

Been a publicity-orientated couple of days. A photoshoot for the local paper resulted in a somewhat vampiric shot that you can find at;
Those with a keen eye for detail will notice that the clapperboard is broken. It not only has no clapper, but there’s splintered, broken wood where the clapper used to be. And it’s not a real clapperboard. I think my Dad bought it for me in the souvenir shop at the late, lamented Museum Of the Moving Image in the 80s sometime. I am also wearing a TrashHouse t-shirt, which now means that everyone wants one 🙂

There was also another story about the DVD deal over at Chortle, a comedy website that I hang around on the forums quite a bit. That’s over here;

Rewriting the beginning of KillerKiller to beef it up a bit… It felt somewhat lacklustre. I’ve increased the number of cast, (and, thus, the inevitable bodycount). Still can’t set a shoot date, though…

Big mountain of stuff

No matter what stage of anything you’re at, there’s always a great big pile of stuff to do. I’ve been working flat out to get my pile of stuff reduced to a decent level, but more stuff always comes along to replace everything that I cross off my ‘To Do’ list. Is this how it’s always gonna be?

Ah, sod it. I’m not complaining.

I’ve finally mastered the art of only going to the Post Office once per day, and picking up things that I think I might need the next day whilst I’m there. Whereas a slightly more efficient film producer than myself might stock up on padded envelopes in greater quantities than 5 at a time, I feel that the adrenaline rush that I get from always having run out of the exact items of stationary that I need at any given time probably keeps me healthy. Or substitutes for exercise in some way.

Just watched the final cut of Mike Borland’s “TrashHouse-Behind The Scenes”, a 50 minute documentary that we’re hoping will end up on the DVD. It’s kind of awkward for me to watch, because there’s an absolutely endless amount of footage of me talking crap in it. I can talk nonsense pretty well at the most relaxed of times, but I was so wired on the set that my TalkingBollocksOmeter goes clean through the roof. It’s a good documentary, though, and Mike did us proud.

There was a rather nice article about the flick over at Chortle today. Check it out at

DVD contracts

I said I wasn’t saying anything until I had the paperwork in front of me.

I now have the paperwork in front of me.

TrashHouse will be released by Screen Entertainment in both the USA and the UK. No release date has been set as yet, but you’re looking at March 2006 at the very latest. More news as we get it folks…

TV deal also crawls closer…

Man, this is getting too tantalising.

Feels like we’re forever teetering on the very, very edge of being able to announce the details of both the TV and DVD deals of TrashHouse, but we’re always one step away. A couple of weeks back, I couldn’t announce them because the heads of the companies concerned had yet to sign off on the deals. Heads have now signed off, but I still have no contracts. Not going to announce the deal until I have it in writing in front of me.

Also, not going to set shooting dates for Hellbride and KillerKiller until I have the TrashHouse deal in writing either, (for reasons explained in a previous entry), so I’m sitting here in LimboLand. It’s a nice place, all told, but I’m looking forward to moving on. I had some good news on the TV deal front today, but I’ll hold it to my chest until, until, until…

Our Gaffer/Lighting Director, Barri, dropped by yesterday afternoon. Good to see him. Weird thing about movie shoots: they bring together all these different people who’ve never met before, those people go through an incredibly big experience together, then everyone goes their separate ways. Barri’s been working with Al, (our DP), on quite a few projects and has an awful lot of interesting stuff going on.

I also caught up with our Associate Producer/Production Manager Nick last week, who had been scouting for props, (and making a couple), for the next two movies. Despite having no firm start-date as yet, he was determined that we were gonna get ahead of the game this time. Star, that bloke.

Maybe another week for the contracts. As soon as I have something to report, then report I shall…

DVD deal crawls closer

Got positive news on Tuesday from our (subject to contract) DVD distributors. Not going to name the company until pen has scribbled on paper, but TrashHouse has just gotten sign-off from the final head honcho in the chain and we can get started on the paperwork for both UK and USA release. It’s been a real journey to get sorted, but it looks like we’re finally there.

Pretty much.

Our sales agent is on holiday this week, so I’m not sure how the TV deal is shaping up, but I did get a text from him saying that things were looking good and he’d update me on his return. It’d be fantastic to get the TrashHouse deals done and dusted so that we can progress with the Killer and the Bride at full steam.

Had a conversation with Pip the other day about my female characterisations, and why they always seem to be stronger than the male ones. The two new flicks are hardly exceptions; I keep rewriting the end of ‘Bride to give the male lead more to do, but it’s always going to be the women who get the best bits…

Writing Two Flicks At Once…

We put out a call for cast and crew for HellBride and KillerKiller a while back, but haven’t contacted anyone for auditions yet. We’ve done a bit of CV sorting, but haven’t made any phone calls. Mainly because we can’t set the shoot date in stone just yet, and I’m not happy to actually offer people positions on this until the shoot date is locked. In case they end up changing plans to fit our schedule, and then our schedule goes tits up and they end up hating us. Because we really can’t be doing with people hating us.

Can’t set the shoot date in stone until we’re sure exactly what’s happening with TrashHouse in certain territories, because we don’t want to miscalculate and overspend on the new flicks with money it turns out that we’re not going to get, thus bankrupting the company and making people hate us again.

So, what am I doing at time? I’m writing and polishing the two new scripts, because I want to make them as good as I can. I’m only going to direct one of the movies myself, (which, since the title of this blog has given it away somewhat anyway, I might as well admit is going to be HellBride), but they’re both very much Pat Higgins scripts and right now they are both very much my babies. I’m working on them kind of alternately, depending on my mood. Some days are HellBride days, some days are KillerKiller days.

Actually, since I’ve already admitted that we haven’t finalised cast and crew, I might as well pimp the cast and crew address here already.. If anybody is looking to be onboard for cast and crew on these movies the address to apply to is but please bear in mind that the money will be absolute shit and the work will be hard.

Although it might be fun too.

Tromafling and Edinburgh

Back from a frenzied few days in Edinburgh.

TromaFling was a blast. The organisers, Avone and Louise, have juggled together a programme of 205 movies, (from shorts to features), and are managing to attract audiences despite the myriad of other stuff going on in Edinburgh at festival time. Drunkenly babbled my way through a Director’s Q&A session after the screening, having forgotten to keep a decent track of my booze intake. Top fun.

Amongst the other shows we checked out were Radio Blah Blah from TrashHouse’s music composer, sound recordist and Zombie Doctor #1 Danny James, which was entirely unscripted, brave as hell and very funny. Danny’s archiving each show here:
(the show we were at was Sunday 14th if you fancy downloading it)

Got back to find that our cats had decided, in our absence, that the litter tray was very old-fashioned and pissing randomly all over the house was the next big thing. Less than delighted, especially since they got fed, watered and had the tray changed every day so it wasn’t like they had grounds to go on dirty protest. Living in fear of discovering more poo and wee as the evening progresses.

Leavin’ for a TrashHouse premiere

In a couple of hours, I’m heading out of the house and heading up towards Edinburgh.
Accompanying me on this merry trip will be my wife, (Pip), and Richard Collins, (who played James The Psycho in TrashHouse). The current plan is to drive until we’re knackered and then find a TravelLodge or similar to crash out in, but Rich seems to have a growing desire to simply drive all night, which might mean arriving in Edinburgh at some stupid time in the morning.

The TrashHouse Premiere is on Tuesday. It’s part of the TromaFling festival, and should be a laugh. I’m down to do a Director’s Q&A afterwards, and I’m not sure what to expect. We’ll spend the other three nights checking out stand-up shows and soaking up the Edinburgh vibe.

Our next two projects, HellBride and KillerKiller, are both shooting towards the end of the year. I meant to spend today working on the scripts, (since neither of them are actually finished yet, and I’m really going to need to pull my finger out), but somehow I got caught up checking through the copy of TrashHouse that we’re taking down to TromaFling instead. I’ve been tweaking sound effects and so on even up to this week, (which considering the flick was first shown at invite-only screenings in January this year probably shows that I never quite know when to leave things the hell alone).

I’ll report back after the festival.