Monday, 17 August 2009

A second weekend of AWESOME-NESS. Day Two

Day Two -

After watching a bizarre kids program (in which one character gave another a moustache as a present) whilst we woke and got ready, we set off for breakfast at the festival. We sat and ate when who should come over and join us but Uwe Boll. Awesome.

We talked about films and the state of the world, and the state of films in the world, until it was time for the first screening of the day, Side Effx. This film has problems. It was followed with a Q&A by the director, who was brought on to edit the film into something watchable after the first director was let go. He was aware of the problems with the film, mainly due to the pacing. It was a good try, but did suffer from random corridor wanderings. Good fights though, and wire work.

This was followed by The Disappeared. Described as an urban ghost story it didn't fail to deliver. There were a couple of creepy moments but towards the end it fell into run of the mill story telling, getting a little predictable. Still, I felt it was well shot and acted.

After this was the Star Hyke series preview and cast Q&A. Star Hyke is an independent comedy, drama, sci-fi series with obvious comparisons to Red Dwarf and Hyperdrive. It kind of stands on its own, the CGI is well done and Jeremy Bulloch (of Boba Fett fame) is awesome as the ships doctor, providing most of the laughs. However, we were shown episodes 4 & 5 so it was a little hard to follow having missed half of the series. Brother Chris has seen the whole series and did say that it's best to see the first three in one block in order to grasp the concept. I'd still watch it when it airs on TV though, and think it would probably get better as the series goes on. The Q&A afterwards was cool, with cast keeping things lighthearted, and of course the awesome Jeremy Bulloch.

Then was the "dinner break" a long gap between films in order to get something to eat, so of course we just ended up chatting with friends. It was good to hear some industry speak and see how easy/difficult it is to get films released these days. So no food was had. Whoops.

The penultimate screening of Saturday was The Passage, directed by Mark Heller and written by and starring Neil Jackson, who attended the screening for the following Q&A. This film surprised me. It does have a slow build up as you get to know the characters, but does deliver towards the end. When it was introduced, Neil Jackson explained it was based on true events, so I thought it would just be him wandering around Morocco. Which does happen to a degree, but let's just say, if all of it was true, he wouldn't have been able to introduce the film. Neil then held a Q&A which was awesome, especially as I asked a decent, Creative Screenwriting style question about treatments and such. If you didn't know, Neil has been in a bunch of stuff including the Blade TV series and more recently Push and this was his first produced screenplay. He seemed to love writing and said in a way he used that to get into acting in the first place. Anyway, it was really interesting talk and he's a nice guy.

I then attended the final screening of the day, Mark of the Devil., directed by Michael Armstrong, who also attended for the Q&A. This is a film from 1970, starring Udo Kier and Herbert Lom about witch-finders. As with Witchfinder General, it's not really a horror but I feel always comes across more like an educational video but just a little bit nastier. It was also described as an early example of "torture-porn", a concept taken to extremes with the likes of Hostel and the umpteen thousand Saw sequels. Mark of the Devil is ok. Not a brilliant film but it still made me squirm in places, plus it was good to see something from a different era on the bill. The following Q&A was excellent. Again, Michael Armstrong is a director form a completely different time of filmmaking and due to this questions were few. He was a friendly guy and did have a passion for films, even if he was a little tipsy at the time. He also mentioned the original Haunting as one of the scariest films made, a point I definitely agreed with.

It was time to leave and find Brother Chris, who had left to seek his fortune. I said my goodbyes to friends and to Neil and Michael and left. Meeting up with Chris in a shouty Italian restaurant we left for the hotel. Once there we took pleasure in the Ice Cream vending machine once again, I'd yet to have any dinner so a mint magnum would have to do. Excellent.

-Today I also bought a book called "I Am Batman" which was awesome. I'll give a little excerpt:
My name is Bruce Wayne.
My home is Gotham City.
I live in a big apartment.
I own a boat and a plane.

I have nice clothes.
I have a fast car.
And I have lots of other fancy toys and gadgets.

The Joker is a tricky foe.
His jokes are never funny.
Sometimes they hurt people.

Fighting crime is not easy.
But my gear and gadgets help make it all possible.
I am not just Bruce Wayne.
I am Batman!


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