We have created another short version of a budget form, which is as always ready to download and use.
This week is our final week of production documents and contracts from our premium section. So take advantage and be ahead of the game with three production letters ready to use:
Letter to the equipment hire company
Letter to the transportation company.
The letters are available to download free of charge from today until the 5th April.
I just checked my Twitter and i saw something i'd rather not have seen, but i guess i would have been exposed to it sooner or later, i wish never but, it just go to show that Hollywood really doesn't have a clue anymore, and this is what i read;
Scream 4 Coming to Theaters April 15, 2011
Dimension Films has given the green light to Scream 4, which will start shooting this spring for a release on April 15, 2011. The third installment of the franchise was released on February 4, 2000.
Wes Craven will direct and Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox Arquette will reprise their roles along with a group of younger actors.
"'Scream' has been such an integral part of Dimension's history, and I look forward to continuing the franchise," said Dimension Films chief Bob Weinstein, who is also co-chairman of The Weinstein Company.
Article from Comingsoon.net
Now, Scream (1996) was, in my opinion, the catalyst that kicked off the new wave of horror films we see today, and as a stand alone film its fine, except that some of the characters are aware of the "Rules of Horror" films, basically spelling them out for the audience like, If you have sex you die, if you say 'I'll be right back' you die, of course as the film plays out these 'rules' are enacted and characters who full under them, die because of them, in my view, a little lame, This film kicked off Neve Campbell's career, Scream 2 followed the following years with Wild Things the year after that.
Scream 2 in 1997 saw the surviving characters from the first return, as i remember the film starts out with a film within a film, a line from the first one about who would play Sydney (Campbell) if they made a movie based on the events of the first film, boring and see through. Scream 3 took a few years to follow, coming out in 2000, i never really saw this film because the first two were a little disappointing, and now Scream 4 is due for release in April next year, can't wait (sarcasm) its not even posted in Wes Cravens IMDb page yet, on the IMDb page for Scream 4 it shows that Craven has nothing to do with this film, moment anyway. The tagline reads 'New Decade, New Rules' what the fuck does that mean? the Synopsis reads, (Spoilers)
~After the death of Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley and Gayle Weaters-Riley head back to Woodsboro for her funeral. During their visit they are caught up in a copy-cat killer's plan to finish the remaining survivors up once and for all. The killer is someone from their past. Who can they trust? And after this round, what will be left of them?~
Wow, sounds great doesn't it (sarcasm).
But lets not just let Scream take the fall for the hideous nature of todays horror films, Saw brought with it the Capture/torture aspect of horror films were seeing nowadays, i for one am bored of these, it seems every horror film is based on torturing someone, there are deeper aspects however, like the fact that none of the characters in these "films" are likeable, so when they are killed it has no emotional affect on the audience, And its done with a flash of moment accompanied by a loud noise, which simply makes the audience 'jump', or as i call it, a cheap scare, this is what Horror films have become, a grouping of random cheap scares in order to make the viewer 'jump', but once you've stopped watching the film and left the theatre or put the DVD away, yo don't have a second thought about it. Horror films used to scare the crap out of me, they used to play on my mind for hours afterwards, now that might just be because i was young, and now am desensitised to horror films.
Okay this is an old movie so if you haven't seen it already and complain about there being spoilers in this write up, then shame on you for not seeing it yet.
Released in 1987 (i was 10) The Evil Dead 2 is one of my favourite films, if not my most favourite, directed by Sam Raimi (Spiderman 1-2) and written by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel, Produced by Robert G Tapert.
Bruce Campbell (Burn Notice) as Ashley 'Ash' J Williams
Sarah Berry as Annie Knowby
Dan Hicks as Jake
Kassie Wesley DePaiva as Bobby joe
Ted Raimi as Possessed Henrietta
Denise Bixler as Linda
Richard Domeier as Ed Getley
John Peakes as Professor Raymond Knowby
Lou Hancock as Henrietta Knowby
Snowy Winters (doubtful name) as Dancer
and Sid Abrams, Josh Becker, Scott Spiegel, Thomas Kidd, Mitch Cantor as Fake Shemps
Snowy Winter is a doubtful name because it just sounds like one, in the first Evil Dead, actors used different names because they were part of the actors union and were not only working on a non-union film but were also getting paid less, so Snowy Winters who only shot one scene was most likely a union actor doing it for free or at reduced pay and didn't want the union to know.
Fake Shemps were named after Shemp Howard (The Forgotten Stooge) who was one of the original three Stooges, working on stage in the late twenties and thirties, he left the group but rejoined to make several of the two reelers, when he died in 1955 it presented a real problem, because the shorts were shot in batches and not individually, so Shemp had shot some scenes for these shorts but not all, so they hired an actor to play Shemps parts, he kept his head down and pretended to be Shemp in bridging scenes, the studios added in lines from other films to further disguise the fact that this guy wasn't who he appeared to be, Stooges fans Sam, Scott and Bruce spotted these "Fake Shemps" immediately, and when they found it necessary to have someone double for another actor in one of their super-8 movies, they called the doubles a "Fake Shemp" and a tradition is born, when you watch a Sam Raimi film, check the credits for Fake Shemps.
Evil Dead 2 opens with a warning stating that the film contains scenes that maybe to intense for persons under the age of 17, by 1987 standards, in my book thats a good start, the Rosebud production card that follows was a made up company, the distributors told Raimi that he needed one at the head of the film, and not having one already he made one up, in true indie style, and the Rosebud, if your not a film buff comes from Citizen Kane's opening scene, the video of a rose opening was a logical visual.
The film begins with a recap of the 'Book of the Dead' or 'Necranomicon', written in blood and sort after by the Deadites, the next scene is a recap of the first film, this is why so many people believe its a remake, Raimi had to reshoot these scenes because he wanted to open the film with that recap, but he couldn't get the rights to use the original footage, the original footage he shot in 1979, so he just reshot them. The remake argument is, in my view, due to this opening scene, which lasts 7 minutes and 8 seconds, the final shot of Evil Dead was the entity crashing through the cabin and then into Ash outside, this happens at the above time frame, the rest is a continuation of the story. So as far as i'm concerned, the remake lasts 7 minutes and 8 seconds, the rest of the film is completely different and there for NOT a remake, Sam Raimi has said that he remade the first Evil Dead, i suspect he was talking about the first 7 minutes and not all of Evil Dead 2.
Ash is picked up but the Entity and after some pretty unconvincing shots of Ash being propelled backwards and spun around akin to a fair ground ride, the Entity drops Ash to the ground, he lands in a dirty puddle, the shot holds on Ash as his head is under the water large bubbles erupt around his head, Campbell held his breath for as long as he could to give Raimi a nice long shot, then Ash raises up Possessed by the Evil, luckily for Ash this happens at sun rise, which the Evil can't stand, and after another unconvincing shot, a close up of Ash's eye with smoke vacating it covered by a giant 'fake' hand, Ash is returned to normal, well normal for Ash anyway, the Evil can not exist in day light and so is driven back into hiding shown to us as plumes of white smoke, in reverse receding back into the trees, as Ash passes out.
Time passes and Ash wakes in the woods alone, looking around, Ash sees what can only be an after image of the Evil, a ghostly face over the cabin "Join Us" Ash spies the 73 Oldsmobile.
The 73 Oldsmobile Delta Classic, a car that Raimi loves and tries to fit into every film he makes, it even shows up in Spiderman, Uncle Ben drove Peter Parker to the library in it, about the only film that comes to mind that it didn't appear in was The Quick and the Dead, because its a western, but Sam still tried, he wanted to hide it behind a building and have only just visible, but sadly no.
Ash takes the car and drives up the dirt road towards the bridge, the only road out, but the steel girders are bent up into a hand shape with five finger reaching upward, Ash is trapped, the Sun starts to set, quickly, how long was he out for?, the Entity rises from under the broken bridge and Ash, reversing tries to out run it, now its pitch dark, Ash makes it to the cabin but it follows him inside, running through doors trying to escape it, Ash manages to out fox the Entity and it leaves, retreating back to the woods, Ash pops up from the basement hatch.
An Airport, Annie arrives with framed pages of the Book of the Dead, having been lost for 2 or 3 thousand years, met by Ed, her fiance (i think), he drives her to the Cabin, which belongs to her father, Professor Raymond Knowby, who went to the cabin to translate the book of the Dead in piece.
Ash rests in the cabin, blooded and dirty, a noise gets his attention, he investigates the dark cabin, a piano plays itself, the tune he was playing for Linda earlier, then the mutilated remains of Linda climbs out of the grave Ash dug and starts to dance, before flying out of frame (a bit cheesy really, stop motion animation made by a friend of Raimi's), she attacks Ash at the window then her head falls off, Ash starts to scream, and we see he is still sitting on the chair, a bad dream, maybe, but then Linda's head lands on his lap "Hello lover" the linda head bits Ash's hand he then staggering all over the cabin's living room smashing it into walls, off the furniture, then the words that were never said, on the floor Ash turns towards the camera and without moving his lips says "Work shed" (a point brought up by Kurt Russell during filming of Escape from L.A.) exiting the cabin and heading for the shed Ash locks the Linda head in a vice "your going down", the decomposed body of Linda smashing into the shed with a chainsaw, Ash fights it off (okay, now this is a rubber body, basically a puppet holding onto a chainsaw, not a real one, the fight is laughable) Ash takes the chainsaw then uses it on the head of Linda, but not before it turns back to normal and begs him not to do it, Ash then puts the chainsaw through the viced head of Linda, Ash staggers back to the cabin with the chainsaw, but replaces it with the shotgun, he starts to lose his mind, and his hand bitten shows signs of possession, black veins appear.
Annie and Ed meet Jake and Bobby Joe on the road, who tell them that the road leading to the cabin is out because of the bridge, but they know another route, a trail through the woods and will show them the way for cash.
Back in the cabin, Ash's possessed hand, starts to give him a little trouble, it attacks him, knocking him unconscious wish plants, Campbell at his slap stick best, bare in mind Raimi and Campbell were hugh fans of the Three Stooges, Campbell throws himself all over the kitchen and ends with a summersault landing on his back, the hand drags Ash by its finger tips towards a knife on the floor, but Ash grabs it first and stabs it through his right hand, then using the chainsaw he cuts it off, with a maniacal laugh, blood covering his face (The blood used was clear karo syrup, red food colouring, non-dairy creamer, a blue food colouring, direction below). Ash puts a bin over the severed hand and some books over the bin to weigh it down, the book, 'A fairwell to Arm' is on top, it escapes when Ash isn't looking, well of course it does, this is Evil Dead, Ash tracks it through the walls firing the shotgun, blowing holes in the dry wall, again this being the Evil Dead, a torrent of blood shots out of a shotgun holes, at this point, things get a bit weird, a trophy deer head starts laughing at Ash, and then so does everything else in the room, including the lambs, A noise and Ash fires off two guns shots at the front door, standing facing the now open door Jake flies through the door and tackles Ash to the ground, knocking him out, Bobby Joe court a glancing blow to the arm, Annie thinks that Ash killed her parents, they lock Ash in the basement.
Ingredients (coats two thespians)
6 Pints Clear Karo Syrup
3 Pints Red Food Colouring
1 Pint Non-dairy Creamer
1 Drop Blue Food Colouring
Large ceramic bowl
Medium sized bowl
The Kuro Syrup is your foundation, the base of your blood. Pour syrup into large ceramic bowl.
In the medium bowl, stir the non-dairy creamer until it turns into a nice paste, this will provide opacity.
Gradually fold the non-dairy creamer paste into the syrup.
Stir in red food colouring. Add drop of blue food colouring for density.
Test on white surface.
Coat aspiring actor from the top down
To remove, place actor into a hot shower, fully clothed, and let sit for 30 minutes or until clean.
CAUTION: Do not attempt to scare members of your family who have heart conditions - this blood looks real!
~Above directions taken from 'If Chins Could Kill, Confessions Of a B-Movie Actor' by Bruce Campbell, page 108~
Annie plays her fathers records from the old tape recorder, which details the evil he unleashed, and that her mother Henrietta is dead and that he buried her in the basement, at that moment she rises up through the ground, possessed, Ash tries to escape, but the basement hatch is pad locked, after they let him out they all see the evil in the form of a possessed Henrietta, Ash jumps on the basement hatch squeezing Henrietta's head popping out an eye, hey its 80's horror, which flies through the air and into Bobby joe mouth to which she swallows, Ash tells the others what he knows about the Entity out in the woods, and tells them that none of them can leave until dawn, the possessed Henrietta appears as normal at the hatch and sings a nursery rhyme to Annie, Annie isn't convinced for a second, Ed jumps up possessed and the tag line is spoken "Dead by Dawn" Ash leaves, Annie thinks he is running away, but he quickly returns with an axe attacking Ed and dismembering him, thick green blood flies, but only Annie get a small drop of it on her clothes.
If you have surround sound the spirit 'trying to enter our world' is great, what i love here is Ash speaks these words, as if he knows whats going on, the spirit of Annie's father appears the them, well, his head does anyway, painted black and white, it tells them that a dark spirit want to destroy them and that the pages she brought with her in the frame can save them and his soul, The hand returns, briefly and the lights go out, Bobby Joe is missing, running through the wood, they claim her, a little reminiscent of the tree raping scene form the first film, yes i said tree rapping scene, its more suggestive then full on rap, a scene removed from the UK version for years, not until the DVD release did we finally see an uncut version here in the UK, while Annie looks through the pages she brought with her to the cabin Jake takes them by gun point and throws them into the basement with Evil Henrietta, forcing the others to go out into the woods after Bobby Joe.
Outside, forcing Ash and Annie at gun point Jake leads them into the woods, long shots, trees, alive? Jakes starts screaming for Bobby Joe, Ash tries to reason with Jake but he gets beaten with the shotgun, the Entity is back, Evil Ash returns, Annie runs for the cabin and Jake is thrown into a tree, head first, shutting Evil Ash out, Annie picks up a dagger made from what looks like a spine, Jake bursts through a door and Annie stabs him with the knife by mistake deep into his chest, but still he ain't dead, she drags him in and shuts the door while Evil Ash beats on the outside, the possessed Henrietta drags Jake into the basement and another torrent of blood gushes out soaking Annie, yet in the next shot, she's dry and blood free, Evil Ash appears behind her and picking her up over his head, a shot taken from 'Within the Wood' and throws her into a wall, Annie is out, and as Evil Ash moves in he spots the pendant he gave Linda laying on the floor, this brings Ash back and drives out the evil within him, Of course Annie doesn't know this and tries to kill him with the axe, but convinces her he's ok. Eventually.
Within the Woods was a short 32 minute $1500 super-8 film shot by Raimi and the gang in order to show investors what they can do with $1500, "imagine what we could do with more" that short film lead to the first Evil Dead getting made back in 1979, you can most likely find it on Youtube.
Linda's Pendant was bought from a jewellers for the first film, the script said gold but who ever bought it got a silver one instead, so they sprayed it gold, personally i'd of just left it silver, in the first film there were close ups of it, and you could see the paint on the glass, also it wasn't very pretty, Raimi and Campbell didn't really like it, neither did the original Linda (Betsy Baker).
Ash and Annie hatched a plan to get back the pages Jake throw into the basement, in the work shed Ash attaches the Chainsaw to his right arm with leather straps, An iconic image of Horror, and with a chainsaw and the shotgun strapped to his back we get yet another classic Evil Dead line "Groovy", so Ash descends down into the basement knowing that a possessed Henrietta (played by brother Ted Raimi) lays in wait for him, Ash collects the pages which it seems Henrietta has been spreading around, a brief reappearance by Jake, albeit as a skeleton in dungarees, Ash returns to the hatch and throws up the pages to Annie who starts to read them while Ash is attacked by Henrietta grabbing his feet through the runs in the steps, knocking him out, Henrietta attacks Annie grabbing her and spinning above her, if you look closely you can see a rip in the arse end of the costume with powdered sweat pouring out, Ash returns and fights off the possessed Henrietta, briefly distracted by Annie's singing Ash moves in with the chainsaw, and yet another great line, as Henrietta lays on the floor shouting "I'll swallow your soul I'll swallow your soul I'll swallow your soul" Ash points down the shotgun, point blank "Swallow this" Henrietta's head explodes, awesome. Spinning the shotgun western style Ash puts it away over his shoulder, then he and Annie embrace.
The Trees attack that cabin, The evil is now "of the flesh" after Annie read the first passage from the pages, and giant tree'ish head bursts in and Ash's hair turns grey over his temples, Annie is hit ,Ash is grabbed by the thing, Annie finishes the passage then Ash's right hand stabs her in the back, Ash jams the chainsaw into the things eye, the last words of the passage is spoken by Annie then she finally dies, a vortex opens up sucking the evil through, Ash is then dragged through himself.
The 73 Oldsmobile lands in the dirt followed by Ash, he is surrounded by Knights, a winged deadite attacks the knights run in fear but Ash stands and with the shotgun shots it down, the knights praise him, Sam Raimi makes an appearance, it would seem Ash is back in medieval times.
I've loved this film since the first time i saw it, in the pre-DVD days of VHS, i bought it on ex-rental from my local video rental store, it cost me £10 i think, the quietly was terrible, even for VHS, well of course it was it used to be a rental, but i loved it anyway and bought the DVD as soon as it was released in the States or Region 1, it was a big tin box, i later bought the Book of the Dead version, it came inside a rubber latex book that screamed when you pressed the eye, and last weekend i picked up the Blu-Ray, i didn't even know it was out, my friend picked it up to show me and i couldn't put it back down so i bought it for £10.
I love the Evil Dead and the sequel, not so much number 3, but i love the 80's style horror the slap stick humour, i think Bruce Campbell is a great actor, who unfortunately make bad choices, like Alien Apocalypse, but well forget about that, or at least try to.
I watched Evil Dead 2 while writing this and for other facts i referred to;
The Evil Dead Companion.
If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a B-Movie Actor.
and The Internet Movie Database.
I've Been a Trekkie my whole life, well, as far back as i can remember, i used to watch it on BBC 2 with my dad on Sunday afternoons, and this is an incredible addition to the continuing voyages of the Starship Enterprise and her crew. I first saw this at the IMax theatre in Waterloo London, i've had reason and motivation to illegally download and or watch this film many times since then, but i haven't, because i love trek so much, as soon as the Blu-Ray was up for pre-order on Amazon i pre-ordered it, that was back in July, i received my 3 disc Blu-Ray on Saturday morning and watched about half of the features before going to work, the other half i watch on Sunday (Sat - 14th Sun - 15th Nov) and after a nice sleep this morning (Mon) i watched the film for the second time but this time in HD, and WOW, i loved it all over again, i loved it so much i watched it again with audio commentary, and i'm contemplating watching it again for a third time. The characters are so well done, Sulu with his fencing, Chekov with the wictor wictor 2, Ohuru is beautifully intelligent, Scotty is funny and Pegg gets out a few of his trademark lines, Bones also get a few out but we get to see his relationship with Spock and Kirk develop, Spock is wonderfully played by Quinto, Spock Prime is just a joy to watch on screen again after 17 or so years, and Kirk the legend in the making, all parts are played brilliantly, and of course, who could forget the Enterprise herself, and lets not forget she is also a character in this franchise, and she looks great, sleek and sexy in this re-imaging. I'm not sure of the iTunes Extra Features, but the Blu-ray (DVD) features are great and incredibly informative, from the making of entitled 'To Boldly Go' to the characters and the deleted scenes, with the Roropente scene, where Nero was imprisoned by the Klingons for 25 years, we see great close ups of the Klingons wearing a metal mask, which makes them look a bit like Predators, but its a good scene, Spocks birth, a young Kirk with his brother and stepfather. All in all a great package.
The film got flack from the blind devotion of the purists, who can only accept Shatner as Kirk, but the way i see it the series or franchise was going nowhere 'blindly going where it had already gone before', The last truly great Trek movie was Star Trek 6 The Undiscovered Country, the last 4 movies, all with the Next Generation crew were, simply, bad films, the best of a bad bunch was First Contact, but even that wasn't very compelling, Star Trek is doing the only thing it can do, and thats to start over, fresh, the budget was more then any of its predecessors with the exception of The Motion Picture from 79, and sequels are already on the drawing board, and as far as we know the main crew have signed a 3 film deal. Awesome. the NCC-1701 is 4 times bigger then the original ship from 1966 this is most evident when you look at the vastness of the Enterprises bridge, with its obvious Apple Mac design, well at least we know they won't have any computer problems on that bridge, and apart from a few corridors the rest of the ship looks like an industrial brewery and or a refinery with hugh concrete columns and steel I beams, also and most oddly the water reclamation plant has a hugh blender inside a glass case for all to see, and luckily for Scotty (Pegg) an access hatch to escape/be rescued from. The weapons on this Enterprise are numbers, with Phasers as per usual and Phaser canons like the USS Defiant from DS9 firing like a fully automatic rail gun, and they seemed to be everywhere on top of and underneath the saucer section, handy for taking out multiple targets, like say, a dozen missiles. Nero (Banner) is a Romulian who witnessed the destruction of his home planet of Romulus by a supernova, blaming Spock Prime (Nimoy) for not saving it he goes after Spock getting court in a Blackhole, i think, which likes like a very cool lightening storm in space, and pulled into the past, arriving 25 years before Spock, Nero destroys the USS Kelvin, which George Kick, James' father was second in command and died saving his wife and new born son, the Narada Neros ship originally a Romulian mining vessel, is captured by Klingons and Nero and his crew are imprisoned for 25 years, Nero escapes and then, returning to the location of his arrival 25 years earlier Spock finally arrives and is captured by Nero.
This review was written on October 5, 2008.
Well, where to start, I’ve wanted to see this film for some time now and having found it for less then £10 i just couldn’t resist.
Expertly directed by Sergei Bodrov, and staring Tadanobu Asano.
The film opens in 1192 with Temudgin (Genghis Khan) locked up behind bars, as yet we don’t know why, but by his appearance it seems he’s been there for some time, his face looks weathered, he has no protection from the elements, a young monk tell Temudgin some bad news and we cut to, the Mognolian Steppe, 20 years earlier.
A 9 year old Temudgin is being taken by his father to the Merkit clan to choose a bride, and to bring peace to the two Mongol clans, upon there return home Temudgins Father the Khan of there clan is killed and his men, are out for themselves, Targutai takes control and starts to take what he wants from there camp, promising to return in the winter when Temudgin is a man, to kill him, the young Temudgin runs.
The early life of Temudgin (Genghis Khan) is a fight for survival, all the while being chased by his enemy, Targutai, in-spite of this all Temudgin wants is to find his bride, Borte. This film if not for the legend thats is Genghis Khan could easily be a love story.
The first major battle takes place when Temudgins Wife, Borte, is kidnapped my the Merkit’s. Many years ago Temudgin father took the Merkit Khan’s wife for his own, and now the Merkit’s have come after Temudgins wife, Temudgin ask’s his blood brother Jamukha, who as a young boy not much older then Temudgin, help him when his enemies were looking for him, Jamukha agrees to help Temudgin take back his wife, this battle is a small taster of want is to came.
The morning after the battle with the Merkits Temudgin leaves, taking some of Jamukha’s men with him, this tiers a rift between them, which lasts to the end.
The first battle between Temudgin and Jamukha, shows that Temudgin, even though he has a smaller army, knows how to use the battle field, and strategy. Although Temudgin losses the battle Jamukha doesn’t kill him, instead he keeps him as a slave, tethered to horses with the rest of the slaves.
Tangut Border Town one year later, i think Tangut is on the border with China, Tangut was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1227, then then ruler of Tangut bought Temudgin against the avise of a monk, who said “don’t buy that one he well bring sorrow upon us, he will never foregive the humiliation, i see hordes of Mongol horsemen” on his cell was written “MONGOL WHO WANTED TO DESTROY TANGUT KINGDOM”, Khan destroyed Tangut 35 years later.
Temudgin was kept in a cell on the outside of a building, as per the opening shot. I have no clue as to how long Temudgin was kept in the cell, after his wife Borte, discovered where his was being held, she helped in his escape, again, not quite sure how long it took her to get there for her home in Mongolia, but when she started she had one child, a boy named Jochi, but after freeing Temudgin a young girl was with her also, named Mongen. I couldn’t find the name in Genghis Khans Lineage, and given her age, i suspect that Borte, took the child from the slave traders she travelled with, on her way to free Temudgin.
Once free Temudgin enjoys a brief rest-bit before heading out again to unify Mongolia, by creating laws and forcing the Mongo people to obey them even if it meant killing half the population, this law was celled the Yassa, it was a secret written code of law created by Genghis Khan. It was the principal law under the Mongol Empire even though no copies were made available. Genghis Khan appointed his harshest son Chagatai (later Chagatai Khan) to oversee the execution of it.
Cut to, 1196, and Temudgin Khan’s (Genghis Khan) army stands on the battlefield with his blood brother Jamukha, greatly out numbered, Temudgin uses strategy to fight his enemies, and remembering something told to him by his father. This is the finally battle.
If this film has don’t anything for me, it’s made me what to learn more about the man not just the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan, but Temudgin, his early life, and the road that lead him to rule the largest contiguous empire and the second largest empire overall in world history, at its hight the Mongol Empire ruled over 100 million people and held 22% of the Earths total land area.
I love this film, and at 2 hours long, you do get a lot for 10 quid, don’t think it’s all war and battles, its more like a biopic of the man, like the title says The Rise to Power of Genghis Khan, and thats what this film is, well directed, the cinematography is epic and the landscapes are beautiful, all round a great film.
Written by Matt Haigh,
Matt isolates the four things that urgently need fixing with modern day horror movies...
Published on Jul 16, 2009
Den of Geek
I have long been a fan of the horror genre across most mediums, from the brick-sized Stephen King paperbacks I absorbed as a teenager, to the films that fascinated and terrified me in equal measure as a child. Even though the mere sight of their covers in the video shop sent chills up my spine, I still badgered my mother to rent them, and so grew up on a diet of Critters, Gremlins, Salem's Lot, The Howling, Halloween, Misery, Nightmare On Elm Street, and a rather disturbing adult version of Little Red Riding Hood. There are all sorts of reasons people enjoy horror films that I won't go into here, but it's safe to say horror is a genre close to my heart.
That is, when it's done right. Because, when horror is done badly, it can be really, really bad. I'm not talking about those films which are so terrible they have a trashy quality that endears them to us, but more in the way of modern horror. Yes, having gritted my teeth and forced myself to watch a number of recent titles for Den of Geek, it's dawned on me that I really don't enjoy most modern horror films, for the following reasons.
It's fair to say that in the majority of cases, character development has not played a big part in your average horror film. This has been the case for quite some years, with many of the cast serving no other purpose other than to show up and get killed. But what many film makers don't seem to grasp is the potential character building has in making their film truly great. After all, why should we care if somebody gets killed when they're presented to us as being an empty vessel?
To take a recent example, Hostel spent a good deal of time letting us get familiar with its central characters. Sure, they may not have been the most likeable bunch, but they were rounded people with good and bad qualities - the same as all humans. Thus, our emotional response to their torture and ultimate demise proved greater for the time we had invested in getting to know them.
My main gripe with a lot of modern horror is the way every man is presented as the typical muscle-bound jock, and every girl either has to be sexualised, or the freaky outcast. It's true cookie-cutter characterisation that just doesn't work.
This has to be one of my biggest problems with modern horror - the often schizophrenic approach to directing. My earliest memory of a film proving so damn difficult to watch without getting a headache was Thirteen Ghosts, and for some inconceivable reason it seems to have formed a template that nearly every subsequent wannabe Craven or Carpenter subscribes to.
I'm talking, of course, about the dreaded fast-cut, that manic switching of camera angles that, presumably, is supposed to build tension and come across as ‘edgy', but is simply irritating. There's no other way to describe it. It's almost as if film makers think we're incapable of watching the same frame for more than half a second without falling asleep. So, a word to any budding horror directors out there - it's okay to take things slowly. In fact, I'd argue that long, drawn-out frames and single shots probably crank up the tension in a way that a million fast-cuts could never dream of.
For anyone who's studied film, you'll be aware of the concept of ‘the male gaze', - the idea that most film makers, especially horror film makers, are male, and as such whatever we view is going to be through the eyes of a male perspective. This is no bad thing in itself, except that it usually means a lack of variety, and the same old ideas being used time and again.
For instance, why is it always a girl that needs saving? Why is it nearly always one male and one female character left surviving at the end of the film? Why is everybody heterosexual, and if there are characters of differing sexualities, must they always be cheerleading lesbians? Some film makers are willing to take risks, however.
Neil Marshall bucked the trend with the brilliant The Descent in 2005, which featured an all female cast. As well as being an excellent, innovative film, his choice of casting led to an extremely fresh feeling, that for once we were seeing events unfold through the eyes of somebody other than the traditional white, straight male. In fact, when you consider that, according to the IMDb, Silent Hill was refused at first on the basis that all the characters were female, it's quite an achievement that Marshall's vision made it to the big screen at all.
It kicked off, to my mind, with the Saw franchise and then Hostel, and was quickly adopted as horror's flavour of the decade. It may have been popular for a while, but surely at this point every moviegoer has witnessed just about every method there is for disembowelling, decapitating, garrotting, torching, slicing and sawing a human body there is? It took me quite a while of watching ‘torture porn' before I realized just how sick and tired of it I was, and - more importantly - that it just wasn't enjoyable to watch.
When I think about the horror films I've truly enjoyed watching over the years - An American Werewolf In London, Silent Hill, The Silence Of The Lambs, Cloverfield, Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Black Christmas, Stephen King's IT, Fright Night and The Fog to name a few - yes, they've been dark, scary and quite vicious in parts, but they've also had strong stories, good characters and, above all, heart. They've all retained a core of humanity.
What I feel about the torture porn phenomenon is the utter coldness of mankind, the total lack of feeling. I'm not talking purely about the films themselves, because, of course, a film about people being tortured isn't going to be pleasant, but I get a sense that they originate from a very cynical, cold, compassionless place, that the people making these films are just out to make a quick buck and don't really care about bringing anything worthwhile to cinema.
In conclusion, this isn't a ‘ban everything I don't like' article, but rather a call for some of the stock values of horror film making to make a return. I'm actually really excited about the remake of The Wolf Man, because, aside from Cloverfield, I can't remember the last time there was a good old-fashioned monster movie showing in cinemas. Recently I've been engrossed in a lot of Hammer Horror films, and the difference in quality between those and today's offerings is striking. Okay, so the special effects weren't great back then, but somehow a stronger atmosphere is created in those films than anything that's graced cinema screens in the past few years.
In films such as The Reptile, Plague Of The Zombies, Scream Of Fear, The Nanny and House Of Blood, we can smell those foggy streets, taste that salty coastline air, hear the creak of those floorboards and feel menace chase us down darkened alleyways.
Very little in modern horror's canon has made an impact on me, but I've been genuinely scared or at least a little disturbed watching some of the better films in the Hammer Horror family. And, most of all, I've truly relished every minute of watching them.
So, what horror films do you believe excel in characterisation, atmosphere and storytelling? Are there any modern horror film gems out there that I might've missed or haven't talked about here? Add them to the comments below...
1.Introduce the main character(s), set the scene.
2.Give the character a problem, obstacle, obsession or addiction.
3.Let the character work out a plan to overcome the problem.
4.Before setting out to solve the problem, there may be a moment of doubt that will require the hero to seek advice from a mentor such as a teacher or best friend. This is an opportunity to let the audience know more about the problem and weigh it up in their own minds. What would they do?
5.With new resolve (and often a magical gift from the mentor: the watches Q gives James Bond; Dorothy's ruby slippers), the hero sets out to overcome the problem, obstacle, obsession or addiction.
6.Overcoming the problem or challenge (getting the girl; escaping tyranny; saving the world) will be met by extreme opposition from the rival, who will usually have greater but different strengths and will in some ways bear similarities to the hero: the nemesis is the hero's dark side.
7.The hero will appear to fail in his quest. He will give up or glimpse defeat, even death, and will require superhuman effort to overcome this daunting final task.
8.The hero wins the final battle with an opponent or enemy or with himself, and returns to his natural state wiser, or stronger, or cured, but not necessarily happier. The journey has made him a different person. He has glimpsed death and can never go back to the simplicity of what he once was.
1.Don't trust in inspiration, unless your a poet. The first idea you get is often borrowed from every movie you've seen and every book you've read.
2.If you do work on that inspired project-rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. There are the most important three things you will ever learn about scriptwriting, and i repeat: rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.
3.See your writing from the other side of the screen, from the audience point of view; if there is no audience, there is no message.
4.Do not adjust your writing to the market by attempting to stay abreast, or even ahead, of changing trends; such work is a form of cultural static lacking veracity and often, even relevance
5.Be true to your own vision. Write about what you know about? Absolutely. But then write what you believe in.
6.Four steps to writing a short film scenario: find the ending, then the beginning, then the first turning point-the event that gets the story going, then the second turning point-the scene that swings the story around and sets up the ending.
7.Enter your story a short time before the crisis that ignites the drama.
8.Scenes are like parties: arrive late and leave early.
10.Listen to criticism. But don't always take it.
This is a short article in which to deal with a big subject: how to write a good script for a short film. Rule number one: there are no hard and fast rules.
But, if your aim is to get your film funded, there are definitely some guiding principles that will help to ensure that your project is taken seriously.
Why Am I Making this Film?
No-one makes a living out of writing or directing short films. Most people see short films as a tool for learning and testing ideas, or a way of demonstrating that they have the talent to do something else. Generally that ‘something else’ is to make features.
Whether you are working alone or as part of a team make sure that the project you are developing plays to your strengths and is achievable within your budget. Don’t make an intense character study if you’re scared of actors or develop an action story that will require stunts, car chases and special effects if you know you will only have £5K to make it.
What is a short film?
The most important thing to say is that a short isn’t a feature film and that it is generally a bad idea to try to squeeze a story you are developing (or have written) as a feature into a short.
Most festivals will accept as a short anything that is under 30 minutes, but many programmers and curators also say that they find it difficult to place longer short films (ones over 20 minutes). If your film is over 20 minutes long it may well need and be able to cope with more characters and a secondary story strand. The majority of funding in the UK is aimed at films that are around the 10 minute mark.
If your film is basically going to function like a joke then keep it short (2-3 minutes max) and make sure the audience won’t see the punch-line coming a mile off. Films like this will make far more of an impression if they not only make us laugh but also manage to allude to something that gives us pause for thought.
Finding the Story
Any kind of dramatic story requires 3 basic elements:
Short films are no different; you just have less time to establish and develop each element. Most successful short films focus on ONE moment or event in the life of ONE main character. Because of that it is unusual for a short film to take place over a long period of time – it’s usually just looking at the immediate build up to and/or consequences of that one event. A lot of the best short films play out more or less in ‘real’ time, and a story that spreads over more than a few days is unlikely to work well as a short film.
Because of the need to establish an instantly recognisable world in order to get on with exploring a character’s problem, it can be useful to set your film around a familiar event or ritual: a wedding, a birthday party, the first day at school, tea with stuffy relatives, Christmas Day etc. With a setting of this sort you can take for granted the audience’s familiarity with the situation and you have immediately placed your characters into a story world full of barely suppressed emotions, which is always useful for generating dramatic tension and story events. The other advantage to choosing a setting of this sort is that it gives the story a finite time frame.
Another popular setting for the short film is the journey. Most short films focus on a pivotal, significant event in the life of the main character so that the story inevitably takes the character on a metaphorical emotional journey and it can work well to use a literal journey as its setting.
The Character & the Problem
The most important questions to ask yourself when you begin to develop your story are:
Who is the main character?
What is their problem?
How will the audience recognise the problem?
Are the stakes high enough?
Am I telling the story from the best point of view?
The audience must be clear from the outset who the film is about and they won’t be if you aren’t. Your main character is the one who has the problem and if there isn’t a character in the story with a problem then you don’t have a film, or at least not one that will work as a dramatic narrative.
What is driving your main character through the story must be one of the following:
And in all cases it must be clear to the audience, even if it isn’t to the character, what this is. But what must also be present in the story - and apparent to the audience - is something that is making it hard for the character to pursue their want, need or obligation. The fact that something is making it hard is what turns it into a problem and, like we said before, no problem, no film.
Making Problems Manifest to the Audience
The way in which you turn a character’s inner problem into the heart of your film and make sure that the audience can SEE it is one of the most important ways that you can demonstrate your skill as a filmmaker and not just as a story-teller. When we’re reading books we can be inside a character’s head but when we’re watching films we need to see characters DOING things that show us what they are thinking and feeling.
Are the Stakes High Enough?
Ensuring that there is something at stake in the story means that the audience can understand what the character stands to lose if they do not solve their problem. If the story hinges around a life or death situation then it is clear what is at stake but if it is simply that the car breaks down think about how you set the film up so that the audience knows why it really matters that the character completes this particular journey.
Am I Telling the Story from the Best Point of View?
Think about the story of Cinderella and imagine if you told it with one of the ugly sisters as the main character. You could still make a good story but it would not have a happy ending (in one of the earliest versions of the story the sisters have their eyes pecked out by blackbirds at the end!) and therefore would have a very different meaning – it would function more as a cautionary tale than as a feel-good fairy story.
What Does My Story Mean?
You probably don’t set out to write a film with a moral or even with a conscious awareness of what your story means but every story communicates some meaning to the audience. Once you are sure how the story begins and ends then you have a clear indication of its meaning and this will help you make important choices as you refine and develop your script particularly in relation to...
The Tone of the Film
Tone is intimately connected to genre and though genre is less of an issue in shorts than in features it is still important to think about what kind of film you are writing in broad terms.
To summarise so far
A good short film needs a story in which something happens that has a discernible effect on the main character. All successful short films focus on one moment/event. That moment is likely to be:
one of universal significance
a moment that is of significance to the protagonist (whether s/he knows it at the time)
one that produces a situation in which the stakes are high for the protagonist
This is an edited extract from Get Your Short Film Funded, Made and Seen, the Shooting People Shorts
Well i made it through the screening, (screen pictured below).
The visible screen in this pic is a 4:3 ratio, can you see the curtain to the left, can you?, well it goes to the right of that screen as well, and my "film" filled it up, from one side of the room the the other, and because my film was in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio (letter box) like most action films, and the others were 16:9 (like your TV) my film was the biggest screen hog of the night, man my head was huge in that close up, and no i don't mean my ego.
Also, can you see the white chairs in front of the screen, thats where i was sitting during my screening, once i sat my ass down i was like, "this ain't so bad" and then just ran with it.
IT WAS REALLY FUCKING COOL
I gotta do that again, what a rush.
You can view the screened version of Do Not Bend here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TticM-h_fVM , in 720HD on Youtube
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