All work and no play makes Jack and dull boy.

Month: June 2010

ANNOUNCEMENT: Eye Films to make Stephen King's Strawberry Spring

I’m delighted to announce that I’ve managed to obtain the non-exclusive rights to a Stephen King short story called Strawberry Spring and will be writing and directing an adaptation of that for production throughout this year and into early next.
Strawberry Spring is the story of a sadistic serial killer who terrorises the staff and students of a university campus and who manages to evade police capture despite all their best efforts. The killer’s light footed modus operandi earns him the nickname Springheel Jack and the story is told in flashback through the eyes of the students at the college campus, who watch as their friends and colleagues are brutally murdered.
Strawberry Spring was originally published in the late 1960s and was then revised for the short story collection Night Shift, which is where I read it when I was 13 or 14 years old. The fog-shrouded, haunting atmosphere of the college, the sense of unease and yet also of mystery and other-worldliness that Stephen King spins in his writing gripped me then and has stayed with me ever since. I am thrilled to bits to have obtained the  rights to this short story through the Dollar Baby scheme.
This isn’t the first time this story has been adapted for the screen but it’s very much my aim to push the production and script values over and above those efforts and create a short film where there is greater character interaction, and where the true horror of the murders is captured. Being an adaptation also allows me to include new elements of creativity that enhance the original story and we’ve been working on ideas for some months now, though it is my very definite plan to stay as closely to the original as possible. The only obvious differences will be the practical ones in the setting – a modern day British university or college campus as opposed to the 1960s American college campus of the original story.
Amongst the people I am already working with are a group of UK film students as well as some people I have collaborated with in the past. If you’re interested in joining the crew or would be interested in sponsoring the film and would like more information please contact me at jon@eyefilms.co.uk
In the meantime here is a teaser graphic we drew up earlier this year. Also, you can join the Facebook fan-page here.

Pivotal

Two months since the last update, and so much has happened in that time it’s very hard to know where to begin exactly. 2010 is shaping up to be a pivotal year on all fronts.
My health has been the main reasons for a lack of blogging. Noro-virus in February, which kindly helped me shed half a stone in four days; then flu, which shed another half a stone in half the time at t he end of March and was symptomatic of Epstein-Barr virus, aka glandular fever, which I’ve contracted.It really is a lousy condition – perpetually tired, unable to do even simple things without needing an hours sleep afterwards, lethargy, general malaise. It puts the whole of your life on hold.
The creative project’s I’ve been involved with this year have struggled to be completed as I’ve been pre-occupied with trying to chase up clients who have been late payers or who’ve refused to honour the contracts they’ve agreed. It’s led me to question whether I want to continue to work for myself or whether it would  be more productive for me in terms of my own creativity as a film-maker and story-teller to forego working for myself in order to have that chance to engage in my artistic expression in my own time.
Fortunately, someone I previously worked for was looking for an individual with the kind of skillset I can deliver and so I’ve walked back into a secure and stable job that lets me concentrate on the creative aspects of what I do, knowing that we have a regular flow of money coming in regardless. Film-making can become something I do away from work – something to enjoy, a way of expressing myself.
Some of the projects I’ve been working on for months now can begin to pick up pace and finally be completed – Tiltshift, A Shot in Time and The Songs of Steel documentaries, and Georgia’s Angel – and I can move onto new stuff.
I’ve been asked to produce two films over the next few months – Rob Yeoman’s The Room, and a horror called The White Hare by Tim Young. I also have a project in long term development – a short film with the potential to become a feature that is based around a short story by a hugely successful and well known American author. I’ve been itching to release details of this but want to have a few more solid things to say. Expect an announcement on here soon though. There are a few other script ideas I have too.
In fact 2010, is set to be my most prolific year since I actually began working as a film artist in 2007.

Georgia’s Angel…

… has been slumbering in post-production Hell for a few weeks now but I’m begin to finalise the picture now and it shouldn’t be much longer before it’s locked. I always wanted this film to be seen around Christmas time – maybe it’ll be hitting the festivals for then! Either way, it’s going to have to wait a while as it’s run out of money and needs some completion funding to secure a decent sound mix and score. In the meantime here is a few shots from the film.

Politics

I try to keep politics out of this blog but the recent change of government in Britain deserves some comment. The Labour Government – which I campaigned for in 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010 – has gone and probably rightly taken some very draconian measures with it. I do not mourn the loss of ID cards, CCTV, ContactPoint, nor the mass of regulations with respect to DNA and personal freedoms such as the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and the recent legislative changes that amounted to legalising copyright theft from photographers and video artists.
I do however mourn the loss of what was in many other respects a forward thinking, progressive government in the UK; and do not look forwards to years of hardship and cutbacks for communities and people who need help from government the most.
The vast majority of cuts announced by Danny Alexander (who campaigned in the General Election on exactly the opposite platform and is now nothing more than an advertising board for the Conservative Party) will fall on those communities and sectors that need support the most. It strikes me as bizarre that a government arguing that the private sector needs to lead the way out of the recession is then cutting off investment to the private sector. I refer of course to the cancellation of the £80 million loan to Forgemasters in Sheffield as well as a number of other projects.
I notice that major infrastructure loans and investment in the South East (predominantly Conservative constituencies following the Election) such as the cross rail link have not been cancelled. This and the very undemocratic attempt at gerrymandering the Commons by changing voting procedures and constituency sizes amounts to a breathtaking strike at our democracy that must be resisted by those of us who genuinely believe in progressive politics at all.
Labour, in particular, needs to get its act together and quickly. It has been a tragic mistake to draw out the leadership campaign over the whole summer while the Con-Dem coalition put into place all manner of measures. As a Labour Party member I have a vote in the leadership election this autumn. I will be backing David Milliband – he is the only person who can take Labour back to the centre, reclaim the ground lost during the calamity that was Gordon Brown’s premiership and bring a genuinely progressive government to these shores once more.

Next update

I’ve a few things I’ve been meaning to blog about so I’ll be back Tuesday hopefully!

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