Friday, 11 June 2010

Inbred - Yorkshire mayor angry


The indie UK horror production INBRED is causing some controversy in its scheduled shooting location of Thirsk. Residents of the town fear that the movie, which involves locals with the titular condition, will lead viewers to think it’s based on fact.
The Darlington and Stockton Times reported on the quarrel surrounding the film, which will be directed by CRADLE OF FEAR’s Alex Chandon from a script he wrote with Paul Shrimpton. Set for a 2011 release, INBRED is about a group of young urban offenders and their care workers who embark on a community-service weekend in the strange, remote Yorkshire village of Mortlake. A minor incident with some locals rapidly escalates into a bloodsoaked nightmare for all involved.
Councilor Derek Adamson, mayor of Thirsk, had this to say: “We don’t want that sort of publicity. If the film is promoting the area or it’s a historical piece, then that’s fine and we have no problem with it. It’s quite probable that people will think the characters in the film are like real Thirsk people, and that is not a good impression.”
Shrimpton offered his point of view: “This will give a boost to Thirsk, and it will bring a few more people into the town. Hopefully this will lead to more films being made in Thirsk in the future. If the community gets behind it, we could make something we can be really proud of.” Visit INBRED’s official website for more information on the production.

British horror boom

[I'm cross-posting this from an A2 blog)

A cracking article (is there any other kind?!) in today's Film Guardian got me thinking again about how British horror might tie into your exam topic, an idea that initially took hold from watching Eden Lake (superb; very, very well crafted, with an utterly modern, mature final girl) some weeks ago.
The article - given a different title on the website for some reason - is worth reading in full; its rammed with quotes that could have been picked out by someone sitting your exam!
See by Ryan Gilbey (11.6.10) [its copied in at the end of this post]

So, how does the contemporary resurgence of British horror, now achieving success on a scale not seen since the halcyon [successful!] days of Hammer Horror, tie into your exam you may ask?
Lets start with the future!

Budgetary constraints obviously have an effect on the look of UK horror movies: they simply can't compete with the good-looking US model populated by, well, good-looking US models. "We do gritty and realistic better than anyone else," says Kevorkian. "I don't think we have the budgets to do big elaborate horror films here, so we turn to a more reality-based horror, which is a hell of a lot more  frightening."
"Money definitely has something to do with it," says Lawrence Gough, who financed Salvage with £250,000 from Northwest Vision and Media. "A big budget production here can mean £10m-£15m, whereas $40m (£28m) in the US would be considered cheap. There's also a tendency in British film-making toward realism, which I don't think the Americans share."   [quoted from Gilbey's article]
I'm surprised there's no mention in this article of two features that show that low-budget, digital film-making doesn't have to mean the £750k spent on Donkey Punch (£600k of which paid for the boat rental!) with government funding through the UKFC (as I blogged yesterday, a new report, coming as expectations rise of severe cuts in government funding/tax breaks for UK film, makes the argument that UK film is economically very important and should retain special funding).
What does Colin, the £45 Brit-zombie flick that managed to find a distributor and funding for a cinema release [see this post for more info], suggest about the future direction of UK film-making? [Its not horror, but the £25k Born of Hope and of course Shane Meadows' £48k, 5-day-shoot, Le Donk and Scor-Say-Zee, also tie into this]

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Colin, the £45 film

Read more on Colin, reportedly a £45 movie that got a cinema release: Guardian article; forum thread; is the true budget much higher/is it all hype? 
Further articles linked from IMDB entry.

The trailer, naturally, is a tad gory, but search YouTube and its easily found. Below is a piece from SkyNews with the director interviewed.

If you can stomach a bit of gore, compare any scenes you've viewed from Colin with some IGS student work, and decide for yourselves what gap there is between a film that has found a UK distributor and a production edited in F6: see
Ellis' production was a teaser trailer, with a comedy/spoof element, but even so, the comparison is interesting...

Horror music copies animals?

Horror film soundtracks mimic animal distress calls

Film-makers' manipulations of sound tap into our primal fears, say researcher
Ben Child 26 May 2010

[DB: its also worth clicking through and reading some of the comments, which disagree with this analysis] 
Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960)
Shower scream ... Janet Leigh in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext
Discordant sounds used to create tension in horror films are effective because they mimic calls made by animals in the wild at times of stress, researchers have found.
The "non-linear" sounds, often created by pushing brass and wind instruments beyond their natural range by playing them too hard, exploit the human brain's natural aversion to sonics that signal fear or distress.
Reporting his findings in Royal Society journal Biology Letters, Professor Daniel Blumstein of the University of California, who led the research, said film composers used such sounds to heighten emotionally evocative moments in their movies.
"Noise is associated with horror and fear," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Abrupt frequency shifts are associated with sad dramatic scenes. Noise is associated with horror and fear.
"I would say it taps into our primal fear, which is shared with other mammals and birds. It scares us, but it also scares other animals."
The researchers examined 30-second clips from more than 100 films, including such celebrated moments as the shower scene in Psycho and the execution scene in The Green Mile. They at first studied four genres – adventure, horror, drama and war – but discovered that the rasping "non-linear" sounds were only to be found on the soundtracks of horror movies, and occasionally dramas.
"Our results suggest that film-makers manipulate sounds to create non-linear analogues in order to manipulate emotional responses," the scientists say in their paper.
Other films where non-linear sounds have been used to impressive effect include the 1933 version of King Kong, where natural animal calls were manipulated in terms of pitch and timbre to create an unnerving soundtrack, and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, from 1963, in which an electronic instrument, the trautonium, was used to create a terrifying avian "language".