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By midlandsmovies, Jul 9 2019 08:57PM



Midlands Spotlight - Stairs


Award-winning Midlands director Tom Paton is about to launch his debut time-travel/horror film 'Stairs' at Arrow Frightfest in London.


This is Tom's fourth film and stars Shayne Ward and Toby Osmond and will get its world premiere at the prestigious event.


Mosley Productions in association with Goldfinch will hold the debut screening of their film this August at the highly respected festival and is about a group of mercenaries who are sent into Eastern Europe in the middle of a civil war to retrieve intel.


But shortly after the mission, the unit find themselves trapped on a never-ending stairwell; forced to climb or die. To survive, they must revisit their past sins if they ever want to get off!


The production hopes to blur the lines of action and horror to create a visually unique movie that deals with time travel, the repercussions of violence and its consequences. With practical effects, bone crunching fight sequences and existential dread the film promises to thrill audiences with 'Stairs' marking Tom Paton’s third time premiering at the London-based event.


Tom grew up in West Midlands where his passion for story telling started. Originally he wanted to be a comic book artist, but at the age of fifteen he realised it was a different form of narrative he was most drawn to and film became the obvious choice. “I always had a goal and that was to have made my first feature film by the age of thirty, so writing and directing Pandorica always felt like something that was inevitable to me, even in those early days”.


Paton had this to say on “Stairs” inclusion in the event, “It’s a really honour to be back at Frightfest for the third year in a row. I’m especially proud of how Stairs has turned out and I can’t wait to share it with everyone".


"Frightfest has been an amazing platform for my career and I’m really excited to be heading back, especially as the line-up is so incredible this year", he adds.


The film marks the feature film debut of National Television Award Winning actor and former X-Factor winner Shayne Ward, alongside Toby Osmond (Game of Thrones), Sophie Austin (Call The Midwife), Alana Wallace (Black Site), Samantha Schnitzler & Bentley Kalu (Wonder Woman).


Never one to rest on his laurels, Paton has also announced that his fifth film 'G-LOC' is in post-production. It is set to star Stephen Moyer (The Gifted, True Blood), Tala Gouveia (Cold Feet), Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers), John Rhys-Davies (Lord of The Rings, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Aquaman).


Ward, Osmond and Wallace will also return for the film and Tom has already announced that he is in production on his sixth film with executive producer Steve Mosley.


Tickets and information are available via the events website www.frightfest.co.uk







By midlandsmovies, Sep 24 2018 06:08PM



Derby QUAD celebrates 10-Year Anniversary


On Wednesday 26th September 2018, Derby QUAD will be turning 10 years old and we take a look back over the past decade of some of its highlights and why it plays a pivotal role in the region’s film community.


QUAD is a long-established creative hub that connects people and businesses to art and film and creates opportunities for entertainment, education and participation.


Originally Metro Cinema was Derby's only independent cinema with screenings at the Playhouse theatre until the cinema opened on Green Lane in January 1981, at the original site of the Derby Central School of Art.


Metro then moved at the end of 2006 to a temporary home in The Heap Lecture Theatre at the University of Derby on Kedleston Road before the projection equipment was then removed and prepared for installation in QUAD.


And QUAD has been booming ever since. As a registered independent charity, it also receives funding from a variety of sources including Derby City Council and Arts Council England to help create and support exhibitions and outreach work. And also provides creative opportunities for thousands of people every year.



A notable highlight at QUAD of course is the annual Derby Film Festival which we have covered a number of times since its inception. With amazing guests & fantastic film previews, the Derby Film Festival (DFF) has been running in QUAD since 2010. The festival’s prestigious patrons are actor David Morrissey and Anwen Hurt and it has seen many famous film faces arrive as guests over the years.


These include actor Simon Callow, actress Julie Peasgood, Sir Ben Kingsley, actor Jenny Agutter, directors Peter Sasdy and Jake West, director Mark Herman and historical consultant Dr. Jacqueline Riding, Puppeteer Marcus Clarke, directors John Hough, Waris Hussein and Michael Armstrong, actor Sir John Hurt, Monty Python’s Terry Jones, Brian Blessed and Paddy Considine.

https://derbyfilmfestival.co.uk/festival-history


In addition to that is QUAD’s Fright Club where a mix of brand new terrors from home and abroad are enjoyed alongside the pick of the archive classics. Every month, Cult Film Historian Darrell Buxton introduces some of the best horror films around for Midlands horror afficianados. Read more by clicking here.



There’s also 5 Lamps Film screenings which run every two months and showcase aspiring local filmmakers. As well as those regular events they also host their annual 24 hour film-making challenge at the end of the Derby Film Festival. It sees participants of any experience produce a short film of three minutes over the course of 24 hours before they are screened to the public with awards given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Click here for more




There’s also the Summer Nights outdoor film calendar to thank QUAD for as well. Starting in Derby but now spreading to stately homes and grand venues throughout the UK, they have given the chance for audiences to enjoy the great outdoors for a unique cinematic experience. Read our thoughts on The Forces Awakens screening in the Midlands here.




And to celebrate the last 10 years, QUAD also has two exciting events coming up before the end of 2018.


First up is a free outdoor screening of ‘The Greatest Showman’ at Derby Market Place starting at 8:15pm on 26th September 2018 and will include subtitles for those who are D/deaf or hard of hearing. Attenders are advised to bring their own camping-style chairs to sit on!


If the outside isn’t your cup of tea, then QUAD’s “The Best of 10” ten-film season includes ten titles chosen from each year that the venue has been open and takes place between August and December 2018. Alongside the ten films, QUAD asked the public to vote for their favourite film shown at the venue, which will be shown as the final, eleventh choice.


But we haven’t even mentioned the film clubs, education and quiz nights so please go to https://www.derbyquad.co.uk to get involved in many more creative events.


So Happy Birthday QUAD! With a comprehensive cinematic schedule running throughout the year with events catering for all tastes, ages and backgrounds, we wish all the staff, crew, films and filmmakers all the best for another decade of fantastic film feasts.


Mike Sales



By midlandsmovies, Aug 4 2017 07:49AM



Midlands Movies speaks to local legend Thomas Hodge aka The Dude Designs who for years has been respected as one of the best alternative poster designers out there but who now has taken his first steps into making his very own film.


Thomas Hodge is the poster artist behind Hobo with A Shotgun (2011) The Innkeepers (2011) The Heat (2013) WolfCop (2014) and many more, as well as the author of VHS: Video Cover Art (2015). This book is the first of its kind to comprehensively bring together the artwork on UK VHS covers from the '80s to the '90s.


But now Tom is now proud to present his first stint in the director's chair with 'Teddy Bears Picnic', a proof-of-concept short film selected to premiere at this year's Fright Fest in London.


Written, produced, directed and financed by Tom himself, the film stars US actress Abby Miller (Justified, Aquarius & The Sinner TV series) and Laurence R Harvey (Human Centipede 2+3, ABCs of Death 2 & The Editor) yet was shot entirely in the Midlands at Welford in Northampton.


“I'm VERY excited to announce my first film project at long last!” says Tom who has kept the project behind guarded doors during its production. He adds, “It’s great the film is also showing at Fright Fest in London on the 28th August and with a world-wide online release to follow I hope it’s possible to develop it into a feature”.



The film revolves around a mother and daughter playing games in the forest but unbeknownst to them there is somebody watching their every move. Filmed entirely on location in the rural woodlands of the English Northampton countryside, Tom describes the short as "a year-long trip in terms of production but seven years of work in total”.


“I've been hands-on throughout, donning many new creative hats to produce, direct, art-direct and edit for the first time. I spent months making props, building creepy woodlands and creating original costumes."


Tom says how he was inspired by the 1907 melody of the same name, “Teddy Bears Picnic re-envisions the childhood song as a nightmarish fable that twists the concept of childhood innocence. I particularly loved the creativity of high concept horror in the '70s and '80s – from the films of Charles Band to the pulp horror novels of Guy N. Smith. So I wanted to take classic character-driven horror and develop it to suit contemporary tastes, with a strongly stylised visual approach”.


Tom also had the invaluable input of an “amazing director of photography" James Fox and the help and support from co-producer Natalie Dorn who also sacrificed a year for production. A musical score by Sophie Galpin (Pins-band) and sound design by Todd Freeman (Cell Count & Love Sick) add to the small cast and crew alongside co-writer Russell Norris.


With a set of teaser trailers being released online over the next month, you can get updates on the film at Tom’s YouTube channel - click here


And check out Tom’s poster art at https://www.thedudedesigns.com




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