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By midlandsmovies, Nov 26 2019 11:54AM


Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith
Steve Green with Alan Birch and Al Smith

Midlands Spotlight - New online show focuses on Midlands filmmakers


Midlands filmmakers will find themselves in front of the camera when local telly legends Des Tong and Gary James launch their new online show Birmingham Now on Monday 25th November.


Birmingham Now is a new monthly YouTube series will feature interviews with personalities from the world of movies, music, theatre and art, as well as profiles of business and sports figures.


Des Tong is a Birmingham-based musician, presenter and video director, best known for his work with Sad Cafe and singer Cissy Stone. Gary James is a Birmingham-based sports journalist, presenter and branding consultant with wide experience in corporate entertainment.



Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong
Birmingham Now hosts Gary James and Des Tong

And Steve Green and Chrissie Harper run Solihull-based Vamporama Films, producing news packages for regional television and documentary material for a variety of online and media platforms.


In the first edition, co-producer Steve Green will be talking to actor Alan Birch and writer Al Smith about their collaborations on film and stage, as well as the first Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival.


Running in Kinver in January 2020, the Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival includes judges include Adam Nevill, whose novel The Ritual was adapted for the screen in 2017.



There's also the first of Des Tong's "featured artist" profiles in which he chats with Wolverhampton-born singer-songwriter Rebecca Downes.


The show is a co-production between Des & Gary and Solihull-based Vamporama Films.


Previews and free subscriptions are available now via the show’s website http://brum-now.uk


YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIjVpJqCyNK_BymjT-fnTdQ

Festival link: https://www.weepingbankproductions.co.uk



By midlandsmovies, Sep 18 2019 12:11AM



The Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival launches in the Midlands


A new film festival for short horror films is launching in the area and is inviting the region’s filmmakers to send in their movies for their event.


The Black Country Horror Shorts Film Festival will take place at Kinver High School in Stourbridge on 25th January 2020 and filmmakers will have the chance to show their films by submitting a short film under 5 minutes before 14th December.


Based in the Black Country, the festival is being organised by Weeping Bank Productions who are hoping to make this an annual event.


“We have quite an amazing panel of judges including Henrik Harms, Adam Neville and Steven Green”, says one of the founders Alan Birch.


Formed by two well-known Black Country ‘Alans’, Weeping Bank Productions is a small independent entertainment company dedicated to the art of scaring people by way of reading original ghost stories.


After many years of treading the boards with various theatre groups, actor Alan Birch starred in two full length indie comedy films as David Tristram’s creation Inspector Drake.


“I’ve always loved the horror genre and what excites me most about telling these stories is the fact that the audience has no preconceptions. They really will be unprepared for just how scary they are”, adds Alan.



Co-founder Alan Smith who writes under the name A.G.Smith has gained praise for his novels from best-selling authors Anthony Horowitz and G.P.Taylor. His work with prisoners has seen him appear on Channel Four’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ and on BBC Radio 4’s PM Programme.


The pair met on the set of ‘Inspector Drake The Movie’ and have remained friends ever since. Once they discovered that they both shared a passion for horror, the idea of forming Weeping Bank Productions was hatched.


And as they launch the festival, they are keen to encourage everyone with a horror story to tell to get involved. The 1st prize for the festival winner is £200 (plus a crate of Batham’s Best Bitter) and 3 runners up will win £50 (plus six bottles of Batham’s).


The full list of judges are Adam L.G. Nevill (author of the horror novels 'Banquet for the Damned', 'Apartment 16' & more), journalist/writer/filmmaker Steve Green, Birmingham radio journalist Nina Das Gupta, writer A. G. Smith and Worcester writer and director Hendrik Harms.


To enter is just £10 and click this link and check out further festival information and full terms and conditions on the official site here:

https://www.weepingbankproductions.co.uk/horror-film-festival







By midlandsmovies, Jan 1 2019 10:26AM

Monsters (2018)


Directed by Chrissie Harper


Vamporama Films presents director Chrissie Harpers second short film Monsters, an eerie outlook of a dystopic future.


The film focuses on one Man (Liam Woon) as he addresses how this ruined world came to be, walking his audience through the history of horrific events that have taken place.


The man details that “monsters have emerged” and that they are “callous” and “unforgiving”, he goes on to say that humans have been forced to live underground much like the setting of the film as it is wholly set in an abandoned air raid shelter.


Who the monsters are? Where they have come from? Why they have attacked? These questions are not made clear. The man speaks softly but ambiguously as if he doesn’t want to know the full story. He continues to divulge that humans can be monsters also, that they have exacted vengeance after the initial attacks which have resulted in the monsters fearing humans also.


This is where Monsters shines, Harper successfully plants a dialogue inside the viewer’s minds asking them if humans are so different to monsters. Whilst watching the film I couldn’t help but mirror our history, our present and what could be our future to what was being displayed on screen. Is this the result of toxic human behaviour?


The fantastic story idea is credited to Steve Green who also produces, whilst director Chrissie Harper also writes the screenplay. Harper with the help of sole actor Liam Woon, creates an overwhelming sense of dread, that all hope is lost. The fact this takes place underground gives off the impression humanity has lost and the monsters have won.


Liam Woon, who also starred in Vamporama Films previous short All Bad Things, is given the huge task of being the only actor, a job he seems to relish as he delivers his monologue poetically and concisely.


I was hoping for clarity at the end of Monsters, who is the Man speaking to? Is he making a record for the future? One could argue the ambiguity of the films nature is what makes it successful, regardless, the last five seconds of Monsters will leave the viewer with a smile…or a shudder.


Guy Russell

Twitter @BudGuyer

By midlandsmovies, Jul 7 2018 08:16AM



New West Midlands horror short Monsters gets underway


Hot on the heels of their short giallo thriller 'All Bad Things...', which had its premiere at the 2018 Grindhouse Planet Film Festival, Midlands-based Vamporama Films is in pre-production on a new project, 'Monsters'.


This dark tale stars William Hayes and will be directed by Chrissie Harper, whose screenplay was based on a storyline by producer Steve Green.


With pre-production beginning in November 2017 the story is set in the “shadows of a ruined world, where a lone individual addresses an unknown audience”.


Are they his accusers? His judges? His acolytes? Well, Vampora Films hopes to draw the viewer into their dark universe asking whether he might be a madman or a messiah.


With All Bad Things (see Midlands Movies coverage here) complete, and the new production now well underway, the extraordinarily talented William Hayes is attached to what they describe as “a one-man tour de force”.


Previously William has appeared at the company’s regular film nights and in October 2017 he mesmerised an appreciative audience with a gripping rendition of Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’.


With location scouting complete, Chrissie Harper is currently storyboarding the film’s key elements (see her promo piece above). Chrissie herself is a Solihull based filmmaker from the West Midlands who is influenced by Orson Welles and has previous experience in editing, design, film-making & video editing.


Having additional experience in illustration this has become crucial in the development of each of her projects including this latest one, Monsters.


Producer Steve Green is known throughout the Midlands with his film work for Made in Birmingham as well as the very successful Birmingham Horror Group nights in the region.


To follow the progress of the film please check out their official sites below:


http://chezchrissie.co.uk/

http://www.ghostwords.co.uk

Twitter: @SteveGhostwords & @VamporamaFilms




By midlandsmovies, Nov 2 2017 09:23AM


West Midlands short All Bad Things


All Bad Things is a new Midlands short that has been written and directed by Chrissie Harper, from an idea by producer and former Solihull News reporter Steve Green.


The two began collaborating on reports for local channel Big Centre TV (now Made in Birmingham TV) last year, and have since begun developing a raft of drama projects.




This particular film features actor Liam Woon as book agent Mike Daventry who becomes increasingly frustrated when one of his top authors fails to turn up to a business meal. Things turn even stranger when a mysterious young woman (Demelza O’Sullivan) arrives in her place.


Written (and directed) by Chrissie Harper, the short was filmed in Solihull at the Rajnagar International Restaurant, which is soon about to celebrate its 30 year anniversary after years of serving award-winning cuisine.


The shoot involved a team of 18 and restaurant owner Dr. Moula Miah turned up to wish the cast and crew and everyone involved with the production good luck. "The film is set in a high class restaurant, so having the use of the Rajnagar was a dream come true”, says Steve Green.


“Dr Moula Miah and his staff really put themselves out for us, and it was a terrific boost to get their support."




With even more surprises on the menu for Liam Woon's increasingly bewildered agent Mike, the film got its first public screening on Halloween at the Gunmaker’s Arms in Birmingham with more plans in the pipeline!


Watch the film’s trailer on the YouTube link above.


To find out more about the short and the production follow on Twitter here:

https://twitter.com/Network23UK


And please check out the cast and crew on social media at these links

https://twitter.com/ChezChrissie

https://twitter.com/SteveGhostwords

https://twitter.com/lwoon

https://twitter.com/DemelzaO





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