• building Hotel Darklight

    The Hotel Darklight anthology film is racing ahead at a furious pace. My short script is titled “Hotel Training”, and is being directed by Conor McMahon. Conor is best known as the writer/director of the horror short film “Baineater”, and the feature-length zombie flick, Dead Meat. The casting is complete, and Conor has been scouting the location this weekend. The shoot will take place on Wednesday, and it’s going to be tight to get all the scenes completed in one day. An early start, and a late finish I think. There’s a Hotel Darklight fan page on Facebook now, if any of you fancy keeping up with what’s happening. Although…

  • making a short film

    So, some good news. A script I wrote for a weird short film is being made. Darklight Festival is Ireland’s annual festival for filmmakers, animators and artists whose work explores the convergence of art, film and technology. It’s taking place in Dublin from October 8 -10. For its tenth anniversary it is organising an anthology film that will consist of 8-10 short films themed around one location: Hotel Darklight. The producers Marie Caffrey, Alan Keane and Declan Lynch are doing a super job of putting together a challenging genre project on minuscule funding. It’s mostly fuelled by passion, enthusiasm, and hard graft. The shoot is taking place next week, and…

  • blogging screenwriters

    I’ve been busy lately working on a new project. This coming November the frst World Conference of Screenwriters will be taking place in Athens, Greece. I’m running the official blog for the event on behalf of the Federation of Screenwriters Europe, who are co-organising the event with the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds. I’ll also be liveblogging from the conference. It’s already been a fun challenge, and I’m looking forward to travelling to Athens, a city I’ve never visited before. Although, I suspect I’ll be too busy working at the conference to sample many of the city’s phenomenal historic attractions. I would love to see the new Acropolis Museum, however.…

  • a weekend of horrors

    I’m back from my trip to London for the horror film festival FrightFest, and I had a lovely time. The weather was great, mostly, and I avoided the occasional showers. When I wasn’t watching movies, I strolled around Soho in the sun, bought a bowler hat, and met up with mates who’ve moved to the city. This year I tried a new strategy in relation to the festival: don’t watch everything. There have been FrighFests in the past where I have attended every single screening over the five days. It’s not recommended, and impossible now since there are two streams of programming. This year I skipped all the late films,…

  • finding direction

    I’m off to Dublin today for the Give Me Direction screenwriting conference. On Saturday the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild is having its AGM, and I’ll be attending that as well. It’s Thursday, so here is my weekly pico-prose: In the Tube, crushed, Lin watches the Bronté Waterfall on the vid-strip, hears splash and spray via her earbuds, and inside, space clears. Brevity is the soul of those pressed for time.

  • d day

    On this day in 1897 a book called Dracula was published for the first time. In a strange bout of synchronicity my screenwriting group is looking at three screen adaptations of Dracula: Dracula (1931), the BBC mini-series Count Dracula (1977), and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Afterwards, we’re going to a screening of the marvellous Swedish vampire film, Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In – 2008). I’d been tipped off about the 1970s BBC version while doing research for the public interview with Kim Newman last month. Everyone who’d seen it heaped the adaptation with high praise, so I was interested in watching it. The series was…

  • get some direction, quick

    Before I inflict my weekly tiny piece of prose upon the web I’ll mention a couple of items that might be of interest to some of my readers. First off while perusing the films appearing in the forthcoming Spanish and Latin American Film Season at the IFI in Dublin I noticed that on Monday May 11th it’s showing a Mexican science fiction film called Sleep Dealer. We don’t often get opportunities to see sf films from other countries in Ireland, and it looks like it will be at least entertaining. Also, I’ve posted an entry over on the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild’s Blog about a new screenwriting conference, called…

  • something for the weekend

    Another Thursday, another piece of micro-fiction in under 140 characters: The rooms of this great house are as familiar as the chambers of my dead heart. I walk in echoes, stir dust, and pine for the key’s rattle. Last week was busy, but very enjoyable. The question and answer session on “Writing Horror” last Thursday with Kim Newman, for the benefit of IPSG members, went well. I provided Kim with enough prompts to keep the discussion of the history and development of horror cinema going for well over an hour (not that Kim needed much encouragement), and the members’ queries kept us there for another hour. The audience was fuelled…

  • "Beowulf got ready, donned his war-gear, indifferent to death;"

    I’ve come down with some manner of plague, which is a shame considering we’re experiencing unexpected (but not unwelcome) balmy weather in Ireland. Still, the sunshine cheers me up as I lumber around the house, the pockets of my red dressing gown bulging with tissues. I haven’t forgotten it’s Thursday, so that means another piece of twitter fiction. “Begone!” the teen exorcist roared. The demon picked its teeth with a rib and rolled its eyes downwards. “A 6.5 at best,” it said. “Again!” I watched Beowulf a few nights ago. Roger Avary and Neil Gaiman wrote the screenplay, and Robert Zemeckis directed it. I read the story, long ago, when…

  • a busy March weekend

    At the end the month I’ll be attending P-Con (27-29 March) in Dublin, with a variety of excellent writers. I’m looking forward to catching up with friends and spending time discussing speculative fiction in all its guises. On the evening before the convention, Thursday the 26th of March, Kim Newman (who is also attending P-Con), will be speaking to members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild about Writing Horror. The format will be a question and answer session conducted by me, with questions open to the floor at the end of the meeting. Kim will explore the tradition of horror in relation to filmmaking, and will discuss the advantages…