If you haven’t yet checked out Jinx Media’s new podcast HorrorMaker, what the hell are you waiting for? We’re up to Episode 3, which just dropped this morning.

The podcast features indie horror filmmakers in discussion with Jinx Media’s own Pat Higgins. This episode features the amazing MJ Dixon, CEO of Mycho Pictures, telling the story of how he built an entire shared horror universe.

Click the images below to check out the podcast, and don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes!

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Get the artwork for your indie horror movie onto a playing card in a very special deck!

Jinx Media is involved in a fledgling promotional project called The Deck. The idea runs like this: a promotional deck of playing cards is produced to promote INDEPENDENT UK HORROR MOVIES, ideally ones that are complete and available to the public. Each of the 52 cards will have face artwork promoting a different movie. Litho printed, retail quality.

For example, we’ve bagged the Queen of Clubs for our poster for our film The Devil’s Music. If you wish for your movie to feature on a card, it’ll cost either £75 (number cards) or £95 (court cards). For that cash, you’ll get your movie poster on a card and 30 packs of the final produced deck of cards (featuring, obviously, 51 other independent horrors along with yours). You can do with these decks of cards as you choose, of course, either selling the decks or giving them away as promotional items. Of course, everyone who nabs a card will ALSO have decks of these cards, promoting YOUR movie along with theirs, meaning that 1500 or so decks will be produced with your artwork on one of the playing cards.

In an age when print ads are dying, and digital ads are fleeting, this kind of placement could put your movie artwork into the hands of fans, in a context where they’ll see the image again and again.

After all, wouldn’t YOU rather play cards with cool artwork from a bunch of indie horror movies? I suspect that others would too.

We’re really excited about this project. If you’re interested in being a card in the deck, just email your enquiry through to cards@jinx.co.uk and we’ll take it from there.

Couple of disclaimers: there is no intention to produce The Deck with multiple images of the same movies. A different movie for each card. First come first served with specific card requests. We won’t take anyone’s money until all 52 cards have been allocated; if there isn’t sufficient interest, we won’t go ahead with production and you won’t have lost anything. But that would be a massive shame and make us really sad, because it’s going to be awesome.

Email through to bag your card, and spread the word to other filmmakers or producers who you think might be interested!

When Amazon Video Direct launched last year, I was hopeful that it might finally provide a workable and user-friendly platform for people who make movies to get those movies into the homes of people who watch movies.

Check this out: I was actively moaning that the industry as it previously existed was broken back in 2008. Back when I wrote that article, Blockbuster was still a high-street fixture (albeit a fading one). I considered the biggest threat to the indies to be Bittorrent, mainly because file-sharing had sunk more than one distribution deal for me and my company, and knew full-well that the days of DVD/Blu-Ray releases bringing in decent coin for the people who made the movies were behind us.

What didn’t exist at that point was a viable alternative.

Nowadays, there are quite a few. We’ve tried more than a couple. We dabbled with Distrify, but never really got any results. We’ve set up a Vimeo page, enabling us to sell versions of our movies with the kinds of special features that we’d previously have produced for the DVD releases. The Vimeo set-up has worked well enough for us to continue with for at least another year, but it lacks the straight-to-your-TV integration needed to reach the casual movie fan.

This is why Amazon Video Direct looked like such a winner when it was first announced, and I’m happy to confirm that all four of our early movies (TrashHouse, Hellbride, KillerKiller and The Devil’s Music) are now, finally, available on the platform.

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It hasn’t always been the easiest route to get them there, and Amazon’s T&Cs do seem to change by the day. Whereas last autumn they were blocking any content that was ‘self-rated’ any higher than 13+ from the Prime streaming service, (meaning that we had to go and get a BBFC rating for The Devil’s Music before putting it on the service) they now seem to allow content providers to self-rate as 18+ but still have their movies included in the Prime package. They do seem to be pulling more extreme content, and we’ll have to see where that particular line gets drawn as the years go by.  And whether it moves around, which is the most frustrating situation of all.

We did experience a blip after Christmas, when two of our titles got pulled from the service due to ‘issues with the artwork’. We were never quite able to work out what those issues were, so it became a bit of a ‘make a change and hope for the best’ situation. We got rid of the partially visible buttocks from The Devil’s Music artwork and deleted some of the smaller text from the Hellbride image and that seemed to do the trick, but it did serve as a reminder that the service does leave you somewhat at the whims of a massive company from whom it’s not always easy to get answers.

That said, the pluses seem to massively outweigh the minuses, and it’s great to have a platform that takes the movies (via Amazon Fire TV, PS4, Xbox and many more platforms) directly to the living rooms of potentially millions of customers. So, go and watch our movies. Support independent filmmaking. Spread the word, and tell us what you think.

And when you’ve watched all ours, go and watch the awesome output of our friends at Mycho Pictures, who have also just got their back catalogue up online.

So much awesome, fiercely independent horror, so little time.

 

Embrace your Failures

Posted: March 17, 2017 in Failure
Tags: , , ,

Embrace your failures, for they are your friends.

Your failures show you that you’re trying to achieve more than you’re currently capable of, (or, at least, more than you were capable of at the exact moment you screwed up). Your failures are there to let you know that you’re still testing the limits of what you can do, and still pushing onwards.

You people who haven’t screwed up good and proper lately? Go and take a good hard look at yourself. What are you people doing? How have you let yourselves reach this cringeworthy point where you haven’t properly ballsed something up lately? How have you let yourself drift into such a state of complacency that you haven’t royally and publicly screwed the proverbial pooch in recent memory?

If you think that your frankly embarrassing failure to adequately fail at things is due to ‘knowing your limits’, you’re kidding yourself. How can you know your limits unless you’re comprehensively stress-testing the bastards at every opportunity? It’s the equivalent of living like a pauper when you might potentially have millions in the bank.

Now, look. I realise that there are some professions and some situations that won’t give you as much leeway as others. If you’re an air traffic controller or a brain surgeon, it’s more prudent to keep your spectacular failures for other areas of your life. But don’t kid yourself that you don’t need them. If your day job means that you can never take a risk for fear of endangering lives, then you need to make pretty damn sure that you get all the really big, enormous failing done in other areas.

So, do me a favour. Go and chat up that person who is way, way out of your league. Try and write a song on an instrument you can’t play, and upload the results to YouTube. Go out today and really fail at something.

Do it often and spectacularly, until you’re thoroughly innoculated against the imagined sense of shame and all that other stuff you’re worried is associated with it. Because no matter how successful you think you are, think how much more successful you could be if you screwed up more often.

My name is Pat Higgins, and my conscience is clear.

 

 

 

Ok, so when last we chatted I was floating my idea for Hellbride II.

It’s clearly not the only potential property that we’ve got sitting in the Jinx Media vault, however. We could revisit the KillerKiller universe, for  example. I’ve got a treatment for that knocking around somewhere, too. We could, if the other guys were willing, potentially resurrect the ever-popular Death Tales franchise with a third installment. We could revisit Lucy Sweet for another retro bloodbath.

And I’ve ever toyed with the idea of combining movies.

So, just for fun (but so we’ve got an idea what our small but enthusiastic audience are looking for, too), let’s have a poll.

This poll will be open for two weeks. Just to make it interesting: whichever movie wins, we’ll release something (previously unseen) connected with that flick. Maybe a behind-the-scenes clip, a couple of photos, a deleted scene. Something like that.

So, which sequel should we spend our time on? What does the world want to see?

Click below and let us know!

Our movie Hellbride has been seen by more people than any other Jinx movie, (with the possible exception of TrashHouse, which was torrented insanely upon DVD release in 2006, but figures for that are really hard to accurately find). It was released on DVD on both sides of the Atlantic, with the UK release getting piled high and sold cheap in HMVs across the UK for at least one Halloween special promotion. It was, at one stage, uploaded to YouTube as part of a side deal by a company we’d licenced it to, and racked up in excess of 180,000 views before their licence ran out and we politely asked them to take it down (which they did). On Amazon streaming, it’s been consistently performing ever since it went up last summer. Even the version on Vimeo has outsold our other movies.

Lots and lots of people have seen Hellbride.

The cast of Hellbride - Horror Comedy

That doesn’t, of course, mean we’ve made money from it. Hellbride is unlikely to ever make it into the black as far as cash goes: as far as budget is concerned, it cost ten times as much as The Devil’s Music did. As far as income is concerned, we never saw a single penny of our investment back (for all the usual depressing reasons) right up until the point we got the rights back last summer and stuck it up onto Amazon ourselves. Since then, our decade-old movie has brought in a reliable trickle of cash (but certainly nowhere near the amount we spent making it in the first place)

Regardless, I’m still aware of the fact that a sequel might be a different proposition as far as being a worthwhile investment goes. The way the industry works has moved on a great deal from when we signed Hellbride with a distributor around the beginning of 2008. Indies have got an awful lot more control over their movies and their are an awful lot more revenue streams that are accessible without going through a third party middleman. If, say, half of the people who’ve watched Hellbride in one format or another over the last few years would return to watch a sequel via legitimate channels we could access directly ourselves (Amazon streaming, Vimeo, etc.), then a sequel could make its money back pretty easily without leaving us to remortgage our homes.

Bride Nicole Meadows, bloodied but unbowed

I started pondering options for a sequel back when the film first hit the shelves (and before, of course, we realised that we weren’t actually going to see any revenue whatsoever from it for the best part of a decade). Back then, I scribbled together a treatment for a movie called Hellbride 1985 , which was a retro prequel focusing on the cursed ring’s previous appearance in everyone’s favourite decade. Of course, the 80s are pretty damn hot right now, partly as a result of magnificent shows like Stranger Things. But since the idea resurfaced in my brain last summer, (at the point that Hellbride finally broke the ‘zero’ in the Jinx Media incoming funds column), I started thinking about the sequel rather differently. This was partly due to the one-off audio epilogue called The Ring of Josephine Stewart  that we’d recorded with Cy Henty a couple of years previously. I started thinking about a straight sequel rather than a retro prequel.

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And then I wrote a treatment about two kids called Danny and Bronwyn, who were getting married. Nice kids. You’ll like them.

Well, one of them.

I started thinking about how we could learn from the mistakes we made with Hellbride and make something leaner, bloodier and funnier. I started to warm to the idea quite a lot. I pondered whether it might be feasible to run a Kickstarter for the eventual (inevitable) wedding massacre where, as a perk, people could turn up as a guest on the final day of filming. Get killed onscreen and stick around for a wrap party that evening with all the cast and crew. Run that final day almost like an actual wedding, with guest footage from cameraphones and whatnot getting edited into the final movie.

And I came up with a killer of a final scene, which I ended up writing out in full before I’d written another word of the script.

Thing is, we’re at a point where we have a lot of projects floating around right now. We’ve got bigger budget scripts that I work on for third parties, and a couple of smaller scale ones that we’re perilously close to getting decent funding for. I’ve no idea whether Hellbride II (or Curse of the Hellbride as I sometimes cheerfully call it) will make it in front of the cameras.

But I can’t quite stop thinking about it.

Go and watch Hellbride a few more times, and maybe that’ll twist my arm.

 

Today, March 9th 2017, we’re having a 24 hour FLASH SALE on our amazing horror documentary The Devil’s Music!

The Devil's Music

For those who need no further persuading, head straight over to the VOD page and use the code devilsmarch to get 50% off your rental or purchase. You’ll be happy, I’m sure.

For those who need any more persuading, here are some reasons why you should grab the flash deal. And why you should tell everyone else about it. AND why you should go and phone someone you love who you haven’t spoken to in a while. But we’ll get to that later.

The Devil’s Music is a (whisper it) fake horror documentary about an extreme rock and roll singer called Erika Spawn. She horrifies the tabloids with her blood-drenched stage shows and lyrics, getting loads of tabloid coverage and shifting loads of CDs. Her touring band include awesomely sarcastic bassist Adele, stoned drummer ZC and a mysterious extra guitarist in a gas mask. All goes well, until Erika’s music starts getting blamed for real-life atrocities, and then her world and mental state both start to collapse. She becomes obsessed with a squeaky-clean boy band singer called Robin Harris, believing that he’s got a darker secret than anything in Erika’s gory stage shows. And she might just be right.

When we shot The Devil’s Music back in 2007, we were trying to do some fairly big things on almost no money. We relied on the efforts of our wonderful cast and crew to pull off something cool, and I’m incredibly grateful to all of them and always will be. The movie got the best reviews we’ve ever gotten.

The mighty AintItCoolNews saying “The buildup of tension and horror that takes place in here is outstanding and Higgins makes the entire thing feel like the real thing. Highly recommended”

In his fantastic book Urban Terrors: New British Horror Cinema 1997-2008, MJ Simpson called the film “Magnificent”

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Want more? OK, then.

Horror Cult Films called the movie “One of the best indie pictures I’ve seen in ages, The Devil’s Music is a unique and disturbing experience that will haunt you for weeks.”

HorrorTalk  (which, for my money, is still one of the best horror destinations on the whole damn internet) described The Devil’s Music as “A master class in engrossing story telling.. keeps the viewer not just engaged, but completely riveted”

And we won the Best Independent Feature award at the Festival of Fantastic Films, going up against movies with many, many times our budget.

I should probably mention the flash sale again at this point, shouldn’t I? 50% off! With the code devilsmarch but ONLY TODAY!!!!

But here’s the real reason that I recommend you go and buy the movie today. We worked our asses off on a bunch of incredibly cool special features for the movie, including the most bizarre director’s commentary I’ve ever been involved with. We put all this stuff together for a DVD release on the movie that we built up for (in fact, it’s STILL listed on Amazon as a pre-order) but never happened due to circumstances beyond our control.

All of these special features (including the commentary, deleted scenes, astonishingly embarrassing easter egg and more) can ONLY be obtained with the version of the movie that I keep linking to. So if you’re interested AT ALL in our odd little slice of cult horror history, this is the only place you’ll get to see the complete story.

Better do the damn link again, hadn’t I? Flash Sale Today Only!! Use the code devilsmarch

So. That’s our movie. It’s dark and smart and odd. A little rough around the ages, but I’m still fiercely proud of it a decade later. It is NOT your run-of-the-mill horror movie. It’s something different. If you don’t like different, stay away.

If you liked the movie, or if you support indie horror in general, please forward this page to everyone you can. We’d love to keep making movies like The Devil’s Music. Movies that are weird and quirky and take risks. Because they’re the kinds of movies we enjoy watching, and we hope you do to.

Oh, and what was that bit at the beginning about phoning someone you love but haven’t spoken to in a while? Well, that’s a great idea too. Sometimes it takes a stranger to tell you to do it. Let us be that stranger. Go phone someone. Restore connection. Rekindle friendships.

And you don’t even have to plug The Devil’s Music while you do it.