Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

Here’s a thing.

We’re making a movie, as many of you know. We got a budget through Kickstarter, which was absolutely AWESOME. However, we’re still shooting a movie on a tiny, tiny fraction of a Hollywood budget (less than 1%) so we need to get any cool stuff we possibly can onscreen without breaking our budget. This is where the idea of a Rodriguez List comes in. Before Robert Rodriguez shot his first movie, he made a list of all the cool stuff he could get hold of for free and then he stuck it in the movie. That’s why there’s a turtle in it!

If you’ve got cool stuff that you’d like to get featured in a movie in exchange for a credit or a thank you or whatever, drop us a line through our form at http://powertoolcheerleaders.com – maybe you’ve spent years on a piece of artwork and want to show it off? Or you own a business or a location that you’d like to feature in the movie? This film is going to get made and it’s going to be awesome, so if you’ve got something you’d like to get featured in front of the camera why not let us know before its too late! Go and complete the form on the website, and feel free to spread the word.

You are all awesome.

http://powertoolcheerleaders.com

Our Kickstarter campaign for our new movie Powertool Cheerleaders vs the Boyband of the Screeching Dead closed this afternoon, having raised 100% of target!

Thank you to each and every backer, sharer and those who were just cheering us on! We can’t wait to get back on set and bring you a toe-tapping, heart warming bloodbath like no other!

Two and a half years ago, I was giving up on a screenplay.

I tweeted about the fact I was about to give up on this screenplay, this crazy thing with an unwieldy title. I tweeted about it, intending that to be the first and probably only public acknowledgement that the doomed project existed in the first place.

Here’s the tweet, and the response I got.

And that’s what we decided to do.

Thanks to that reply, the screenplay was saved from the bin. I nurtured it and it grew. I added songs. I added insane gore, loads of jokes and sincere character development. It went from being a half-written joke title to something I genuinely cared a lot about and felt that other people might do too.

Charlie agreed to come onboard as both the lead character of Emily and as producer of the movie, and then we were really off to the races.

Charlie Bond as Emily

Over the last couple of years, we’ve been carefully putting together an absolute killer project which we think you’re going to LOVE. There’s been so much blood, sweat and tears gone into this movie already, but every minute of it has been fun too. Because that’s what this movie is all about.

We’re currently running a Kickstarter, which isn’t just about us getting enough cash to finish the sucker off in fine style but is also about giving people the chance to get involved. Whether you want to get killed onscreen, name a chainsaw in the movie, go to a cast and crew screening where we’re going to sing the songs from the movie live onstage at the after party or just pick up a DVD of the movie…

Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got it. And if we haven’t, give us a shout on social media and let us know what you’re looking for. This journey has been brilliant so far and it’s really only just begun.

So click the graphic below, check out our promo video and prepare to meet the Powertool Cheerleaders.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow the movie on Twitter and Facebook.

We’ve been looking at testing out live streaming for years, actually. One of our most treasured schemes way back in the day would have involved live streaming the entirety of principal photography for one of our movies, with four cameras set up in different areas that you could skip between. Always thought that would be fascinating. That was in 2009 or so, when the technology was in its infancy; the idea presented massive of technical challenges, but we were paired up with another brilliant company who had the tech and needed to test it. Unfortunately, that other company folded and the idea fell apart.

Nowadays, of course, live streaming is much less of a novelty and also presents much less of a technical challenge. So, with that in mind, our first tiny toe-dip into the live streaming waters will take place next Tuesday (6th Feb 2018) at 2.30pm GMT. It will consist of me (Pat) answering any questions that people can chuck at me about horror, screenwriting, filmmaking or the live shows. Or, alternatively, if not a single human being connects to the feed it will consist of me rapping in a Batman costume. Either way, expect loads of technical glitches and nothing slick whatsoever. It’s a bloody test.

Anyway, it’s going to happen whether you like it or not. I’ll be here, anyway. Be lovely if you felt like joining me.

EDIT: Well, there were some technical issues which led to a jump to Facebook, but it happened anyway ūüôā

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.

 

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.

 

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Jinx Media tends to run in cycles when it comes to production. Between February 2004 and August 2007, we shot a total of four feature films, our busiest run so far.

Our plans over the next three years are more ambitious than even that prolific run from the middle of last decade. We’ve got some really exciting movies lined up to go in front of the camera, starting with an eagerly-awaited sequel shooting at the end of the year that we’ll be announcing soon.

We pride ourselves that our films are fun to work on. They can be hard work (and messy work too, as anyone who’s tried washing fake blood out of their hair night after night can probably attest), but we like to work as a team.

Strong working relationships with our cast members are very important to us, and viewers tend to see the same faces cropping up in our movies over and over again. Nonetheless, if all goes according to plan over the next twelve months, we’re going to need to add to that cast base fairly substantially.

So, fearless potential cast members, once more the call goes up. If you have a passion for horror and a terrifying amount of talent, we’d be delighted to consider your showreel or CV with regards to our upcoming production slate. We can’t reply to each submission, unfortunately (once we received 300+ CVs in an afternoon), but given the number of films we’re hoping to put into production in quick succession it’d be great to build up our database of go-to cast.

These are micro-budget movies (albeit ones that sometimes win awards and get pretty cool distribution) and they usually shoot in Essex, England (although sometimes we hop about a bit). We’ll be posting occasional details of specific roles and projects over on our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/jinxmedia so be sure to go and ‘like’¬†that.

So, you want to get bloody with us? Headshots, showreel links, CVs – send ’em over to intothepit@jinx.co.uk

Fingers crossed, it’s going to be a hell of a couple of years.

Here at Jinx Media, we’d like to thank everyone who attended our masterclass at the weekend. The event was a massive success, and we’ll be announcing additional dates shortly.

We’d also like to formally announce Pat’s new script consultancy service. Over the last decade, Pat has been offering feedback and notes on scripts in both professional and academic settings, and he’s¬†now offering this service to the public.

Screenwriting with Pat Higgins

If you’ve written a screenplay, Pat would be delighted to read through it and give a 30 minute session of feedback via Skype. As both a qualified academic lecturer and a seasoned industry professional, (who has both produced his own scripts and sold others to third parties), Pat will give honest feedback and suggestions regarding structure, character, tone and more.

Just click the link right here and book yourself an online Skype consultancy regarding your script!