|Creak picture test at the Kino-Klubb screening in Nottingham|
Probably the best thing to come out of the last two years has been the response to "Creak." After putting so much heart and soul and other cliches into "The Crunch" and "Stranded", for them to fail to gain any screenings at any festival worldwide, the "instant" success of "Creak" was the sort of positive response that I needed to give me a little more faith and conviction to carry on film making.
After submitting it to a countless amount of horror blogs, I would say 90% of the response back was positive, with most people getting what I set out to do - tell a simple story, with as little fussiness as possible and, hopefully, give you a jolt and a little sense of creeping dread along the way. It was very gratifying that almost every week I would be getting some blog mention or review and for once felt like some people were actually checking out my films.
This response did seem to confirm my plans to do further horror shorts with similar running times was definitely the best place for me to go. I'd always had concerns that the 20 minute running times for "The Crunch" and "Stranded" put people off -that they couldn't find the time to fit that in to their day - but a quick 5 minute film while the kettle boils, well, that can find a home. Although I didn't have any joy with the few horror festivals I submitted "Creak" to that didn't concern me - it was continuing to receive views every week online - and so my decision not to hold it back for a year or so for festival submissions seemed the correct decision. Again, that instant response to it, rather than a year of plodding submissions and morale sapping rejections, was something that I desperately needed at this point.
Not all the responses back were positive, even from some friends. I had a particular voracious diatribe with a detailed breakdown of exactly what was fucking wrong with "Creak", my approach, my promotion of the film, my bullshit shrugging of the shoulders with the "Disposable Screams" moniker and my attitude towards my film making. Reading this was, to me, the written equivalent of experiencing this
Oh well. Can't please them all.
Oh well. Can't please them all.
I did have the pleasure of a big screen showing of the film in Nottingham, courtesy of my good friend Brian Mutton, who in the past two years has been running a rather great cult film experience night under the Kino-Klubb name. So "Creak" got a big screen showing at Screen 22, the country's smallest cinema (I believe) with just 22 seats. "Creak" was shown before a screening of Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond", a film very dear to me and I also got to write an essay about the film to go in the little book of Eibon which was given out to the viewers.
(You can read my essay about The Beyond here: http://kino-klubb.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/beyond-beyond.html)
Although the proper cinema sound system did show up the failings of the sound design of the film, Paul Sharman's score sounded fabulous cranked up loud and the actual picture image stood up really well - it looked really sharp. It was a great experience to have it shown in my home city and I got to talk about the making of the film beforehand...though I think my patter seemed to go down like a lead balloon with the audience. Oh well.
One of the most positive long term things to come from "Creak" is that it has resulted (almost) in me having a benefactor. My entrepreneurial friend, who came to the "Creak" premiere, called me the next day saying he wanted to discuss with me the prospect of investing in me and my films. What followed from this was a frustrating 6 month delay due to business shenanigans getting in the way before we actually got to sit down and chat, with the end result for now being that he will, within reason, cover the below the line costs of my films. Annoyingly after this incredibly positive news it's taken me 18 sodding months to get some more films shot and nothing finished since this deal was laid on the table, but the long term benefit is that I know there is someone wanting to invest in me, help me seriously finance something (possibly of a feature length nature too) and have a long term plan with me.
So "Creak" resulted in some instant ego massaging and some potential long term gain of an iron in the fire. I'll go with that for now.