The Mad Tree – A Ghost Story In Ten Silly Minutes

 

Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that my writing partner, Jim Eaton and I have been working on a new short film over the past couple of months. Well here it is.

The Mad Tree is our homage to the ghost stories of M. R. James, with a little bit of our own silliness plugged in for good measure. It is the story of Mr Darcy Woodwind, a writer from London who falls afoul of a malevolent shrub. No real departure from our usual brand of daftness then.

The film is our latest attempt to inflict ourselves upon the 2 Days Later Horror festival. It’s the 10th anniversary of the event so it’d be really lovely if we get picked for the screening. I shall keep you posted on how things go.

As is often the way the edit was a total pain in the bum and after blowing a firewire port and having to run all over London, searching for someone who could capture the footage, I finally wrapped the edit up at 6AM the following morning. As a reward we’ve taken this week off from writing but we’ll be back into it after the weekend. The subject of the new project…radio. More soon.

As a final side note. It’s worth mentioning that Jack Gavin (who plays the lead role in this film as well as several of our other projects) is getting married today. Our best Bunker wishes to him and his lovely wife-to-be.

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The Lady In The Grove – A Ghost Story

Jim Eaton and I are heading off to Reading in a couple of days to shoot our latest short. It’s a ghost story spoof about…well I won’t spoil it but it’ll probably be fairly silly. The film’s been written for this year’s 2 Days Later competition and will be (including competition’s comedic sister 2 Days Laughter) our 8th film for the festival!

It’s been fun working on a ghost story as they’re a particular passion of Jim’s and he has a far better eye than me for them. To help prove that I thought I’d throw up a ghost story that Jim did with Griff Jameson a few years back. It’s a “proper” ghost story rather than one infused with silliness and it’s very good. If you’re a fan of the old M. R. James TV adaptations from the 70s then you’ll dig this.

Enjoy!

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Dan’s in Margate Tonight & He’s Bringing a New Film!

I’m off to the 2 Days Laughter competition in Margate tonight. You may remember that a few weeks ago Paul Wade, Jim Eaton and myself made a parody of top BBC bird-bothering program and national treasure, Springwatch. Well the movie was shortlisted for the festival and so is being screened at the Theatre Royal at about 7pm.  I don’t have any photos of the three of us to help advertise this event, so here’s a photo of me, Jim, Steve and my brother Ben failing to look cool on a log flume:

Ben Thompson, J.T. Eaton, Dan Thompson & Steve Penfold attempting to look cool and succeeding at looking wet

If you are in the fine City of Margate tonight and fancy an evening of free comedy films and the chance to support a Bunker project then please do drop by and join in the fun. You can find full details HERE. Otherwise you can just enjoy the film itself without leaving your comfy chair, you lazy devil you!

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Friday Film Special! – Wild Watch

Spring is here, so it’s time for the BBC to invade your television and hose you down with nature! Chris and Kate are reporting in from Kent with a bevy of treats from Mother Natures sodden loins, including a sad update on Robbie The Robin and a report of the perils of Dill.

This is the latest film from J.T. Eaton and myself. It’s for the 2 Days Laughter Festival this year and as such is a 5 min comedy film that was produced in 48 hours. It stars the wonderfully funny, rubber faced stylings of Paul Teeling and Rozi Owen who were, as ever, a total joy to work with. Camera work and special effects were done by Paul Wade and he deserves a lot of the overall credit for being the one that badgered Jim and I into doing the film when we really had a lot of other work we should have been doing.

The plan is to take the film to the festival next month and see if we can repeat some of the success that we had with Devil’s Fork. We shall keep you posted on how it goes.

One last thing, if the thought of Mr Eaton in a toga disturbs you, you may want to look away at some points.

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Going Wild – Our New Film Takes It Back To Nature!

Afternoon all,

We spend a lot of time at the Bunker talking about other people’s films so it’s nice that amidst all the hobbits and lanterns there’s actually been a fair bit of interest in our own little film project. That being the case, I figure it’s only fair to give you a quick update on how things are going on that front.

The film is called “Wild Watch” and it’s a five minute short that we’re making for the 2 Days Laughter competition. 2DL is an annual bit of fun that challenges film makers to shoot and edit a 5 minute comedy short in just 48 hours and then submit it to a panel of industry professionals. We’ve been making films for this and its horror based sister competition, 2 Days Later, for a few years now and both dates have become firm fixtures in the diary. Steve and I’s schedules could, at best, be described as chaotic so having two fixed points each year when we know one or both of us is going to make a film is infinitely useful.

I had to sit the competition out last year as I was neck deep in Moon scripting so I’m keen to make a good showing this time around. With that in mind I’m teaming up with two of my very favourite film makers in the shape of J.T. Eaton and Paul Wade. You’ll remember Mr Eaton as the mastermind behind last year’s The Devil’s Fork and if you’re not already familiar with Paul’s work then you’ve probably not been reading this site for very long. P and I have worked on more films than I care to recall and it’s always a lot of fun. Rounding out the team we’ve got Rozi Owen (of [Box] Fresh ‘fame’) and Paul Teeling who you will be able to see pulling a variety of amazing faces in Cock when it’s uploaded to the site tomorrow. Conspicuous by his absence, of course, is Steve himself. Sadly the artistic one is still chained to his desk putting the finishing touches to Moon #1 so we’re having to make do without him on this outing.

Jim and I put the finishing touches to the script last night and you’ll be pleased to know that it contains both a joke about early Roman oratory and the word “Cockhammer”. We’re shooting the whole thing in Greenwich over the weekend and then it’s off to the studio to make Paul cry about just how many effects shots we’ve asked him to do.

Screen grab from our last short: The Devil's Fork

As much as I’d rather like to have my evenings back so I can enjoy my new home, I’m really jazzed about this project. It’s a great team of people and I’m very happy with some of the jokes we’ve come up with. I won’t spoil it for you by telling you any more about it, but hopefully this little gem from Moledmc will give you a little clue of what we’re planning:

Catch you tomorrow for more filmic madness.

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P.s. I saw some of the finished lettering for Moon today, it looks like sex on toast…really nice toast.

The Final Countdown

Hey chaps,

Just wanted top hop on real quick and give you a quick update on where we’re up to with our own stuff.

This is what I look like when I'm stressed. You don't want to know what Steve looks like when he's stressed. Our mystery colourist doesn't get stressed, she's too mysterious.

Moon is entering the final stages of production as we speak with both Steve and our soon to be announced colourist working their butts off. I’ve been having so many meetings and email conversations with conventions, printers and other people that I’m not entirely sure who’s who, but all of them seem genuinely excited about the project.

I’m simultaneously weeping with worry and giggling with anticipation as we approach our print deadline – who’d have thought that launching a new comic series in the same year that you’re moving house and getting married could be so stressful! – But the boat is still on track and every preview I see has me more convinced that we’re making something special here.

As if things weren’t busy enough, this year’s 2 Days Laughter competition is coming up and we’re honour bound to try to be there in some capacity. With that in mind I’ve gotten back together with my old buddies Paul Wade and JT Eaton to start work on a new comedy short. I won’t give to much away right now but if you’ve ever been trapped in front of the tv around 7pm, you should get a kick out of what we’re planning.

Take care of yourselves and remember: don’t do venom…the drug not the guy…well don’t do him either…unless you’re Mrs Venom. Was there a Mrs Venom? Probably.

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Friday Film – The Devil’s Fork Outtakes

Every Friday we descend into the vaults here at Bunker HQ and dig out one of the many fine (and occasionally not so fine) films that we have produced over the years. Come join us for another instalment of cinematic silliness.

Got a little bit of fun for you this week. I was editing together the DVD of Devil’s Fork for the cast & crew and I thought I’d take a moment to share with you some of the outtakes. I know that you are all labouring under the impression that Steve and I are entirely infallible and that we nail everything on the first take, but allow me to set your minds at rest. As this video proves we are, at times, an utter shambles.

And no, I won’t explain that fucking “What did Councillor Troy say to her boyfriend?” joke again.

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Friday Film: The Devil’s Fork

Every Friday we descend into the vaults here at Bunker HQ and dig out one of the many fine (and occasionally not so fine) films that we have produced over the years. Come join us for another instalment of cinematic silliness.

When two friends discover an antique fork in their garden they think they’re in for a big payday. But when the fork’s ghostly owner comes calling they discover that all they’re in for is three prongs of terror!

(Warning: contains scenes of mild cutlery)

Fresh from its excellent showing at  the 2 Days Later Festival, here is The Devil’s Fork in all its glory. It’s a a collaboration with the wonderful chaps at Roughlee Films so please do have a look at their other stuff. I’m really happy with the end result of this one, I think it’s one of the tighter scripts I’ve done (albeit with a tonne of help from the fantastic J.T. Eaton). Please do watch it and pass it around to as many people as possible. It would be lovely to see its popularity to continue to grow at the rate it has been.

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Awards

2 Days Later Finalist Winner - Best Popular FilmWinner - Best ScreenplayBest Actor Nomination - Jack GavinNominated (Joshua Broadstone) - Best ActorNominated - Best Editor

The Devil’s Fork Wins at 2 Days Later!

Well, I was hoping to keep a bit of a lid on this until I post the film up on Friday, but Steve’s all excited so I shan’t keep him waiting.

The Devil’s Fork put in a rather good showing at the 2 Days Later Film Festival, winning Best Screenplay and The Audience Choice Award. It also picked up a nomination for Best Editor and Jack & Josh BOTH nabbed Best Actor nominations. Perhaps the most exciting part is that the Best Screenplay award was voted for by a panel including Kim Newman (Empire Film Critic and Author) and James Moran (writer – Severance, Doctor Who, Torchwood)!

Suffice it to say that we’re rather blown away by the whole thing. We’d like to offer a massive thank you to everyone involved in the project especially to my co-writer/director J.T. Eaton. Jim is an amazing talent so a lot of this is down to him…and Steve did a great job too (just don’t tell him I said that).

Award winners (Top from left) Joshua Broadstone and his lovely wife Ania, Steve, (Bottom) J.T. Eaton, Dan, Jack Gavin

Picking up the Audience Choice Award

The full film will be going up on Friday and we very much hope you enjoy it. In the meantime you can read the full report of the night’s fun here.

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