Short film

Dropping Science: Like Ghost Ships? How About A Ghost Rocket!?

I was struggling to find something to post this weekend and then I chanced across this gem from Coffee and Celluloid Productions.

In 1963 a company called Aerojet-General built a factory/research lab in the Florida Everglades with the goal of producing rockets for the Apollo Moon landings. They built the largest solid fuel rocket in the world and then dug the biggest silo in Florida to store it in and the biggest canal to transport it along. But it was all for nought. NASA elected to go with liquid fuelled rockets and Aerojet never got the contract. Since then the plant, rocket and all has been quiet rusting away in a remote swamp.

Sounds like the opening of a Bond pitch but it’s true and fascinating. Enjoy.

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(It’s my stag night this evening. I can only apologise in advance to my twitter followers. I fear we may be entering a dark place.)

 

Secret Behind The Scenes Photos From Moon & [Box] Fresh

I was helping my fiancée sort out her Twitter account last night and I stumbled upon a little treasure trove hidden away on her laptop. Fi produced a lot of our earlier films and, ever the professional, she took a load of production photos along the way and stashed them away for safe keeping. Given that we’re a little light on comic book content right now as Steve is locked away in his studio, working on issue 2 of both Moon and Fallen Heroes, I thought it would be nice to dig some of these pics out and share them with you dear people.

These photos all come from The Day The Moon Got Too Close and [Box] Fresh, which were made by myself, Fi and Paul Wade.

"The Day The Moon Got Too Close"

Moon-fact 1: The original Moon-head was made out of an old lamp shade with a tonne of Papier-mâché slopped over it. Wise men that we are, Paul and I elected to do this the night before and consequently it didn’t dry in time and I had bits of gluey paper falling on my face all shoot.

"The Day The Moon Got Too Close"

Moon fact 2: This is from the closing shot of the film. The battery on our camera ran out with just one line of dialogue left to record and we ended up going out to a totally different wood a little later in order to get that 2 second shot at the end. There was supposed to be a ‘walking into the sunset’ shot but I couldn’t walk in a straight line on account of having a face full of glue.

"The Day The Moon Got Too Close"

On set with Al Crow, who played Shades Rodriguez in the short. The character was never named in the film itself, I just made up the name for the credits because I thought it sounded funny. Years later and the character has taken on a life of his own.

"The Day The Moon Got Too Close"

I love how ropey the original Moon head looks compared to the one that we use for publicity events nowadays. This version didn’t have any kind of head support inside it so it always flopped forwards. I like how it kinda makes Moon look permanently melancholy.

"The Day The Moon Got Too Close"

I can honestly say that I don’t recommend trying to direct a film while you are a) in said film and b) wearing a massive ball of paper and glue on your head. I still have the chipped tooth to prove it.

"Box Fresh"

This was taken in Margate while filming the ‘Mime murder’ gag in [Box] Fresh. It was mid spring and totally freezing so I donned a coat only to discover that without the stripy shirt, I just looked like I was on my way to a Kiss concert. I kept the hood up until we were safely out of the town centre.

"Box Fresh"

I can’t remember how I ended up playing the pretentious not-at-all-a-jibe-at-anyone-real arthouse director, Zach Hoovermiester in [Box] Fresh. I think we had somebody else lined up for the part but they pulled out last minute. Either way, the end result was that we dug a blonde wig out of our props box and I sat and rambled in front of the camera for about two hours in order to get 20 seconds of footage. Oddly enough, that shirt is actually the one that Steve used as the basis for Shades’ shirt in the Moon concept art. Also, I have bleached my own hair that colour in the past and I cannot recommend it highly enough if you want to avoid people taking you seriously.

Hope you enjoyed that little peek behind the curtain. Hopefully we should be bringing you some brand new artwork very soon, so keep your eyes on the Moon, Bunkerites.

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The Best of 2 Days Laughter 2011 Part 2

Morning chaps,

Assuming that Steve and I haven’t been killed by Mark Millar in the 30something hours between when I’m writing this and when it’ll go live, we’re still at Kapow Comic Con signing copies of Moon. To keep you happy though, here’s part 2 of our picks from this year’s 2 Days Laughter Festival.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni4njtX6mgs&w=640&h=390]

The Call by Rob Reed & Aidan Synnott. One of the nicest ideas that I’ve seen at the competition. Simple joke, beautifully executed.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N77oLj0dJ1M&w=480&h=390]

Brainstorming by Martin Banov. The old “make a film about making a film” setup comes up every year at the competition but this is about the best I’ve seen it executed. I do like me a bit of existential egg based comedy though.

Brenda by Mark Bowsher. Mark’s an old friend of mine and it was lovely to see him walk away with some of the top awards namely “Best Film” “Best Actress” & “Best Screenwriter”. It’s a wonderfully performed mockumentary that hits every note it goes for. Wonderful stuff.

Hope you had a laugh with these. Steve and I will be back next week with updates on our adventures at Kapow, but until then do take care.

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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!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug_yyOsreXI&w=640&h=390]

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If Michael Bay Made Angry Birds…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2matH4B9bTo&w=640&h=390]

The folks over at Rooster Teeth have been internet heroes for years thanks to their Halo parody series, Red vs Blue (which is now in it’s 9th season! Blimey). This month however they’ve taken a break from Spartans to bring us a trailer for a very special film. Given all the Transformers buzz about at the moment, I felt it was appropriate to do some sharesies with it. The last line of the film made me pretty much fall off my chair with laughter.

I was just on the phone to Steve for about an hour. We’ve got so much cool stuff going on behind the scenes here which I really wish I could talk about. All in good time though. I’ve been getting a little R&R time in this weekend in the wake of the Launch Party to end all Launch Parties. As you can tell by the use of the phrase “R&R” some of that time has been spent watching bad cop films. Really bad cop films.

By the way, scanning stuff for a wedding gift list is exactly like being James Bond and don’t let anybody ever tell you different.

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BTB Film – Bush Fucker Smile

Our theme of dredging up dodgy stuff from our university days continues this week. In 2005 I performed my first solo stand up show subtly titled “Bush Fucker Smile”. It was all about how a nice middle class boy learns to be an activist and why the Iraq War was a really silly idea. The show itself was kinda hit and miss (hey, it was my first try) but the opening video was actually pretty good in a silly, low-fi kinda way. You’ll recognise Al Crow and Andy Cherry from The Day The Moon Got Too Close and this is as good a chance as any to once again plug their band Silvers as they have a gig next week in Brick Lane.

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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.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6F57cN060w&fs=1&hl=en_GB&color1=0x3a3a3a&color2=0x999999]

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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…. a clue….

I’ve been wearing my 2 Days Later 2010 T-shirt all day. Why do I have a 2 Days Later 2010 T-shirt? I’ll let Dan tell you tomorrow and I’m pretty sure you’ll find out yet more for the Friday Film…..

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