My feature debut as a director Markham is all but complete with just a few tiny changes to make before we’re locked and loaded. We had a small premier last night for a few interested parties and thanks to social distancing and the corona virus the film has gone out to actors and crew this morning to watch in safety (although a proper nightclub premier is still potentially on the cards if it can be done safety).
There are still a few tiny issues to iron out, a bit of extra editing, fixing a few sound problems (that all come from shooting during gales at the seaside!). But all being well the film will be locked and off to the DVD company early next week. All ready for the end of August launch all being well.
I just wanted to officially thank all the cast here, and introduce regular readers to some of the actors and the characters they play…
Ashe Russell is remarkable as Rob, a horror filmmaker, working on a commission that may be from a dodgy Russian financier, or could in fact be a commission from a major broadcaster to make a reality horror pilot. Is the reality pilot what we’re watching, are our characters part of it? Ashe manages to convince as a ruthless director, who should feel bad for his subjects… Will the puppet master have his strings cut?
Tony Coughlan plays a mad villager – who tells a Lovecraftian tale straight out of the pages of ‘The Shadow Over Innsmouth’ But, is he an actor? Planted to carry the plot? Tony is a funny performer and can carry genuine menace.
Gareth Parry plays Mat, a writer obsessed with the village of Markham and Lovecraft. He’s chuffed to be getting his film made, but is the script based on reality? Does he know what’s really going on in the village? Gareth turns in a great performance, both unhinged and obsessive.
Dan Martin has a face made for movies, he plays a cameraman sent to check out Markham, he may or may not have made it back from the village alive. Did he go missing alongside the writer Mat? Or is he part of a wider plot to terrorise our reluctant hero.
Thomas Cody plays the eyes and ears of the audience, slow going insane after a night spent in Markham. His transformation from jovial crew member to outright psycho is the crux of the film.
Louie Lowe is the put upon sound technician Stan. Louie was also a real life crew member, involved behind the scenes on the making of the film.
Paul Weeks is a Markham local with odd messages to convey. Paul is a well known Leeds musician and turns in a quick cameo. He’s a unique presence in music and film.
All the actors worked free of charge on the film, and most (if not all) of the scenes they appear in were works of (sometimes complex) improvisation. Special mention should go to Tony Coughlan and Ashe Russell who had some very serious heavy lifting to do in the improv stakes.
There’s also a scene with Gareth, Dan and Thomas, in which Gareth and Dan didn’t know what Thomas would say or do. It’s one of the best scenes in the film, and both actors showed great skill in reacting to Thomas on the hop.
Fingers crossed, the film will now be ready for the end of August when everyone can see these guys turn it really great work.
You can read more about Thomas Cody’s performance in an upcoming blogpost across on my director website , so keep checking on there.
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor and UK script consultant for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. His UK script coverage service, Script reading service and script development service are highly sought after.
You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.
You can contact Matthew directly to purchase his ebook The UK Soap Opera Script Writers Handbook.