Category Archives: Interview

Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe/ Judgement the Movie

aajudgementposterhero1 (1)Gary J. Tunnicliffe is a name best known in the world of special effects makeup, but he now has a feature of his own coming in 2014 called Judgement.  I have been granted the opportunity to conduct an interview with Gary about his career and his new film.

For those that do not know who Gary J. Tunnicliffe is, he was the makeup effects designer for films such as My Bloody Valentine 3D, Exorcist: The Beginning, The Collection, the Hellraiser series and many others.

Judgement synopsis:

‘Judgement’ is a place where heaven and hell collide, ‘a spider’s web’, one of many of hundreds, maybe thousands littered all across the world, a place where the good and the bad are processed, ‘audited’.

One man’s demise marks the beginning of a police detective’s journey into this world, a world where all is uncovered, where the very blood in your veins reveals the secrets of who and what you are.

But even the machine that has run so smoothly for a millenia can falter when something new, something ‘different’ is added to the mix and that something will create ripples that become waves, cause black and white to become grey and cause shifts in the powers of good and evil.

Gary has started a KICKSTARTER campaign for his film.  The set goal is $195,000.  Not only will you be helping a great project that even Doug Bradley calls “Visually Arresting“, but there are perks for the levels of donations.

Judgement Teaser:

Interview:

LBoH: What got you interested in the effects industry?
GT: Horror films fundamentally and so I suppose if I backtrack my Brother, he was five years older than me and on Friday nights in the UK they would play horror films, he would get to watch them and would then tell me in detail what they were about. Eventually I was allowed to watch them and from there my obsession began (I read Dracula when I was 7) by the time I was 12 or 13 I was a full fledged horror junkiejudgementmontage1sepia – then when I was about 15 a friend of mine handed me a copy of Fangoria magazine..it was like PORN for a horror movie lover and when I saw pictures of people sculpting monsters and applying make up’s it changed my life!
LBoH: What was your first effects project?
GT: Personally…probably a cut or a bruise on my younger sister..professionally  it would have been working on ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ (for Christopher ‘The Elephant Man’ Tucker’) stage musical, creating the foam latex appliances for Michael Crawford (and the other actors around the world) to wear every night.
 LBoH: How long have you been in effects?
GT: A long time :-)…since I was 19…and I’m 45 now..so there’s the blog readers math puzzle for the day!
LBoH: What was your favorite film to work on?
GT: Truthfully they are all fun in some way, there’s always at least ONE fun moment….in some ways its weird, you tend to remember the bad experiences over the good ones and oddly enough rarely does the quality of the final film have anything to do with the experience you had making it. I had a nightmare of a time on SLEEPY HOLLOW, but the film came out great!….DINO SHARK was god awful but I had such an amazing time working on it in Mexico, Exorcist: The Beginning in Rome was very cool, I really enjoyed making the Dracula films (Dracula 2000, Ascension and Legacy) and I think the films are cool too
LBoH: How different is it to go from working on someone else’s project to being in charge of your own?
AAJURY (1)GT: If you mean in terms of being an fx artist working as part of a crew is a LOT easier, your responsibilities stop the moment you leave the shop at night, as the designer its all on you, your managing the look of the things the producers and director are buying but you’re also managing the finances of the build, the day to day running of the shop, crew, materials etc, etc…wow…perhaps I should go back to working in a crew, just reading that is a revelation!
 If you mean in terms of going from being an fx artist to being a director (as a full bloodied control freak) it usually makes me a lot happier, although there is a lot more work, but I’ve never been afraid to make decisions and stand by them and I think that is the key to being a good director sometimes.
 LBoH: What advice would you give anyone looking to come into the world of special effects make up?
GT: Learn computer graphics…it’s cleaner, safer and in the future there is going to be a LOT more work doing CGI than make up fx. Deny it if you like, romanticize that make up fx will make a huge comeback, mourn the poor quality and fake look of cgi sometimes…but have no doubts that cgi will take over 90% of the fx industry eventually…make up fx are CD’s to CGI’s downloads…the writing is on the wall. BUT if you simply must be a make up effects artist DON’T go to make up fx school!…save yourself the cost of tuition!…buy some clay, sculpt, read make up fx books and research on the internet, sculpt, apply make ups on friends, visit conventions, sculpt, send letters to make up effects artists asking for advice (and start establishing a relationship) sculpt, enroll in the Stan Winston School of Character Arts on line and watch their tutorials by industry vets (like yours truly!) sculpt, sculpt and sculpt…if you took a year and did the above without going to a ‘make up fx school’ you would save the huge cost of tuition and housing etc….but if you wanna go party with a bunch of like minded people and generate a portfolio that is a replicate of EVERYONE else in the class (past and previous) and blow Mom and Dad’s hard earned moolah – knock yourself out! 🙂
LBoH: Where did your inspiration for Judgement come from?
GT: The idea basically was born out of what I thought HELL might really be like, a processing machine and then wondering how it works, who it’s manned by and the ‘jobs’ they perform and also the idea that Heaven and Hell might actually operate in tandem….that is what spawned the story.
 LBoH: How long have you been working on Judgement?
GT: Over three or four years now since I mused the first concept, we could have launched on Kickstarter over a year ago, but honestly I was busy working on a project so I didn’t see the point, that extra year also gave me a chance to polish the script.
LBoH: Are you working on the special effects of this film?
GT: We will be creating everything for the film, but we wont begin until (if) we get funded, but as a company we will be involved in set JUDGEMENTBONECOLLECTORdressing, props and all the make up and special effects.
LBoH: How would you best describe this film, gory, psychological, a combination of the two or something completely different?
GT: Definitely a combination of the two and a lot more, but in NO WAY is this a gorefest, torture porn or mutilation or titilation….most of all ‘JUDGEMENT’ will be like no other horror film, a bold statement I know, but sincerely there are concepts and images that have never been seen like what is in this movie I want ‘Judgement’ to be a horror film your uneasy about putting in the dvd, a film that lives in your mind long after you turn the tv off, a film that will show you things, ask you things, that will frighten you, intrigue you, horrify you. If you take the dictionary at its word then – ‘horror’ (noun) meansdismay, alarm, appall, horrify and when was the last time a film did all those? ‘JUDGEMENT’ will.…but if you want the soundbite pitch?…”It’s Se7en meets Hellraiser”
LBoH: Who will we see starring in this film?
GT: Honestly until we are funded  I have no idea, I didn’t want to go to actor friends ‘cap in hand’ I would rather do this the proper way, get funded and then cast the movie with a casting director and get the very best people who are right for the roles, who are availaible and with who the material resonates.
LBoH: What can fans expect to see from Judgement?
GT: Images unlike anything they have seen before, content that stimulates unease and discussion…and few sharp intakes of breath, a heavy experience that lives with you long after you have watched it.
LBoH: Anymore film writing/directing/producing aspirations for the future?
GT: Right now just this, I have turned down several directing projects that I felt were derivitive and formulaic, I dont think I can be involved directing a project again that I am not 100% behind, I’m done compromising as a director…its just too demoralizing. My focus right now is this movie and the sincere hope that we get it funded and we can make this film and deliver horror in its purest, undiluted form.
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A special thank you to Mr. Gary J. Tunnicliffe for being so awesome!
Be sure to show your support for Judgement by liking the film’s Facebook page, visit the official site and of course donate to the funding of this film via KICKSTARTER.  Why would we not want to see an original film like this?  If you are as tired as I am of the same old Hollywood regurgitations they are trying to pass as “reboots” to the classics, then spread the word and help make Judgement a reality.
Also, be sure to check out Gary’s effects company, Two Hours In The Dark Inc
*All links are functional and take you to their described site*

 

Fright-Rags: Original Horror Designs

I have recently gotten the opportunity to do an interview with Fright-Rags.  Many of you are aware of their awesome, original horror designs, but this interview will help you better understand the awesome company that is Fright-Rags.

Photo Credit: Fright-Rags
Photo Credit: Fright-Rags

Interview

LBoH: How did the concept for Fright-Rags come about?

FR: Fright-Rags began as a way for me to let off some creative steam from my day job. I was working as an in-house graphic designer for a small laptop bag company and after about a year on the job, I was getting the itch to try some new things. I have always loved horror, and I was seeing a cottage industry of artists who were making cool things (i.e. hockey masks, etc) online and wanted to do something like that. So, I messed around with some ideas and after I came up with the “What Would Jason Do?” design, I thought it would look cool on a shirt. The rest is history.

LBoH: What was the first movie you made a shirt for?

FR: The first design was a parody of the “WWJD” and “Friday the 13th”. The What Would Jesus Do?” marketing was at an all time high (this was 2003) and I thought if I replaced the “J” with a hockey mask, it would read as “What Would Jason Do?”.

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LBoH: Fright-Rags offers many awesome shirts.  What is your best seller?

FR: It changes from time to time, but currently our best seller is the KISS parody shirt “KILL Destroyers”.

LBoH: Can you explain your “Graveyard” shirts for those that do not know what they are?

FR: Keeping stock is a constant struggle as you never know what is going to sell. Reprinting designs without knowing what is in demand can result in inventory that doesn’t move, which hinds the ability to create new designs. So, we decided hat we would print all of our designs once, and when they sell out, they would go to our “graveyard”. There you can see all the designs that are ‘dead” and no longer available. If there is something you want, click on it and submit your email address. Each month we take six designs with the highest votes and bring them back. This way, we’re always bringing back design in the highest demand.

LBoH: What is the staff favorite of the Fright-Rags t-shirts?

FR: That’s a tough one… My personal favorite changes, but lately it has been Silver Shamrock. For Kristy, it’s Popcorn. And for Tim, it’s Cujo.

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LBoH: In your opinion, what puts Fright-Rags at the top of the list for horror shirts?

FR: I could say that it is our original ideas, killer artwork, and high quality products, which I believe all help in differentiating us from others. However, none of that would be possible without the focus on our service. We could have the best products in the world, but if we didn’t back that up with exceptional service, we would not succeed. Striving to really connect with our customers is the most important thing to me.

LBoH: Can you explain a little of the process for making an awesome horror shirt?

FR: It’s a multi-step process that usually includes us going to our list of ideas and figuring out what we’d like to do. In many cases, we have ideas for licenses we’d lie to get, or just random ideas that would make  a cool shirt. Then we contact artists we feel would be the best at bringing those ideas to life and collaborate with them.

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LBoH: What can we expect to see from Fright-Rags in the future?

FR: We’ve added quite a few licenses this year and are working on some for 2014 already. While I cannot speak about them too much, I can say that we will be offering many more high-end limited editions in the future. We are always looking for ways to go beyond what we’ve done in the past, and push ourselves beyond our limits time and time again, so we can create the most kick-ass collectibles for horror fans everywhere.

Keep up to date on all things Fright-Rags by liking them on Facebook and following them on twitter!

All of you Hatchet fans out there, they have some really awesome Hatchet shirts including the Hatchet army t-shirt that Kane Hodder is frequently seen wearing.

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*All photos used are property of Fright-Rags*

Get to Know bleedingcritic

I have done an article on bleedingcritic previously, but this time I got the chance to do an interview with him.  For those of who that do not know much about bleedingcritic and what he is about, allow he and myself to give you a better look into his world.

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Photo Credit: bleedingcritic

LBoH: First things first, your reviews and knowledge of the horror genre is incredible. What got you interested in the horror scene?

bc: “I’ve always had a passion for horror films, the definitive starting point in my memory was when I watched the film JAWS for the first time in the cinema. To experience fear and anxiety when so young must have started the addiction.”

LBoH: And how was the bleedingcritic born?

bc: “I’ve had so many bleedingjobs over the years, some infront of the television camera – Then as acting work dried up due to it’s overcrowding I started wearing a suit for work and found the office environment was soul destroying, especially if you’re a creative person. Then after experiencing 3 redundancies in 4 years, I said that’s enough – I need to do my own thing. In late 2011 I didn’t know what it was at the time. Then I noticed how frustrating I was with reading film reviews that gave everything away and then that definitive idea, thats developed into what it’s become now, just came to mind.”

LBoH: The face of bleedingcritic is with out a doubt one of the most noticable faces of the blog and twitter worlds. How did you come up with the concept for that face?

bc: “There are so many brilliant masks available to buy, but I needed to have a mask that I could Trademark, a design that is unique, a one off that I own. I had many ideas about the mask and when I met with oscar and bafta award winner Mark Coulier from Coulier Creatures FX, I knew he and his team would deliver. It was an instinctive decision for me. After my brief they created my bleedingface, and I’ll never forget the wonderful moment I arrived at their workshop to collect.”

LboH: How did you come up with the name “bleedingcritic”?

bc: “I wanted to create a name that was consistent with the website, bleedingfilms.com – because the site was first.”

LBoH: Can you remember the first review that you did? If so, what film was it for?

bc: “I bleedingthink it was ‘The Mist’.”

LBoH: How long have you been reviewing movies?

bc: “The bleeding started in October 2011”

LBoH: I love that your reviews are spoiler-free, is it hard for you to make a review without giving the movie away?

bc: “Before I started my first film review, I thought about how I am when I talk about films to friends that haven’t seen the film I’m talking about. So that’s the foundation for me, I can easily discuss any film without disclosing the thread of its story.”

LBoH: What do you look for in a quality horror film?

bc: “I have to watch every film I choose with an open mind, and just let it flow over me, just like a bleeding shower. I look for that feeling of ‘I haven’t seen this before’, OR…I’ve seen this done before, but this time the work has it’s own individual take on it’. A quality horror film is a combination of all different pieces of the creative puzzle fitting together in perfection. The Exorcist is classic example of this and  ‘Martyrs’ is an example of finding a film that’s totally original, which is rare.”

LBoH: Your short story series “Horror Medication” is by far one of the best on the internet.  How do you come up with such brilliant material for it?

bc: “bleedingthanks for the compliment. Some of the filming is improvised, I just think of the story and film it, and see how it turns out. Now to save time I write all the stories so my waffling and repeating is removed. All my stories  are influenced by real life experiences or revenge on people I have known, or read about that will never receive the justice they deserve. I have a real hatred of domestic violence, hence my horror medication story called Bottle. I also have a twisted and imaginative way of creating scinareos that spiral from calm into bleeding horrorific endings. Derek and the Dream Catchers shop idea I created a long time ago. I originally had the idea to help children sleep – and make them empowered to cope with bad dreams. But then I wanted to bring it into the horrormedication series to test peoples reaction, which has been positive.”

LBoH: bleedingjack is an amazing addition to your videos. Can you tell us a bit about him?

bc: “Yeah, I was taken by some friend to one of these ‘Vintage’ wearhouses where everything seems a little overpriced and then I spotted this Jack in a box and the idea to have him as my assistant just came to me straight away. I can’t tell you how much I paid for him because if he reads this he might eat me.”

LBoH: You do an incredible job keeping in contact with your #bleedingfamily, but as the family grows, do you find it harder to maintain contact with them?

bc: “One thing I notice with some current celebrities is that they think their too important to communicate with the very people that put them where they are. I’m bleedingloyal and I will always interact with my fans, #bleedingfamily, because they give me honest feedback.”

LBoH: Many others and myself are looking forward to more reviews and more doses of Horror Medication. What can we look for in the future from bleedingcritic?

bc: “I had meeting with a radio producer in May last year, I played my bleedingradio idea demo..they understood what I was trying to achieve. I had bleedinganticipation simmering for over three months, then unfortunately they had limited funds and nothing became of it. I have had meetings and ongoing communication with a Television Channel since last November, so fingers crossed that might start soon, but in this media world you can’t rely on whatever anyone says until it actually does happen. Right now I’m filming each of my reviews so people have a choice to read or watch me. I have some ideas for the horrormedication series but I need to get the content I’ve created already out there to more people. With me I’m the total creative horror package and I’ve never been happier being bleedingcritic. I know what I’ve created is growing into something big, However, I just need that someone, in the right position, that recognizes the potencial for what I’m doing and opens that door to my bleedingsuccess across all media.”

Be sure to keep up to date on all bleedingcritic info by following him on twitter and signing up for updates at bleedingfilms.com.

 

FANGORIA: The History and Progression of a Horror Magazine

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When you think horror magazine, what is the first name that pops into your mind?  I know when I think horror magazine, I think FANGORIA.  I have recently been granted the opportunity to interview FANGORIA’s editor-in-chief Chris Alexander about the history and progression of today’s most popular source of horror news.

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FANGORIA has been an original magazine and “first in fright” since 1979, could you give us a little back history on how FANGORIA came to be?

“Sure. It was originally positioned as Starlog’s bid to ride the incoming Fantasy film tide for the impending release of the feature film adaptation of CONAN THE BARBARIAN and was called FANTASTICA. That wave never came as CONAN was delayed until 1982 and because of promised legal tangles with another magazine, the name was changed to FANGORIA.”

Who was the first published interview in FANGORIA with?

“I cannot say which one was written or laid out first, but I will say that our most important feature came in the form of a Tom Savini feature about the make-up effects in Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD. The first few issues of FANGORIA were received poorly but that feature was the one that had the kids talking. Because of this, EIC Bob Martin rolled with the gory horror angle and BANG suddenly FANGORIA took off and became the bible for splatter, special effects, horror and weird cinema.”

With the horror industry quickly evolving,  is it harder to to keep up with all that is going on in the genre?

“First of all, let’s be clear. There is no horror industry. There is a film industry, a magazine industry etc. Horror is hard to lock down…what is it? How do we define it? It’s not an industry, it’s a type of entertainment and because of this there are many, many international strains. The internet has opened up doors for filmmakers to internationally market their work. It’s a global focus and you are right…it aint easy to chart it all and some of the product is dire. So instead…you focus on what you like and what you think might have appeal to your readers. You try to dig up new material and also find fresh perspectives on classic films. We just have fun with it, really.”

When it comes to your readers, which is easier to please, the long-time or the new readers or do you think it’s about the same?

“It’s all about balance and finding a language that works for all audiences. Again, not easy! But there is a kind of clumsy science to it. I try to simply make the horror magazine that the 12 year old me would love as well as the 38 year old horror fan. We go with our instincts here.”

I have no doubt that FANGORIA will still be the most synonymous name in horror news for a long time to come.  Where do you see it going from here?

“Horror fans are sensual and love things they can touch and collect. The internet is tops for breaking news but the magazine will always be here for people to hold and have. It has a personality and is alive. We just brought back GOREZONE, our nasty little sister magazine.The brand FANGORIA will find its way onto films and digital media. It’s a name that is steeped in history and will always be with us. I’m not sure how long I’ll be Captain of the ship, but I intend to keep it far away from the rocks…”

Some personal questions for Chris

How did you get your start with FANGORIA?

“I was a columnist for the Canadian horror magazine Rue Morgue for many years and that allowed me to express myself, win a few fans and network. That networking lead me to freelancing for various film media and eventually it lead to freelancing for FANGORIA. Then in 2009, I got the call….I was asked if I wanted to explore taking the magazine in a new direction. It was a gift. One I still treasure.”

What is your favorite issue so far?

“That I have done? I love them all to a point. It’s more about which features I like better. I love my Nicolas Cage interview (in #310 and #311) because there was a whole adventure behind it. It reflects an amazing chapter of my life. As far as best issues, I think they all are wildly diverse enough to stand on their own. But lately I’m grooving the next issue, #325….there’s a tribute to my hero, Jess Franco and I’m very proud of that one. I try to buck trends more often than not and I love that there are things in FANGORIA that are ONLY in FANGORIA….no where else.”

Who has been your favorite interview?

“Again, Cage. Also loved Paul Koslo. Damien Echols. Barbara Steele. Gene Simmons. Roger Corman. The late Chas. Balun. My god….literally thousand of subjects, hundreds of heros….so much material and so many great conversations.”

With the horror genre becoming so popular, what advice can you give to all of the new writers out there?

“Find your voice and know your history. Write like music. Don’t be boring but don’t overstylize. And be true to your tastes. Use your words to share your joy about your subject. If you’re positive and excited your readers will be too….and success will follow.”

A huge thank you to editor-in-chief  Chris Alexander for such a great opportunity!

Don’t for get to pick up the latest issue of FANGORIA!

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All photos used in this article are from FANGORIA.com

 

Interview with Night Walker Cinema

As previously mentioned in my last piece on Night Walker Cinema, here is a short interview that they were so awesome to participate in.  I can say that I am looking forward to working on a few more pieces with these guys in the future.

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What movie initially got you interested in horror?

 “Wow…good question. I’d have to say that really early on I loved Michael Myers, Halloween and Halloween II”

A lot of people today have been spoiled by CGI.  What keeps NWC wanting to stay true to classic horror and not use CGI? 

 “I know a lot work goes into CGI and those artists are talented but it’s just not real. You can’t interact with it, feel it, wear it or be scared in real time with it. Practical FX are the only way to go in our opinion. It’s not a crime to use CGI to slightly enhance something but it should always be unnoticed.”

 What is the hardest part of staying true to classic horror?

“I’m not sure. We write what we want to see. I think sometimes you have studio people who don’t understand or even watch our genre telling people how to make films. That’s a bad recipe.”

From a producer’s stand point, which producers (horror or not) have been the most influential?

 “Well we are only producers because we pay for all of our films (except TDG which we are crowd funding).”

What kind of advice do you have for other indie producers? 

 “Well we like to focus on the writing and the directing. If we worked with another producer we would want them to trust that we know what we are doing. Too many producers want to see things their way but they don’t write so they nitpick other people’s art…no bueno.”

 What can we expect to see from Night Walker Cinema in the future?

“Hopefully we can get The Dinner Guest into as many festivals as possible and hopefully get distribution! After that, we have many films in the pipeline from more shorts to features!”