Category Archives: short films

Proof that one letter can change your life. #OnEdge20

OnEdge20

#OnEdge20 is a series of posts commemorating 20 years since I rolled cameras on my first short film.

DAY 1

Today is exactly 20 years since I rolled cameras on my first short film as writer/director, On Edge.

I don’t like looking back so much, I’d much rather keep my focus on what’s ahead. But 20 years does feel like a pretty significant anniversary, so…

To commemorate each day of the film shoot I will be posting about the making of the film, starting today (24th July) and concluding on the day we wrapped (28th July). I have trawled through the archives to find artefacts that have never been shared online before — until now.

And the first of these is a letter.

A single sheet of headed A4 paper, bearing the logo of Soho’s The Creative Partnership, and the signature of author Christopher Fowler.

It’s a letter that changed my life.

Twenty one years ago, I was studying for a Masters in screenwriting under the tutorship of guru Philip Parker. One of our assignments was to adapt an existing story into a short film script. Around that time, I had become aware of an emerging master of the short horror story, British author Christopher Fowler. I had already devoured a couple of his early novels, including the brilliant Roofworld, and was hungry for more, so I invested (very wisely) in a copy of his collection Sharper Knives, which included a blackly-comic, dental horror story called On Edge. I sat bolt upright in bed and told myself that this story had to be made into a film.

With my homework assignment as further impetus (I always work best to a strict deadline, to this day) I set about adapting the story. The assignment brief meant that the script had to be around 30 pages long. The story was at most going to come in at around fifteen minutes, so I created a subplot in which the impatient patient, Peter Thurlow, was set up for a painful fall by his estranged wife. I also opted to include a bit more detail about Doctor Matthews’ background. Visualising his ‘difficult’ schooldays via flashbacks, i intercut these with the main action culminating in some horrific business with a sharp pencil in an exam hall. (The gory escalation was intended to mirror the horror occurring in the dentist’s chair.)

The homework assignment was a success, but I knew that the film would be incredibly expensive to make at 30 minutes long. As a rule of thumb, at that time it would cost around £1,000 to produce each minute of finished film. To explain this further, I was determined that we were to shoot and deliver on 35mm Cinemascope, to present as cinematic experience as possible — an approach very much shared and supported by my producing partner Joseph Alberti at Robber Baron Productions. On Edge was to be our calling card, and we were confident if we got it right, we might get a feature film project off the ground.  So, in order to make the film realisable on a budget, I immediately dropped the spousal revenge subplot, cutting the script back to around 18 pages. (Still too long, but further edits were to come, as they always do.)

In a fit of youthful exuberance / pure madness, i decided to send a copy of the script to the author of the short story, Mr Christopher Fowler himself, begging him for the rights to make the film. He replied, and you can see that reply below. I have never shown anyone outside of the production this letter (and I wrote to Christopher last week to ask his permission one more time —  20 years after first doing so — but this time via email, and this time requesting permission to publish his letter on my blog, which I’m happy to say he granted. Thanks again Mr Fowler!).

I remember tucking the letter inside my copy of the shooting script, as a memento of the journey to getting the film made, sure, but also as a reminder to my future self — the future self who is writing this blog entry today — that all it takes sometimes is one person to see some potential in what you are doing, to give you a break, and ultimately to change your life.

Making On Edge changed my life in so many ways. It taught me a lot about directing, screenwriting, and of course the process of adaptation. I have since worked on many screenplays and films as a writer/director and a story consultant, and have published short stories and novels of my own.

Proof that one letter can change your life.

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Tune into the blog tomorrow for more #OnEdge20

Watch On Edge
on Amazon VOD
and DVD

Check out the On Edge
screening history & list of awards
here

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#TheStayMovie wins Best Short Film Award at Changing Face International Film Festival!

It’s my very great honour to announce that THE STAY picked up the Best Short  Film (Sci-Fi) Award at the Changing Face International Film Festival 2017 (Sydney, Australia).

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See all the Winners and Finalists here.

A huge thank you to the Festival organisers from the cast & crew of THE STAY!

Watch THE STAY on Amazon VOD here.


#TheStayMovie selected for Starburst International Film Festival 2017

UPDATE: The Starburst international  Film Festival has been rescheduled for 2018. More details when I get ’em!

#TheStayMovie Starburst International Film Festival

Thrilled that my award winning short film ‘The Stay’ is in official selection at Starburst International Film Festival 2017.

Starburst Magazine says, The Stay (Directed by Frazer Lee who wrote the screenplay for Panic Button), shows us a nightmarish holiday for one lone female. Broodingly creepy, this short is very much in the tradition of classic TV show Tales of the Unexpected.”

High praise indeed! And being selected by this festival has an extra buzz for me. Starburst was my first ever magazine subscription when I was a young monster kid, dreaming of making my own movies while poring over its full colour behind-the-scenes photo spreads.

The Starburst International Film Festival takes place in Manchester, UK across the Bank Holiday weekend August 25th-27th. Tickets are on sale now, and further details about the fantastic line-up are at the festival’s official site.

Check out a trailer for ‘The Stay’ starring Daniela Finley, below.

 


#TheStayMovie wins Best Story Award at Things2Fear Film Fest USA!

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Not so long ago, in a little cottage in the Cotswolds, I worked with some amazing people on my latest short film, The Stay. Our mission statement was to keep it simple, to keep it ‘do-able’. And so, our tale was about a character, a location, and a spooky “what if?” scenario.

With the support of our producers and crowdfunders (and many other supporters who gave of their time, skills and enthusiasm to help bring the project to the screen) The Stay had its World Premiere at the 25th Anniversary World Horror Con, in Atlanta USA. And the movie has been playing at film festivals ever since, picking up the Best Atmosphere Award at last year’s Independent Horror Movie Awards, along with nominations for Best Music and Best Original Concept.

Now (drum roll please…) I’m delighted to announce that The Stay has won another award!

My thanks to Festival Director Dionne Jackson and all at the Things2Fear Film Fest for including The Stay in Official Selection, and for awarding the film the brilliant accolade of ‘Best Story’. And I’d like to congratulate all the selected filmmakers, awards nominees and winners on their work – you can see the full list of 2016 award winners, and learn more about the festival here.

Cheers!
Frazer 


JanuSCARY Sale

I’d like to wish all my f( r )iends and followers a very Happy New Fear 2016 with some discounted January chills.

THE STAY
Winner, Best Atmosphere – Independent Horror Movie Awards

The Stay Dvd starring Daniela Finley

30% OFF THE STAY DVD
includes 1 hour of extra features
https://www.createspace.com/850000973
Use code: ZA2NYMYM at checkout

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.46.41

~*~

ON EDGE
Winner, Best Horror Short – Dragon*con
+
RED LINES
Winner, Best Short – Fearless Tales Genre Festival

On Edge and red Lines DVD starring Doug Bradley

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.47.22

30% OFF On Edge + Red Lines DVD
includes Doug Bradley on-set interview & more
https://www.createspace.com/213479
Use code: DYYE4RU4 at checkout

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 11.47.05

Enjoy,
Frazer x

 


#TheStayMovie On Demand & On DVD. 10% off for f[r]iends & followers!

Award winning supernatural suspense chiller The Stay hits Video On Demand and DVD.

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The VOD version (not available in all countries) includes the short film only – rent or buy now!

The DVD (ships worldwide) includes 1 hour of special features: Filmmaker Q&A, Cast & Crew Video Podcast, Behind the Scenes & VFX Archive – buy it now!

Please note that we have set prices at the minimum accepted by Amazon for listing on their site. By renting or owning the movie you are supporting indie filmmaking – thank you.

10% off The Stay – DVD offer for f[r]iends and followers!

Order your DVD direct from the Createspace Store and use code
BA9JFT96
at checkout to get 10% off.

Please watch, rate, review and share – thank you for supporting independent filmmaking!

STAYatmos

About The Stay

A young woman checks into a secluded cottage and discovers that some vacations stay with you…forever.

The Stay is a supernatural suspense chiller from Bram Stoker Award finalist Frazer Lee (Panic Button, On Edge, Red Lines, Simone), starring Daniela Finley with cinematography by BAFTA Award Nominee Alan Stewart (Sherlock Holmes, Into The Woods, SPECTRE, King Arthur).

Awards:
Winner Best Atmosphere, Independent Horror Movie Awards 2015
Nominated Best Original Concept, Independent Horror Movie Awards 2015
Nominated Best Music, Independent Horror Movie Awards 2015

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Happy #Friday13th – watch #TheStayMovie online!

stay-admit-oneHappy Friday 13th!

The clock is about to strike 13:00 hrs here in the UK, so…

Head on over to my Facebook Page for a private screening of my new short film The Stay.

Your link and password will be active for the next 24 hours.

Thanks for watching, and I hope you enjoy your stay.

And if you do, why not post a quick rating / review at the Internet Movie Database?
It only takes a minute, and you can sign in using your Facebook, Google or Amazon account.
Thanks!

Frazer

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