What an honour!
Many thanks to Tyler Darkow & all at the Fest for supporting our work, on behalf of the cast & crew of The Stay 🎃
Many thanks to all at #creepytreefilmfestival for this amazing award!
And to the cast, crew and supporters of #TheStayMovie – couldn’t have done it without you – thanks again!
Amazing news just in that The Stay has won BEST SHORT FILM in the MYSTERY category at the Hollywood Blood Horror Festival in Los Angeles USA.
What a wonderful post-Halloween treat!
My thanks to all at Hollywood Blood & to the cast and crew of The Stay and to all our supporters.
Great news from Catalonia!
#TheStayMovie — Official Selection — Terror Shorts category
Galacticat (June 7-9, 2019)
Thanks to the Festival Programmers from the Cast & Crew of The Stay!
Official Selection — Haunted House FearFest
‘Independent Horror Short Films Monthly Screening’
@ The Castle, Friedrichshain Berlin, June 9th 2019
This is a walk-in screening at The Castlethat has 50+ draft beers on tap.
The cover charge is 3 Euros on the door (no exceptions), this includes being part of the draw for a Haunted House T-shirt worth (20 euros), and you get to vote on your favourite films on the night. Check out the Facebook event page for further details.
And you can see The Stay on VOD / DVD now — just follow the links at https://thestaymovie.wordpress.com
And what a wonderful start to the New Year.
News just in that ZedFest Film Festival & Screenplay Competition in Hollywood USA has awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Gothic Filmmaker of the year award to yours truly for my film The Stay.
To quote the great poet, “I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”
My thanks to Festival Directors Wendy Medrano & Ed Stephens, and to their sponsors iPitch.tv for this very great honour.
As previously posted, The Stay won big at ZedFest 2018, where it was awarded the Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Screen Story & Outstanding Acting Performance Awards.
To be able to add the Edgar Allan Poe Gothic Filmmaker Award to that list of accolades is a wonderful surprise indeed.
As ever, a huge thank you to the cast & crew of The Stay and to all of our supporters.
Here’s to a fun & creative year ahead.
It’s already off to a great start!
#OnEdge20 is a series of posts commemorating 20 years since I rolled cameras on my first short film.
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.
Tune into the blog tomorrow for more #OnEdge20
Check out the On Edge
screening history & list of awards
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).
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.
UPDATE: The Starburst international Film Festival has been rescheduled for 2018. More details when I get ’em!
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.
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.
I’d like to wish all my f( r )iends and followers a very Happy New Fear 2016 with some discounted January chills.
Winner, Best Atmosphere – Independent Horror Movie Awards
30% OFF THE STAY DVD
includes 1 hour of extra features
Use code: ZA2NYMYM at checkout
Winner, Best Horror Short – Dragon*con
Winner, Best Short – Fearless Tales Genre Festival
30% OFF On Edge + Red Lines DVD
includes Doug Bradley on-set interview & more
Use code: DYYE4RU4 at checkout