Tag Archives: frazer lee

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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It’s March 13th ~ and ‘The Daniel Gates Adventures, Vol. 1’ is out now!

out now!

It’s the 13th today, what better date for my occult horror novellas THE LUCIFER GLASS and THE LEPER WINDOW to be available in one volume from Crossroad Press?

Lucky (or unlucky!) for some — depending on your perspective on weird tales of demonic grimoires and cursed artefacts.

kick back, relax, and…

BUY THE DANIEL GATES ADVENTURES, Vol. 1

from:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

— and wherever occult tomes and evil mirrors are sold.

Explore the links above to read free sample chapters in your browser, or to send them to your Kindle/e-reader/mobile device!

you can take the horror with you – anywhere

ABOUT THE DANIEL GATES ADVENTURES:

Together in one volume, the first two novellas in the Daniel Gates Adventures.

THE LUCIFER GLASS

“It may cost you your soul. ”

Daniel Gates is a fixer. Whatever his client wants, he can get for a price. But the price of his latest assignment is a high one indeed. He is to travel to Scotland to exchange a rare demonic text, a grimoire, for a consignment of even rarer whiskey. Reading the grimoire, Gates learns of the legend of Lucifer s Glass and the unholy trinity of green-eyed demons who protect it. As he does battle with the demons, Daniel realizes too late that there is much more to his assignment than meets the eye. He is locked in a struggle to save his very soul from damnation.

THE LEPER WINDOW

“Do not gaze into its secrets.”

Daniel Gates’s last assignment involving a rare demonic book left him plagued by hideous nightmares, which are about to get even worse. When a page is stolen from Choronzon’s Grimoire, Daniel is sent to the wilds of North Wales to retrieve it for his mysterious client. But the stolen page contains dark, occult secrets, and he finds to his peril that he is not the only one desperate to find it. Daniel’s journey takes him to the very brink of madness and to the demons that await—beyond the Leper Window.

note to self – if you come across a demonic grimoire in your local library, maybe just put it back on the shelf…


The Daniel Gates Adventures, Vol. 1 – cover reveal

The first two novellas in my Daniel Gates Adventures occult series are back in ebook from Crossroad Press very, very soon.

Check out the new cover art for The Lucifer Glass & The Leper Window – together in one volume for the first time.

More details soon!


#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).

TheStayBestShortCFIFF

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.


News-splash! ‘The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death by Water – The Gargantuan book of Horror Tales’ is out now in ebook

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Released today in ebook (with a paperback edition to follow soon) The Beauty of Death Vol. 2: Death By Water is a gargantuan book of horror tales, boasting stories from Clive Barker,‎ Ramsey Campbell,‎ Caitlìn R. Kiernan,‎ Peter Straub,‎ and many more (including yours truly).

About the book: In each of these stories from some of greatest writers of horror and dark fiction, water plays the dual role of accomplice and executioner. With accidental drownings, irresistible calls of sirens from the deep, strange whisperings from household plumbing, faces of the dead in droplets of water, rabid fish, leviathan monsters, and more, these thirty-nine tales of death by water will make you think twice about taking that long-awaited cruise, going for a midnight swim, or taking your next shower.

Stories by: Joanna Parypinski, Lucy Taylor, Dona Fox, Eric J. Guignard, Lucy Snyder, Stephen Gregory, Daniel Braum, Simon Bestwick, Peter Straub, Lisa Mannetti, Daniele Bonfanti, Ramsey Campbell, Gregory L. Norris, Michael Bailey, Marge Simon, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Frazer Lee, Paolo Di Orazio, Dennis Etchison, John Palisano, Brian Evenson, Michael Hanson, Edward Lee, Tim Waggoner, Gene O’Neill, Jonah Buck, David J. Schow, Anthony Watson, Bruce Boston, Michael A. Arnzen, Adam Nevill, John Langan, Alessandro Manzetti, Clive Barker, Lisa Morton, Jodi Renée Lester, Jeremy Megargee, Nicola Lombardi, Adam Millard.

Edited by: Alessandro Manzetti & Jodi Renée Lester

Grab your copy from Amazon

UK readers, follow this link

Sweet dreams… (or Wet nightmares!)

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Stuck for something SCARY to watch this Halloween?

FrazerLeeHappyHalloween

Check out my article on ‘The Scariest Horror Movies you’ve probably never seen‘ over at Higgypop.com.

I can guarantee a few nightmares…

🎃 HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 🎃


‘So Much To See’ at Stage Fright: A Day of Theatrical Horror

Thrilled to announce that my short horror story ‘So Much To See’ will be performed by (Oxo ad Mum!) Morag McLean Peacock at Stage Fright: A Day of Theatrical Horror this Sunday Oct 29th, in Salford UK. My thanks to the event programmers and organisers for including my work in what looks set to be a goosebump-inducing day (& night!) out.

Find out more about Stage Fright & book tickets here!