Well, what a fantastic success Horror-on-Sea 2014 turned out to be! A record number of film entries (so many that we had to add three extra screenings at our own Cinema a week later!) was matched by record attendances, both by film fans eager for their annual dose of the macabre and the horrific, and the filmmakers themselves, who introduced their films and were happy to chat in the bar after the screenings. Jason Wright and his team from Silent Studios were also out in force, with their busy make-up area sending forth all manner of creatures into the hotel corridors and beyond: shoppers on the High Street could scarcely believe their eyes as they invaded the town centre! Thanks also to the dealers who added to the festival atmosphere, especially Allin and Pamela Kempthorne with their prop coffin for sale, which generated a lot of press interest.
Local filmmaking legend Pat Higgins conducted another superb Masterclass about filming on a budget. Last year, he guided attendees through the process of devising a title (“The Bloody Woods”!) and creating a poster image. This year, in two wonderfully informative hours, the group was led through the process of devising and actually filming a trailer for the film. The challenge next year, of course, is to produce the film itself!!
A big “thank you”, of course, to the management and staff of the Park Inn Palace Hotel, who could not have been more helpful and supportive of this unique event. Their prompt attention to our many requests made the festival move along very smoothly. Also thanks to Brian Warrens and Guy Douglas, and students Jay Lewis, Joshua Hodis, Edward Ballard, Jamie Masang, Louis Webber and Callum Taylor from South Essex College’s Department of Media and Performing Arts for lighting the ballroom so it really did look like a majestic ‘movie palace’, with the subtly changing colours providing a wonderful effect.
The overall standard of the films never ceases to amaze me. It makes selection for the festival that much harder, but it’s a ‘burden’ that is a real pleasure to bear! It was just a wonderful weekend; my thanks also to the White Bus team for all their hard work before and during the festival.
However, there’s no time to rest on our laurels, as planning begins now for Horror-on-Sea 2015! Next year’s extravaganza will, as usual, be launched at our Pier Zombie Walk, on Sunday 26th October, and we are already geared up to receive submissions (full length features and shorts) for next year’s festival.
ZOMBIES INVADE SOUTHEND...AGAIN!!
Following the incredible success of last year’s inaugural Walk, even more zombies and assorted ghoulies and ghosties joined us on Saturday 2nd November 2013 for another very successful Zombie Walk down the length of the World’s Longest Pleasure Pier. The weather certainly played its part, with dark storm clouds welcoming these ‘creatures of the night’ before departing to allow the Walk to go ahead in fine, if rather blustery, conditions. The Park Inn Palace Hotel, overlooking the Pier, had never looked more welcoming as the zombies staggered towards it and up into its sumptuous ballroom for a rare, big screen showing of Munster Go Home!
This wonderful event was enhanced by our friends at Silent Studios who hosted a competition for zombies in a variety of best dressed (or should that be ‘best distressed’?) categories. As with the film line up, the standard of entries was exceptionally high, with the winners fully deserving their accolades. But well done to all entrants, and many thanks to Jason, David and the team from Silent Studios.
Thanks also go the the make-up team from South Essex College, who successfully took on the tough job of turning the very attractive(!) White Bus team into hideous zombies, and to Jane Brown and her colleagues on Southend Pier.
photograph by Niki Cornish