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REALITY CHECK with Alex Fitch
In a pair of Q and As recorded at the London Science-Fiction and Fantastic Film Festival (SCI-FI-LONDON), Alex Fitch talks to the creators of two new low budget portrayals of the apocalypse on screen. Stars Alan Bagh and Thomas Favaloro, writer / director James Nguyen and producer Jeff Gross discuss the B movie spoof Birdemic II: The Resurrection and co-writer / star Vera Miao talks about her excellent mid-apocalyptic road movie Best Friends Forever.
Alex Fitch talks to graphic designer turned film-maker Sam Harris about his short silent film Arthur Sleep, a half hour Stygian odyssey that mixes elements of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari and Eraserhead, as a trip on the London Underground takes a traveller into more mysterious destinations than he envisioned. Also, in a Q and A recorded at last year’s SCI-FI-LONDON, Alex talks to the writers and producer of True Love, an SF thriller that tests a couple’s devotion to each other as a set of innocuous questions in a surrealist prison turn to torture.
Arthur Sleep is premiering at New Cross Film Festival, Deptford Old Town Hall, London SE14 6AF on 28 April at 4pm with a live score performed by members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and London art-rock bands / True Love is released in Japanese cinemas on 27th April
In a panel discussion recorded at SCI-FI-LONDON 10, guest presenter Matt Badham talks to comic creators David Hine, Al Davison, Tom Humberstone and Tony Lee about starting their careers in independent comics, how that influenced their style and choices when breaking into the ‘mainstream’ industry and the advice they have to give creators starting out now. Recorded and edited by Alex Fitch
(Websites: Tony Lee, Tom Humberstone, David Hine, Al Davison)
Alex Fitch talks to a musician and composer, whose recent concerts of a classic SF concept album will be shown on the big screen over the next few weeks. Jeff Wayne discusses The War of the Worlds - The New Generation, how he reworked the music over the last 35 years and oversaw animation to accompany the score in video games and live tours plus his hopes for the cinema release of the concert. Includes an extract from The Eve of the War (2012) featuring Liam Neeson.
The War of the Worlds - The New Generation concert film is released in UK cinemas on April 11th 2013.
Alex Fitch talks to the cast and crew of two new low budget British SF movies: On the set of new alien abductee comedy drama The Search for Simon, director Martin Gooch and one of the stars - Doctor Who alumnus Sophie Aldred - talk about this crowd funded feature that mixes elements of travelogue with the X-Files. Also, director Sloane U'Ren, editor Adam Garstone and members of the cast of Dimensions discuss their 'Merchant Ivory' style time travel film which mixes a love triangle with a time loop that joins their pasts with their futures.
(More info: www.thesearchforsimon.com / www.dimensionsthemovie.com)
In the second of a pair of podcasts looking at new feature-length animation, Alex Fitch talks to the directors of two new cutting-edge animated films which mix animation and live action footage to beguiling effect. In a Q and A recorded at SCI-FI-LONDON, Zoltan Sostai discusses his film Cycle, a spiritual successor to Tron and The Matrix, which sees a nameless astronaut trying to escape a bleak urban landscape which twists and loops back on itself, creating an endless maze he can’t find the exit from.
Also, British animator Paul Bush talks about his first feature film Babledom which looks into the layers of history and potential future that are unearthed by explorers of the modern city and is an evocative look at mankind’s varied relationships with the crowded spaces we inhabit.
(More info: www.babeldom.com / vimeo.com/cyclethemovie)
In this edition, Chris Patmore, SFL's web editor, talks animation with Allison Abbate, a producer who has worked on many different feature films including Tim Burton's The Corpse Bride and his latest homage to classic horror films, the Oscar-nominated Frankenweenie. Frankenweenie is out now on 3D and 2D Blu-ray, and DVD.
We also speak with Jeff Simpson, Bill Jones and Ben Timlett, the directors and producers of A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman, which features a smorgasbord of animation styles, to find out how they created an animated version of the late Python's life. A Liar's Autobiography is out now on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download.
In a show looking at the possible consequences of computer technology and Artificial Intelligence on humanity, Alex Fitch talks to the directors of two new films that address these themes and how it might impact on peoples lives and after-lives. Kareem Gray discusses his movie Zero One, a cross between Knight Rider and The Terminator in which a couple of hackers discover a sentient intelligence on the internet with the power to download itself into robots and other machines; Martin Gooch and members of the cast of Death discuss this new British fantasy film starring Leslie Philips in which a pair of siblings return to their family manse after the death of their father and discover he had been working on a computer programme that allows people to converse with the dead…
Both interviews recorded in front of a live cinema audience at SCI-FI-LONDON, April 2012.
As we enter Doctor Who's 50th anniversary year, Reality Check investigates a radio drama series tangentally connected to the franchise. The Scarifyers is a horror / black comedy series, with new installments broadcast each year on BBC Radio 4 Extra (formerly BBC 7) and released on CD and concern the adventures of an elderly horror writer and his retired police sidekick as they investigate supernatural crimes and occurances in 1950s Britain. Alex Fitch talks to series writer and producer Simon Barnard and CD cover artist Garen Ewing about the genre crossing narrative, their love of old SF and horror and the use of iconic actors in new serialised roles in a series whose cast includes Terry Molloy (Doctor Who's Davros), Nicholas Courtney (Doctor Who's Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) and David Warner (Time Bandits et al.). The supporting cast includes actors famous for roles in Doctor Who and other Sci-Fi dramas such as Gabriel Woolf, Philip Madoc, Gareth David-Lloyd and Brian Blessed.
In this podcast we go technical. Our resident stereoscopic geek, Ketan Majmudar talks with Pixar's Bob Whitehill about updating Pixar's films to 3D, such as the recently rereleased Monsters Inc 3D, which is in cinemas now for a limited time.
Our web editor, Chris Patmore, talks with Visual Effects Supervisor Karen Goulekas, who has worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including James Cameron, Kathryn Bigelow, Roland Emmerich and Luc Besson, about working with Rian Johnson on his fantastic sci-fi film Looper, which is out on Blu-ray and DVD from January 28.