Thursday, 31 March 2016

Alien Landscape

Here are some shots from my most recent personal work, Alien Landscape. To view all, CLICK HERE!

I recently went down to Devon for the weekend, and visited all our family's old beach haunts. Now, I've been to these beaches millions of times in my life - ever since I was very little - and have taken millions of photographs. I know them like the back of my hand. However, this time was different. I saw them differently. Recently, I've been getting into abstract and alien styles of work, such as artists like Filip HodasAlison Johnson and Slime Sunday. It was through the influence of these artists, (plus an absolute love for the beautiful, yet warped and experimental music of Baths - Favourite songs are currently 'Heart' & 'Maximalist') that when I went to my past-time beaches, I began to see them as alien lands. I had Interstellar in mind, and imagined myself in another world, on another planet, and photographed the natural forms accordingly.  

From these images, my three planets were born: Cochineal, Cerulean & Concretion. Imagine, if you will, that the images are taken on other planets, the shots used as records for the unexplored worlds. 

Come to think of it, this particular series is like an updated version of the incredibly popular Natural Forms post I made years ago (to date it has had 23,920 views!). Beware when viewing though, the photography is very old!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Charlie Steeds

These images were taken back around November for an interview I was working on for a magazine called 'Divergence'. The theme of the magazine was diverse people, so each of the team members chose someone to photograph who would be of interest. I went with young horror director and owner of Dark Temple Motion Pictures, Charlie Steeds. I had shot with Charlie a couple of times before, along with gorgeous model Charlotte Roest-Ellis (shoots can be found HERE and HERE - Brace yourself, the photography's old!). This time though, instead of a film noir theme, I had to convey Charlie's personality through just a couple of portraits. So what did we do? Fake blood and scary faces! What else?

I actually tried out a couple of cover layouts for the mag with the first image, and here is my favourite:

Below is an excerpt from the interview:

How did you get into horror then?

Well, the first little script I tried to do was crime. I mean… I was really, really into horror at the time, when I started making movies at fourteen. I think you see it in other filmmakers, you see it in the big famous filmmakers like Spielberg, where they try to recreate the movies that they loved in their childhood - because that's when film making really captures your imagination. You get the bug. So, I was really into horror at that time. I used to actually be far too scared to watch any horror stuff, all the way up until I was about thirteen, probably. I would not watch anything, like, just adverts for horror films would give me nightmares.

No way! I can’t even imagine. 

I’d cry! When me and mum were watching a film called God's End with Robert Deniro - It's only probably a 12 certificate, I can't remember - but we were watching that when she was pregnant so I would have been twelve, and I literally just burst into tears at this vague scary bit! At twelve you think you’d be over that.
But I always had a fascination of scary stories, spooky stories... that sort of thing. All growing up I loved spooky stories and I think that reaction to something scary, that's what I like about horror. What I like about being a filmmaker is that you're playing with such a strong reaction that some people can have to film. So at that time, I was just really into horror. I tried to make a crime film because I'd been inspired to make movies by watching Reservoir Dogs, and I literally watched it and thought ‘I have to make a movie, right now!’. So that's what I did, I started planning it straight away. I made all the phone calls on that day, as soon as I finished watching. But… that’s a really violent movie, that’s probably why I have so much violence in my films, so much blood. It's because that film had such an impact on me. But then The Sinners - my first film - that was more like a David Lynch inspired thing. I was super, super into David Lynch at that time - nightmares and dreams and surrealism, those sorts of things. And then it was really after that that I started steering more into horror stuff. But everything is always dark because that's just what I love.

Any favourite movies besides Reservoir Dogs?

I’d say my favorite movie is Donnie Darko (the director's cut). Only the director's cut because the other version isn't so good. I love it because every single character in it, you get to know everyone in the whole neighborhood of that film, there's maybe 40 characters. Even though some of them only get one sentence or one tiny bit of screen time, you just know exactly who each character is, even just the way they're dressed or the thing they say… You know exactly who those characters are, and you just get such a vivid picture of that neighborhood that their in. And like, the most important lesson for any filmmaker or any writer to learn, is that the characters make the script, that's what makes the movie, so that’s probably why I love that film so much. And their David Lynch elements in the freaky rabbit and the dreams… It's one you can think about, it plays with the narrative and your mind.

Charlie's film 'Labyrinthia' is about to be distributed in US/Canada and second feature 'Escape From Cannibal Farm' is going into production this summer for an early 2017 release.

Check out Charlie's Youtube and website for trailers, behind the scenes and film segments!